Local housing allowance FAQs for landlords

Local housing allowance applies to any private landlord who agrees to rent a home to someone who receives housing benefit.

Local housing allowance does not apply to:

  • registered social landlords
  • some supported housing
  • tenancies which started before 15 January 1989
  • landlords of caravans, mobile homes, houseboats or hostels
  • tenancies where we have decided that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance

Local housing allowance is usually paid directly to the tenant who then pays the landlord.

What if my tenant doesn't pay their rent?

There are a range of safeguards to protect landlords.

For example, we can choose to pay landlords direct if the tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent.

Payments may also be made direct to the landlord if the tenant is:

  • likely to have difficulty in managing their financial affairs
  • unlikely to pay their rent

Can I request direct payments?

As a landlord, you can approach us if you think it is likely that your tenant will have difficulty in paying or you feel they cannot deal with their financial affairs.

If your tenant is starting to build up rent arrears, we recommend you get in touch with us before it gets to eight weeks. We can then investigate whether there is a problem that needs addressing.

Any evidence you can provide will help us to investigate the case, such as proper records of rent payments and details of any contact made with the tenant. We will also contact your tenant for further information.

When making our decision on whether or not to pay you direct, we will take into account all knowledge and evidence available to us at the time, including any known past history.

Can I dispute your decision?

Yes, you can dispute our decision on whether or not to make direct payments to you as a landlord.

Any questions

Contact our benefits team on 01543 308900 or email benefits@lichfielddc.gov.uk