Landlords and Housing Benefit
Housing Benefit helps your tenant pay their rent if they are:
- unable to work
- on a low income
Who can apply?
Only the tenant can apply for Housing Benefit.
Housing Benefit entitlement depends on the personal circumstances of the tenant and their household as well as the level of rent, so landlords cannot apply on behalf of a tenant.
Please see current Local Housing Allowance rates for further details.
Can we pay a Landlord direct?
If you agree to reduce the rent to the new Local Housing Allowance Rate, we may pay you direct if it helps your tenant secure or renew a tenancy. You can download and complete this form to request direct to landlord payments.
Information we can give to landlords
If you call our Contact Centre on (0151) 606 2002 we can only give you limited information. This is because our duty of care to claimants means we have to treat the information they give as confidential. It is best if the tenants contact us, so that we can tell them their responsibilities and what we need to work out the claim quickly.
Landlords who are treated as a 'person affected' are recognised as having rights under Housing Benefit regulations and have the right to certain information. A landlord is a 'person affected' when:
- we are looking to recover an overpayment from you. We can tell you the amount, period and reasons for the overpayment being recovered
- we are paying Housing Benefit directly to you. We can tell you the amount, weekly benefit rate and period covered by payments sent directly to you, and the date direct payments stop
- you have asked for direct payments and we have refused. We can tell you why we will not pay you.
Please note: A general letter at the start of the claim is not 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.
Other Information we can give to Landlords
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 to give general information. An example might be where we are waiting for more information from the tenant.
We can talk about the claim if your tenant gives us permission by signing an Authority to Discuss form. This will enable us 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.
Changes of occupation and vacation
Please use the Occupation/Vacation proforma to notify us about changes of occupation and vacation. This is Wirral Council’s preferred method for landlords and agents to advise us of changes.
If you are considering providing accommodation with care and support included, different rules may apply when we calculate Housing Benefit for your tenant. If you require more information you can contact us.
For more information see our Information for Landlords leaflet which answers the most common questions private landlords have about Housing Benefit claims.
We believe that landlords are important stakeholders in the service we give. As part of our commitment to keep you up to date, we produce a quarterly newsletter in conjunction with Wirral's Landlord Accreditation Team.
Please see the downloads on the right hand side for other forms landlords may need if you are receiving direct payments and wish to report a change in your circumstances.