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Why are direct payments to landlords being stopped? 

Tenants who get benefit calculated using the Local Housing Allowance rates should be able to take greater responsibility for managing their financial affairs and paying their rent to their landlords, in the same way as other tenants do. This is why any benefit will usually be paid to the tenant and not to the landlord. 

In the past, there has never been a right for a landlord to receive Housing Benefit payments direct. However, there is a right for tenants to ask for this arrangement, and it is this right that is changing.    

What protection exists for landlords? 

There are a range of safeguards to protect the interests of landlords. Some of these already exist. 

  • A local authority must usually pay the benefit to the landlord if the tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent, or

  • Is having deductions from their Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance to pay off rent arrears. 

We recommend that, if a tenant is starting to build up rent arrears, you should get in touch with us before it gets to eight weeks. This will allow us to investigate whether there is a problem that needs addressing. 

Comments or suggestions 

If you are a private landlord and wish to contact us, provide your comments or suggestions,