Difficulty paying rent
For most private sector tenants, your Housing Benefit will be the lower of your actual rent or the Local Housing Allowance for the area that you live in.
Local Housing Allowance is normally paid to the tenant. Tenants can no longer choose to have their benefit paid to their landlord, but in circumstances where tenants cannot manage their money, the Council can decide to pay benefit to the landlord. If Housing Benefit is paid to you as a landlord, you may be liable to repay any overpaid benefit.
Further information on payments to landlords is available on the Information for Landlords page.
We will also consider awarding Housing Benefit payments to private sector landlords if they drop their rent to the LHA level or below.
Who may have difficulty paying their rent?
There are many reasons why someone may have difficulty paying their rent. They might be someone who:
- has severe debt problems
- has a recent County Court judgement against them
- is an undischarged bankrupt
- is unable to open a bank or building society account
- has some of their Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance paid direct to the gas, electricity or water company by the Department for Work and Pensions
- Is getting Supporting People help
- is getting help from a homeless charity
Or someone may have difficulty paying their rent if they:
- have learning difficulties
- have an illness that stops them managing on a day-to-day basis
- cannot read English
- cannot speak English
- are addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling
- are suffering domestic violence
- are a care leaver
- are leaving prison
- are homeless
Tenants can get help managing their money from a welfare organisation such as Citizens Advice. Details of other organisations that offer financial advice can be found on our debt and money advice pages.