Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (England) | Preventing Controlling and Recovering Rent Arrears (England) | Record Keeping and Data Protection (England)

My council will not inform me whether my tenant(in arrears) is claiming housing benefit.

27 Jun 2016 | 8 comments

My tenant is approx 5 to 6 months in rent arrears as i enter last stages of court process for eviction.The council have previously answered my telephone enquiry as to whether my tenant is claiming housing benefit(in order to have the housing benefit paid directly to me) they said he was not claiming when i enquired on two occassions.I telephoned again recently and they now said that they would not tell me anything about this tenant in regard to housing benefit,i explained i had no return of communications from my tenant,the council repeated that they have no care of duty to me and i must contact my tenant directly regarding the matter.What can i do about this.



  1. guildy

    Please see this article which should help. Doesn’t always work but is a good starting point.

    Also, they will normally discuss a claim if the tenant has consented to you being able to make enquirers. Our tenancy agreement has a default clause allowing you to speak to the housing benefit department so you could send that in and try again.

    • dominic29

      If the tenant is being assisted with his rent with universal credit can i be reimbursed (because he is in rent arrears) by having these payments directed to me and how do i go about this.

  2. guildy

    You wouldn’t normally get a reimbursement but you can request direct payment on the grounds of rent arrears from the point of making a request.

    Please use the form on this page which can be emailed to them (use the form that says unsecured email I assume, I guess secured email is internal local authority departments).

    Any problems with the form come back to me.

    • dominic29

      I have the uc 47 form but do not have the tenants date of birth or national insurance number.How can i progress any further  redirecting the universal credit to me without this information.

      • guildy

        I think all you can do is complete what you can. It’s likely just so they can easily identify the claimant. They will just come back to you if they have a problem.

        This is why it’s so important to always use our Application for Accommodation form as it gets all this information at the outset (just a tip for future lettings). You also need this information (date of birth) to comply with the right to rent requirements anyway.

        • dominic29

          Thanks for your reply july 6th.Further to evicting this tenant who now owes about £2000,i have the order for possession on or before 25 july, can i speed up bailiffs eviction time by transferring to high court ,does this cost me extra money.       regards dominic murphy

  3. guildy

    What you need to do is ring your county court bailiff and ask roughly how long they are taking from instruction. If it’s 6 weeks or less, I would go with them because it could easily take that long to get permission to transfer to high court and then get the writ. Anything longer might be worth contacting a HCEO in your area (just search for “High Court Enforcement”).

    • dominic29

      Please can you send instructions on how to fill in n325 form where i have used section 21 notice.

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