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Benefits: Local Housing Allowance information for tenants

How is Local Housing Allowance paid?

Local Housing Allowance is usually paid to you and not to your landlord. You cannot choose to have it paid directly to your landlord; however, in very special cases, we may pay it to your landlord (for example, if you owe at least eight weeks' rent).

Opening a bank or building society account

The easiest way is receive your Local Housing Allowance is to have it paid into a bank or building society account. If you have a bank or building society account, you can arrange for your bank or building society to pay your rent direct to your landlord. If you don't have an account you may want to open one. The main types of bank account are

  •  a current account at any bank or building society; or
  •  a basic bank account.

To open a bank or building society account get in touch with the bank or building society you have chosen. You can visit the branch in person or in some cases you can do it by phone.

You'll need to provide proof of who you are and where you live. The bank or building society will tell you which documents they accept - typical things are:

  •  a current passport
  •  full current driving licence
  •  a recent council tax or utility bill
  •  a letter from a government department or a local authority confirming a right to State benefits such as Pension Credit, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit.

Tell the bank you need an account that money can be paid into directly. If you want an account that you can access from your local Post Office, make this clear.

Tell the bank if you want a basic bank account and ask for it by name. You do not have to credit a minimum amount to this type of account each month and they do not have overdraft facilities so there is no danger of running up debts or charges.