As a user of the Landlord Portal, you will be able to:
search for tenants using name, address, postcode or claim reference
access details of the current weekly housing benefit entitlement
access details of anyprevious payments made to you
export all payment records into a spreadsheet; you can save the spreadsheet to your own PC or network
To register for access to the system, download the Landlord Portal Registration Form (DOC).
Please send the completed registration form to:
Post: Control Team, Benefits Service, PO Box 34750, London N7 9WF
If you have any questions regarding this service please email the above address or telephone 020 7527 3664.
Who can claim?
Housing benefit and Council Tax Benefit/Support helps people on low income pay their rent or council tax.
Anyone who pays rent for the home they live in can claim, but not everyone who pays rent will qualify for benefit. For example, most students do not qualify but there are special rules that apply to some.
We can only pay benefit on a home that is let as a business arrangement, the same as it would be in a commercial market.
Tenants may not qualify if they live with and pay rent to a close relative.
We cannot pay benefit if a tenant used to live with the landlord as a family member, relative or friend and now pays them rent, or when the tenant is responsible for their landlord's child whether or not the tenant has ever lived with the landlord. We also cannot pay a tenant who rents a former joint home from an ex-partner.
How to claim
Download a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support form (PDF) to claim.
Information we need
We will need:
- proof of rent (tenancy agreement)
- proof of the tenant's ID (and theirpartner if they have one)
- proof of National Insurance numbers
- proof of household income and any capital held
How we decide how much to pay
The amount of benefit paid depends on the income and capital of the claimant and partner, the circumstances of the household (such as children, disabilities and age), whether any one else lives in the household and whether there are any restrictions if the rent is considered to be too high for the area or property.
We base housing benefit on a rent level set by the Rent Officer Service (a government agency independent of local authorities), not on the rent you charge your tenant. Housing benefit does not cover some service charges like heating, water or meals, so we cannot include those in the rent.
We usually limit benefit for single people under 35, without children, to a ‘single-room rent’ set by the Rent Service.
Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the way housing benefit is calculated for people who rent from a private landlord.
Rent officer determinations
For all new claimants with a private landlord the housing benefit is calculated using the LHA (see above).
Tenants of private landlords whose housing benefit claim started before April 2008 continue to have their benefit decided by the rent office unless they have a gap in their entitlement or they move address.
All rents that private landlords charge are referred to the Rent Service for consideration. A Rent Officer makes a decision about the maximum rent for the property. We are legally obliged to use the Rent Officer's decision as the maximum rent we could pay benefit on.Decisions stay in force for 12 months unless there is a change in the property or the number of people in the household.
You cannot appeal about the figures the Rent Service sets for us to work out your tenant’s benefit. Your tenant can request that the Rent Service look at their decision again.
For more information about the Rent Service visit the Valuation Office Agency website.
Who must pay council tax
A person over the age of 18 responsible for the home they live in is usually responsible for paying the council tax.
Homes of multiple occupancy (HMOs) Tenants who live in a property with their own room and tenancy agreement but share facilities are not responsible for the council tax; it is the responsibility of the owner. Even if the owner does not live in the property they have to pay the council tax.
Students If all the tenants in a property are students, the property is usually exempt from council tax. There are certain rules that apply and all the students must provide a student certificate from their college or university for the exemption to apply.
If a property is rented out to more than one person but there is only one rent charge for all of them and they are all named on the same tenancy agreement, then all the tenants are responsible for paying the council tax.
For more information about council tax, click on the link on the right under Related pages.
How and when we make payments
Council Tax Support is reduction in the council tax liability.
Housing benefit is usually paid four weekly in arrears direct into a bank account. We usually pay the tenant unless they have asked us to pay the landlord.
If we pay the landlord and there are several tenants on benefit, we will combine all the benefit in one payment. We include a list of payment details every time we make a payment. We pay directly into a bank account by BACS transfer.
Tenant rent arrears
A tenant is responsible for paying the rent and any arrears that accrue from non-payment of rent..
If a tenant is in arrears by eight weeks or more and receives housing benefit payments themselves, the landlord can ask us in writing to pay them direct. We will then either pay the landlord direct or suspend payment.
Information we can give a landlord about a claim
If we pay your tenant we cannot tell you anything. All details about your tenant’s claim are confidential. We cannot give them to anyone without the tenant’s written permission. We cannot even confirm that a claim has been made.
If we pay your agent, we cannot give you any information. You must ask your tenant for any information you need. We will give your agent the same information that we would give to you if we paid you direct.
If we pay you direct, we can tell you:
- the date benefit started and ended
- the weekly amount of benefit, how often it was paid and details of any payments made
- any amount we are taking directly from the benefit to recover an overpayment
Changes in circumstances
If a tenant's circumstances change or they move address,you or your tenant must tell us straightaway. If a tenant moves out the benefit will end even if you are still charging them rent. The tenant is responsible for any rent due after benefit ends. If you or your tenant are not sure what to report, tell us anyway we will let you or your tenant know if it affects benefit.
If a tenant changes rooms in a house in multiple occupation, or board and lodgings accommodation, you or your tenant must tell us straightaway.
If we find we have paid too much benefit, we can ask you or the tenant to pay it back.
If we send you a bill you disagree with, get in touch with us straightaway. As a landlord, you have the right to appeal against our decision to make you a target for recovery of an overpayment. If you do not repay overpayments when we ask you to, we can take the money out of benefit we are due to pay you for other tenants.
For more details,visit the Overpaid Benefit page.
How to disagree with our decision
Landlords have no right to appeal against a tenant’s claim and the details are confidential. We cannot give you any details.
Landlords can only appeal against our decision if:
- we refuse to pay benefit direct, or
- we decide they should repay an overpayment.
Landlords cannot appeal about the amount of a tenant’s benefit, or which weeks it has been awarded for.
For more details,visit the Disagreeing with Our Decision page.