Payment of housing benefit

How often housing benefit is paid, and the manner in which it can be paid.

This content applies to Scotland

Local authority tenants

Housing benefit for a local authority tenant is paid directly to into her/his rent account. The payment to a local authority tenant is known as a 'rent rebate'.

Other tenants

Housing benefit for claimants who are not local authority tenants can be paid to the claimant or her/his landlord, as described below. The payment to a non-local authority tenant is known as a 'rent allowance'. The most common payment frequency is once every four weeks, although it can be paid fortnightly, monthly or, if agreed with the claimant, at intervals greater than a month.[1]

Payments are usually either by cheque or by bank transfer, but the local authority must take into account reasonable needs and convenience of the person.[2]

Housing benefit can be paid directly to a landlord at the tenant's request, or if the local authority considers it to be in the tenant's best interests[3]. For the rules that apply to the payment of housing benefit under the local housing allowance scheme, see How LHA is paid. The local authority must make payments direct to the tenant's landlord if there are rent arrears of eight weeks or more, or if a deduction from income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or pension credit is being made to pay arrears, unless the local authority considers this not to be in the claimant's interest.[4]

However, the local authority can refuse to make housing benefit payments directly to the landlord if it considers that the landlord is not a fit and proper person to receive such payments.[5]

Last updated: 1 August 2017

Footnotes

  • [1]

    reg 92 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 73 Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

  • [2]

    reg 91 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 72 Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

  • [3]

    reg 96 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 77 Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214; DLT v Eastleigh BC (HB) [2014] UKUT 242 AAC.

  • [4]

    reg 95 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 76 Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.

  • [5]

    reg 96(3) Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 SI 2006/213; reg 77(3) Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for pension credit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/214.