Advice for landlords
How much housing benefit is paid out is dependent on the personal circumstances of the tenant, as well as the level of rent, so landlords cannot apply on behalf of a tenant.
Information we can give to landlords
We can only give you limited information because we keep claimants information confidential. Tenants should claim their own housing benefit.
In some cases landlords are seen as a 'person affected' and have rights to certain information. A landlord is a 'person affected' when:
- we are recovering an overpayment from him or her. We can detail the amount, period and reasons for any overpayment being recovered
- we are paying housing benefit directly to him or her. We can detail the amount, weekly benefit rate and period covered by cheques sent directly to you, and the date direct payments stop
- a landlord has asked for direct payments and we have refused. We can explain why we will not pay direct
Please note: Overpayment letters and landlord schedules also provide all the relevant information landlords are entitled to know.
Tenant consent and authorisation
We can talk about the claim if the tenant gives us permission by signing a tenant consent form. In this scheme we are able to talk about missing information needed to work out their claim for benefit with their landlord.
Please note: Where a claimant has not asked for benefit to be paid directly to the landlord, we cannot give any information about a claim at all.
We can give landlords if a tenant has signed a letter of authorisation or asked in writing that their landlord act on their behalf. We will only give information covered by the letter of authorisation.
A general letter at the start of the claim is not, for example, enough to allow the release of personal data on all later occasions and we have the right to confirm the claimant's intentions whenever we feel that it is suitable.
We can give landlords other information if it helps the smooth running of benefits administration, or if the needs of the claimant make it suitable. An example might be where we are waiting for more information from the tenant.