We recognise that landlords are important. Without landlords willing to let to tenants who receive Housing Benefit we cannot do our job.
Who can claim Housing Benefit
Information on who can claim Housing Benefit is available here.
A tenancy agreement is a business arrangement. If there is not an enforceable contract between you and your tenant or there is a non commercial arrangement we cannot pay Housing Benefit.
People who cannot claim include certain persons from abroad, most students and anyone who is living with and renting from a close relative.
If the Housing Benefit does not meet the rent charged your tenant must pay the difference themselves. If your tenant can not afford the shortfall they can ask for a Discretionary Housing Payment.
You are responsible for paying the Council Tax on houses in multiple occupation, empty properties or where the tenants are under 18. See our Council Tax pages for more information paying the council tax discounts and exemptions.
For more information please see
Renting out your property
We can help you find tenants or you can rent your property to Barnet Council or a Housing Association.
For more information please see the Housing area of this site.
When we can talk to you
All details about your tenant's Housing Benefit claim are confidential. We cannot usually give information (including whether a claim has been made) to anyone without the tenant's written permission.
If we pay Housing Benefit direct to you however, we can tell you the following even without tenant's permission:
- the date benefit started and ended
- the weekly amount of benefit, how often it was paid and details of any payments made
- the amount we are taking directly from benefit to recover an overpayment
Who will we pay
If your tenant has claimed Housing Benefit without a break at your property since April 2008 or earlier, they can choose to receive the benefit themselves or have it sent to the landlord or agent.
If your tenant claimed Housing Benefit at your address after April 2008 they will normally receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA). This means we will normally pay your tenant unless any of the following apply:
- they are 8 or more weeks in rent arrears
- they are unlikely to pay their rent
- they have difficulty in managing their financial affairs (see safeguard policy PDF)
- you have helped the tenant gain or retain the tenancy by not charging more than the LHA rate
If your tenant is in rent arrears of 8 weeks or more we will pay you unless it is in the overriding interests of the tenant not to do so. The 8 week period starts from when the rent is due. We may suspend payment while we are investigating, and if there is a dispute about the rent arrears we may ask to see a court order.
If your tenant is receiving Housing Benefit and has rent arrears of 8 weeks or more, please email us with details on the arrears. You can also write to us.
If we find out that the tenant's Housing Benefit has been overpaid and the payment was made to you, we can ask you to repay the overpayment if the law allows.
If we decide that the overpayment can be recovered from you, you will have the right of appeal. We can ask you to repay the overpayment by sending you a invoice or we can withhold Housing Benefit we are paying you for your other tenants.
If we do withhold benefit, you must treat that tenant's benefit as paid in full.
Disputes and appeals
Landlords can appeal against some of the decisions of a Housing Benefit claim, but only where they are a person affected. For example, you can appeal against a decision not to make payments to you, but you cannot appeal against the amount of benefit awarded to your tenant.
If your tenant moves out, the benefit will end even if you are still charging them rent. Your tenant is responsible for any rent due after benefit ends.