Information for landlords
If tenants have previously had support with their rent by claiming Housing Benefit, their UC payment will include this support in the ‘Housing Costs’ element of the payment.
As the UC allowance will be paid to the resident’s bank account, residents will be responsible for paying landlords. This is significantly different from Housing Benefits which are paid to a landlords’ bank account.
If the resident is unable to pay their rent, and have fallen into arrears in the past, or is currently in arrears, landlords can apply for Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA) at any stage of the UC claim.
Residents are expected to receive their initial UC payment within 5 weeks of making a claim online. Their Housing Benefit will continue for the first 2 weeks of their new Universal Credit claims. In most cases, the payment will be paid automatically by the existing payment method in which Housing Benefit has been paid.
Residents with vulnerabilities (addictions, learning disabilities and mental health conditions for example) or a history of mismanaging finances may find it difficult to adapt to the initial changes.
Additionally, as earnings increase, claimants’ UC benefit will decrease and will eventually stop once their earnings reach a certain amount. If earnings decrease again, residents will have to re-apply for UC.
It’s important to note that these changes may affect rent payments.
You could help your tenant adapt to these changes by encouraging them to access money advice support which will be available online, by phone or face to face. Please see the budgeting support section for more information.
For more information for landlords see the Universal Credit and landlords guidance on the DWP website.