Housing Benefit payments

Housing Benefit payments are made either to you, your landlord or your rent account.

How you’ll be paid 

Council tenants 

If you rent your home from the council your Housing Benefit is paid straight into your rent account. We do not issue payments to council tenants. 

Private tenants 

Most private tenants have their Housing benefit worked out using Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

If your benefit is worked out using LHA, payments will usually be made directly to your bank account. 

We will pay your landlord if: 

  • we think you have or will have difficulty managing your finances 
  • we don't think you will pay your rent 
  • you're 8 weeks or more behind with your rent 
  • it will help you secure or retain your tenancy 

We will make a decision on each case individually. If we decide to pay your landlord, we will write to them for their bank details. 

If you need help setting up a bank account, please contact: 

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When payments are made 

Payments to: 

  • council tenant rent accounts are every week 
  • private tenants are every 2 weeks in arrears 
  • landlords are every 4 weeks in arrears 

We process payments on Monday and Thursday. The BACS system takes 3 working days to process the payment.  

This means payments processed on: 

  • Monday show in your account on Wednesday 
  • Thursday show in your account on Monday (or Tuesday when Monday is a public holiday)

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Changing your bank account

If you’ve changed your bank account and want your payments to go into a new account, please complete a change of circumstances form.  

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If you’re overdrawn 

Banks and Building Societies are not allowed to use Housing Benefit to repay an overdraft. 

You can tell your bank that your payments can only be used to pay your rent. This protection is called a first right of appropriation of funds order. 

Find out more about a first right of appropriation of funds order (external link)

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If you’re behind with paying your rent 

If you're behind with paying your rent, we can start paying your landlord directly. This can happen if the amount you owe equals 8 weeks or more of rent. 

If you owe 8 weeks or more of rent, or are at risk of court or eviction proceedings, please contact us: 

You can also contact our Financial Support Team for help. 

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Discretionary Housing Payments  

If you’re struggling to pay your rent, you may be able to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments

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Page last updated:

December 12, 2022