Housing Benefit Tenants
Payments of housing benefit under LHA (LOCAL HOUSING ALLOWANCE)
All housing benefit is paid in arrears and is usually paid at fortnightly or four weekly intervals. This can cause and issue for you and for the landlords who are used to receiving rent in advance and in monthly instalments.
It is your responsibility to pay any shortfall in rent if your housing benefit entitlement is lower than the rent charged.
As a tenant it is essential that you keep accurate records when receiving housing benefit so you can make sure that payments are up to date.
Housing benefit is usually paid directly to the tenant. In certain circumstances, it can be paid to the landlord or managing agent:
• if the tenant has requested that payment be made directly to the landlord
• if the Council believes direct payment is in the best interests of the tenant
• if the tenant is 4 weeks or more in arrears.
If you cannot afford the shortfall you must contact us immediately. Doing nothing is not an option and can result in you losing your home.
In some cases, where there is a shortfall between the amount of rent you are charged and the amount of housing benefit you receive under the LHA system, the Council can authorise a short term “top up” payment, known as a Discretionary Housing Payment. You will have to apply for this.