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Landlords and agents of benefit claimants

Payments of Housing Benefit to landlords

Under Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rules we will usually pay Housing Benefit to the claimant. It is important that you ensure that your tenant is fully aware of their legal obligation to pay the full rent to you. It may be more convenient for you to ask the tenant to set up a standing order, because you or your agent will have to collect rent due otherwise.

There are some circumstances where we will pay HB by BACS Direct Credit directly to the landlord. See Payment of HB to private tenants for more information.

My Tax and Benefits - access to payment details

If we pay you directly, you must sign up to My Tax and Benefits to receive information about the payments and your tenant's HB award. We do not provide paper versions of notification letters to landlords. They can be downloaded from the My Tax and Benefits portal. 

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

As a landlord you will need to ensure the information held on My Tax and Benefits is kept securely and you must abide by the Data Protection Principles. For larger landlords who have staff who regularly access the portal,  we will require you to sign an Information Sharing agreement. You will be responsible for ensuring only those staff who need access to the portal for their work are given the login details for My Tax and Benefits and they are trained on how to manage the information.

Overpayments of HB to landlords

If a landlord received an overpayment of HB we can recover this from that landlord. We will usually take into account the reason for the overpayment and whether it is reasonable that the landlord could have known about the tenant's change in circumstances that caused the overpayment.

See Benefits overpayment page for more information.

There is lots of useful information for landlords and prospective landlords on the GOV.UK website and more specific information about your responsibilities as a landlord

Universal Credit is now the main way that help to pay rent is delivered. Housing Benefit is only available to people of pension age and those living in exempt accommodation.

Go to GOV.UK Universal Credit and rented housing for useful guides for both private and social sector landlords.

For more information about Universal Credit go to GOV.UK Universal Credit

Giving information about tenants to landlords

Many landlords insist that their tenants give permission to Merton Benefits Service to discuss their claims. The decision to discuss information ultimately lies with us. This is because our staff are under a duty to comply with the Data Protection Act principles, The Human Rights Act and must have due regard to disclosing private information about individuals. Our staff are subject to disciplinary action or prosecution if they fail to adhere to these.

Please see our Landlord Disclosure Policy for full details.

See also

Contact us

For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.