When payment of Housing Benefit must be made to landlord
See in particular this important case (Doncaster v Coventry City Council 2009)
Regulation 95 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
If a tenant is the equivalent of 8 weeks or more in arrears, the local authority must make payment to a landlord.
Regulation 95 Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 states:-
95. -(1) … a payment of rent allowance shall be made to a landlord (and in this regulation the “landlord” includes a person to whom rent is payable by the person entitled to that allowance)-
(b) where sub-paragraph (a) does not apply and the person is in arrears of an amount equivalent to 8 weeks or more of the amount he is liable to pay his landlord as rent, except where it is in the overriding interest of the claimant not to make direct payments to the landlord.
Local Housing Allowance Guidance
Para 4.12 – 4.13 of the guidance manual for Local Housing Allowance (as it will be from April 2008, but the law is same now for direct payments) states:-
4.12 As now, payment to the landlord will be required if a tenant
- has built up rent arrears of eight weeks or more, or
- is having deductions from their Income Support (IS) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to pay off rent arrears
[HB Reg 95(1)]