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Housing benefit and universal credit information for landlords

​Find out what you need to know about housing benefit and universal credit as a landlord.

Universal credit

From 4 July 2018 your tenants may have to claim universal credit for help with their housing costs instead of housing benefit.

Universal credit is being introduced in different areas at different times. To find out if they should apply for universal credit, check if your property's postcode is in the universal credit full-service area.

You can find out more about universal credit from this document: 

Information we need from landlords for housing benefit claims

If we pay your tenant's housing benefit directly to you, you must tell us about any changes or problems.

Change in circumstance

You need to tell us about changes to:

  • the amount of rent you charge
  • the services you include in the rent

  • how many people live in the property.

Problems with rent payment

You must tell us if your tenant:

  • is in rent arrears for eight weeks or more

  • is withholding rent payments.

Information we can give landlords

You can use your account to get information about your tenant's housing benefit. You will be able to see:

  • schedules for payments to you or your organisation made since 22 November 2017 including:
    • tenant name and address
    • payment period
    • overpayment deductions
  • notification letters for individual tenants.

You can also use your landlord account to report a change in circumstances for a tenant.

Get help using your account

Use the handbook below if you need help managing your account.

If you don't tell us about a change in circumstances

If we are paying your tenant's housing benefit directly to you and you know about a change in circumstances but don't tell us we can:

  • take you to court
  • fine you.

The amount of the fine will be equal to 30% of the total amount of the benefit we overpaid you. Find out what happens if you don't repay a housing benefit overpayment.

Get help using your account

Use the handbook below if you need help managing your account.

Documents

If you don't tell us about a change in circumstances

If we are paying your tenant's housing benefit directly to you and you know about a change in circumstances but don't tell us we can:

  • take you to court

  • fine you.

The amount of the fine will be equal to 30% of the total amount of the benefit we overpaid you. Find out what happens if you don't repay a housing benefit overpayment.

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Housing benefit
Housing benefit is a scheme to help people pay their rent to us, a housing association or a private landlord.