Private and Housing Association rented housing — information for landlords and managing agents

What to do if your tenant owes you rent

This can be extremely frustrating. If tenants are more than eight weeks in arrears you can begin proceedings to evict due to a breach of tenancy agreement. There are certain rules to follow but you should obtain independent legal advice first.

The Council’s Revenues and Benefits Service can also help. If you haven't received a Housing Benefit payment on behalf of your tenant after eight weeks and rent arrears are building up, please contact us with details before you take action against the tenant. We will check the case and pay Housing Benefit as soon as possible so that the tenancy is not put at risk.

Delays can happen if we are waiting for information or documents from the tenant and, as we do not backdate Housing Benefit unless your tenant can show 'good cause' throughout the period for not claiming, it is important that you help your tenant to get their claim to us promptly.

If you tell us your tenant owes you eight weeks' rent or more and your tenant does not dispute this, we will make payments direct to you. Your request must be in writing. We will not pay you direct if we decide it would not be in your tenant's best interests or we decide you are not behaving properly about benefit matters.

Apply for housing benefit to be paid direct to landlord