3.17 Processing Claims
In order to make a claim, tenants will have to provide proof
- their income, and any savings
- their identity and sometimes details of their immigration status in the UK
- the rent to be paid (usually a written tenancy agreement is sufficient) and
- the name and address of the landlord/agent.
Local authorities should process housing benefit claims within 14 days from receipt of all the appropriate documentation they have requested. They cannot pay a claim until they have all the information they need.
Regrettably, some local authorities often fall short of the 14-day target, which can cause hardship and problems for both tenants and landlords. Sometimes delays occur if a tenant does not fully understand what is required. Some landlords are willing to help tenants with their applications, whilst others might form a view about a tenant’s suitability if they are applying for housing benefit.