Payment is normally made to the tenant and it is up to you to make sure that the rent is paid to your landlord. If your rent is higher than your benefit, you will have to make up the difference.

Housing Benefit can only be paid to the landlord if:

  • the tenant is unable or unlikely to pay their rent
  • the tenant is vulnerable
  • direct payment would help the tenant secure or retain the tenancy


If you think you may have difficulties managing your rent payments, you can request that your benefit is paid directly to your landlord by completing a direct payment request form.


If any of these circumstances apply you can ask to have payments made directly to you by completing a direct payment form.

Request direct payments

When is it paid?

  • private tenants: you will receive your Housing Benefit every two weeks in arrears on a Monday, or the next working day if this falls on a Bank Holiday
  • landlords: if we pay your landlord, they will receive Housing Benefit every four weeks in arrears

How is it paid?

Your benefit will be paid directly into your bank or building society account. We cannot pay benefit into Post Office accounts.

Opening a bank or building society account

If you do not already have a bank or building society account, you may want to open one. Most banks now offer a basic bank account.

This means you can arrange to pay the rent to your landlord automatically.

Find out about basic bank accounts.