Housing benefit is a national welfare benefit that helps people on a low income pay the rent for the home they live in.

How we calculate housing benefit

Your tenant will need to use our online form to apply for housing benefit.

We use the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules to work out how much private rented tenants are entitled to.

We take into account your tenant’s income, the capital or savings they have, the size of their family and the property they are living in to calculate their housing benefit/LHA payment. You can read more about who qualifies for housing benefit and how it’s paid here.

We would usually pay the benefit straight into your tenant’s bank account.

Paying housing benefit directly to you

In certain circumstances tenants can apply for housing benefit to be paid directly to a landlord or we can decide that the money must be paid directly to you. This may be because the tenant:

  • has a history of rent arrears
  • does not use their housing benefit to pay their rent
  • has difficulties managing their finances
  • has received a reduction in their rent from you to help keep their tenancy
  • has more than eight weeks rent arrears

You can see your tenant's details online by signing up to My Bentax.

Tenants with more than eight weeks rent arrears

You can fill in our form to apply to have your tenant’s housing benefit paid to you if they are more than eight weeks in arrears with their rent You’ll need to provide evidence to show the amount or arrears, the number of weeks and the details of any action you’ve taken.

If the housing benefit does not cover your tenant’s full rent they will need to pay you any shortfall.

If you know that your tenant receives housing benefit, please contact us before you take any court action. We may be able to make future payments to you to avoid their eviction.

Change in circumstances

If we pay your tenant’s rent directly to you, you’ll need to tell us if they have moved out on our change of tenant form.

Find out about the other changes to your tenant’s circumstances that we’ll also need to know about.

Information we can share with you

If we pay housing benefit directly to your tenant we won’t be able to discuss any of their details with you.

If we pay you the benefit for your tenant’s rent we can share some information with you:

  • details of our payments to you
  • details about any overpayments.