Housing Benefit - Landlord Information
Northumberland County Council recognises the important role that
private landlords play in providing increased choice and access to
affordable accommodation within the county.
We are committed to working in partnership with you and to offer
support, guidance and encouragement to enable you to develop your
role as a landlord.
If you are interested in attending a Landlord forum or would
like to view the minutes from previous forums in your area
How does my tenant claim Housing Benefit?
Tenants who claim Income Support or income
based Jobseekers Allowance will get a Housing Benefit claim form
(HCTB1) when they claim. They should send this form directly
to our benefit section. Jobcentre Plus will tell us if the
tenant gets Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance
If your tenant applies for Pension Credit,
they will be asked whether they want to claim for Housing Benefit
on the Pension Credit application form. The Pension Service
will then send them an HCTB1 (PC) form. They need to send the
filled-in form to our benefit section.
Your tenants do not have to be getting Income
Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based) or Pension Credit to
get Housing Benefit. In these cases they can claim Housing
Benefit directly from us by filling in a claim form. Once
they have filled in the form, they must send it back to us as soon
What information do you need to work out benefit?
- The tenant’s and their partner’s income and savings
- The tenant’s family circumstances, including details about who
lives with them; and
- The tenant’s rent.
- They will also need to provide proof of their and their
partner’s National Insurance number and identity (with a passport,
birth certificate or driving licence, for example).
What proof of rent do you need?
We need proof of the rent your tenant has to
pay. This is usually a tenancy agreement, but could also be a
rent book or a letter from you. The proof must include:
- The full address of the property they are renting
- Your full name and address (if you are the landlord)
- The full name and address of any agent
- The full name of all the tenants who live in the property
- The start date of the tenancy
- The amount of rent you charge them
- How often they pay rent (i.e. every week, four weekly)
- What is included in the rent (i.e. meals, gas, electricity) and
the amount charged for these services
- The date they signed the tenancy agreement
- How long their tenancy will last
- Your signature; and
- The tenant’s signature
Can I find out the maximum Housing Benefit a tenant is entitled
to before they move in?
Yes. The maximum Housing Benefit a
tenant is entitled to will be the rate of Local Housing Allowance
(LHA) set for the number of rooms your tenant needs in the area
they live in. Please click
here for the LHA rates.
How is Housing Benefit paid?
Housing Benefit will almost always be paid to
the tenant. It is their responsibility to pay you their
rent. There are very few circumstances where we will pay
Housing Benefit direct to the landlord. If you have any
further queries regarding this please contact us on 0845 600
What can I do if my tenant has rent arrears?
The Housing Benefit regulations say that if a
tenant owes rent for eight weeks or more, we must pay the landlord
direct, unless we consider it in the tenant’s best interest not to
pay you direct.
There are a range of safeguards to protect the
interests of landlords. For example, a local authority must usually
pay the benefit to the landlord if the tenant is eight weeks or
more in arrears with their rent.
Payment may be made direct to the landlord
where we decide that the tenant is:
- likely to have difficulty in managing their financial
- unlikely to pay their rent
- the authority considers that paying the landlord will assist
the claimant in securing or retaining their letting
We recommend that, if a tenant is starting to build up rent
arrears, you should get in touch with us before it gets to eight
weeks. This will allow us to investigate whether there is a
problem that needs addressing
What happens if my tenant’s circumstances change?
You and your tenant should tell us straight
away, in writing, about any change that may affect their
Typical examples of changes in tenants’
- if they change address
- if their rent changes
- if the size of their family changes
- if an adult moves into or out of the house
- if the tenant’s income changes
What if I do not agree with any decision you have made?
Landlords only have certain rights to appeal
if they do not agree with our decision about their tenants Housing
Benefit. These include:
- whether we will pay benefit direct to you or not; or
- whether we decide you should repay an overpayment or not
How could Benefit Fraud affect me?
Benefit fraud accounts for the largest single
abuse of public funds in the UK. It’s a crime that neither Local
nor Central government take lightly.
People who deliberately claim benefits when
they are not entitled to it are committing a criminal offence.
If a landlord, who is paid housing benefit
directly on behalf of their tenant, fails to notify the council
that their tenant has left the property then they may be committing
For further information on Benefit Fraud please
How do I report a benefit fraud?
If you believe that someone is claiming
benefit they are not entitled to, please telephone the
Northumberland Fraud Hotline on 01670 624359 or
Northumberland County Council
Telephone: 0845 6006400
The council now offers nine local area code telephone numbers
for customers to use when calling the central contact centre.
For more details about the numbers, along with frequently asked
questions, please click here.
Fax: 01670 620098
If you would like any benefit document in a different format, or
if you need any help with language or translations please telephone
0845 600 6400 and we will do all we can to help.
You may also wish to use the facilities available on all our
webpages including page translation, accessibility and text size
options. Please see the links at the top of each web