Local housing allowance direct payment to landlord request
The local housing allowance (LHA) benefit is usually paid to the tenant and having their benefit paid direct to their landlord is not an option they can choose. However, in some circumstances we can decide to pay benefit direct to the landlord.
For instance, we must pay the benefit to the landlord if the tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent.
We can also take this decision if the tenant is -
- likely to have difficulty in managing their financial affairs
- unlikely or improbable to pay their rent
Who can make a direct payment request?
Tenants, landlords and families or persons acting on behalf of tenants can inform us that the tenant is having difficulty paying their rent or is unlikely to pay their rent.
We may also identify tenants who may have difficulty managing their money, for example, when carrying out home visits. Landlords can contact us if the tenant is getting into arrears with their rent.
Who decides if we may pay the landlord?
We decide if we pay the landlord directly based on prior knowledge by the benefit staff that someone has difficulty managing their money or from evidence made in a request for direct payments to the landlord. We recommend that, if someone thinks a tenant may have difficulty managing their money, or are unlikely / improbable to pay their rent they encourage the tenant to contact us.
We must have evidence to show that it is in the interest of the tenant that we pay the landlord directly. Evidence should usually be in writing. People who can provide evidence include -
- the tenant
- friends and family of the tenant
- the landlord
- welfare groups (including money advisers)
- Social Services
- probation officers
- Jobcentre Plus
- The Pension Service
- homeless charities/organisations
- Supporting People teams
- local / council rent deposit scheme administrators, homelessness or housing advice officers.
We will work with the tenant in making our decision.
Making a decision
Once we have collected evidence we will decide as quickly as possible if direct payments to the landlord are appropriate. We can in some circumstances pay the landlord for up to eight weeks while we are making our decision.
We will write to the tenant and explain our decision. We will also write to the landlord.