Universal Credit advice for private landlords

Universal Credit is a benefit for people who:

  • are on a low income
  • are out of work
  • want to start work
  • want to stay in work

It helps by ensuring people are 'better off in work' than on benefits. To claim people must be aged between 18 and Pension Credit age, and must satisfy other eligibility criteria.

Find out more about Universal Credit and private landlords, or contact the Universal Credit Service Centre directly, on tel: 0345 6000723.

Universal Credit payments

The majority of Universal Credit payments are:

  • paid monthly in arrears (usually 1 month and 14 days after an initial claim is submitted)
  • a single, monthly amount, paid directly into the claimant's account
  • made up of different amounts ('elements') depending on individual circumstances
  • inclusive of all eligible housing costs

The 'housing element' of Universal Credit

The 'housing element' of Universal Credit helps tenants with their 'eligible rent' and 'service charge' costs and regulations state that claimants must satisfy three conditions to qualify for help:

  • payment
  • liability
  • occupation

Since Universal credit is paid directly into the claimant's account from the Department of Works and Pensions, tenants will be responsible for paying their rent to you themselves.

For private sector tenants, their Universal Credit housing element will be whichever is lower out of their actual costs or the Local Housing Allowance rate.

Alternative payment of Universal Credit

Alternative payment arrangements will be available in some circumstances for claimants who genuinely can't manage their monthly payment. This might mean having a 'managed payment' made to their landlord, a 'split payment', or a more frequent payment.

Also see

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