basics - When does Housing Benefit start?
housing benefit always starts on the Monday after
the tenants “date of claim” So there have
been many cases where tenants have moved in and the
claim has started on a the property on a Tuesday,
but the local authority will NOT pay any housing benefit
until the following Monday, leaving a shortfall of
6 days that the tenant is expected to pay.
also benefits the claim if you inform the council
tax department of the tenant moving in date and their
circumstances. Not only does it stop any invoices
being sent to you at a later date, it also helps with
If you move a tenant in on a Monday then start the
housing benefit on the same day also.
Landlord can help complete the claim on behalf of
the Tenant, but it is the Tenant’s responsibility.
The Tenant can ask anyone they wish to help them complete
the form, however the council will not discuss the
claim with the Landlord, despite the fact that he
helped to complete the form – unless –
a disclosure letter has been submitted by the Tenant
requesting any information to be shared with the Landlord.
A simple basic letter can be downloaded from the internet.
This letter has stopped many claims in the past being
suspended or even declined as we are able to act quickly
on any information the council require from the tenant.
It is NOT the responsibility of the Landlord to make
the claim for LHA.
and Where to claim
of the 12 Local Authorities that we deal with, 10
of them will allow you to complete the housing allowance
claim online, the remaining 2 still insist on paper
forms being completed and handed in.
advantage with completing forms online is that you
always have a record of what was sent and when. A
receipt of all forms is also given allowing greater
control over the claim. Internet claims are also fast
tracked and processed quicker than paper claims, although
some authorities may deny this.
rely on the Tenant to complete forms online, always
complete the form online with the Tenant. It not only
eliminates the risk of the Council not receiving the
claim, but you also become familiar with the claim
and circumstances of the Tenant.
you use the services of a letting agent insist that
they complete forms on behalf of the Tenant ONLINE
(if it is an option).
Whether claiming online or on paper - get a submission
receipt from the Council so they cannot say they do
not have everything they need to process the claim.
guidelines may seem basic and obvious, but many of
you will have never been told these things. It took
me many conversations with various councils to understand
why some of my tenants always were in more arrears
than I thought, or why my claim seemed to take far
too long to be processed.
must talk to your local authority and find out how
they work. It is important to understand their requirements
and build up a relationship with them. If you do I
guarantee it will make property investing with LHA
a whole lot easier.