Universal Credit advice for landlords

Information about Universal Credit for landlords, including who can claim it and how.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit was introduced in Rushmoor on 8 February 2016 for all single claimants under pension age.

We have prepared a pdf icon information guide for landlords on Universal Credit [1Mb] to help you deal with any with issues that arise.

Who can claim Universal Credit and how they claim

Universal Credit is available to people who are on a low income or out of work. 

At the moment in Rushmoor, you can only get Universal Credit if you are a low income, an unemployed jobseeker, below pension age and single with no children.

Universal Credit will be extended to other claimants over the next three years.

Claims need to be made online at GOV.UK - Claim Universal Credit.

A helpline is available for people who need help making their claim online.  The number is 0345 600 0723.

What information your tenant will need to provide before they can get Universal Credit

Your tenant will need to provide information about:

  • Their landlord
  • Their tenancy
  • Their rent
  • Any service charges they have to pay

They will also have to provide their rent agreement, if they have one.

To complete their claim, they will also need to provide other information, such as details of other people who live in their home, like a partner.

How Universal Credit is paid

Under Universal Credit, payments will usually be made every month in arrears direct to the claimant's account, to match the way most salaries are paid. The tenant is responsible for meeting their rent payments from their whole income.

Sometimes, it may be possible for payments to be made more frequently, or to be split and paid to more than one person.  

Most private sector landlords are used to this type of payment because most working age claimants renting privately generally get their housing benefit/Local Housing Allowance payments direct and are responsible for paying their rent to their landlord.

When your tenant's Universal Credit will be paid

It could take up to five weeks after making a claim for Universal Credit before the first payment reaches the tenant's bank account.

If the tenant does not have enough money to pay their rent or their basic living costs during this time, they need to contact the Job Centre and apply for a short-term advance. This is a loan of future Universal Credit payments for people facing hardship.

When Universal Credit can be paid direct to a landlord

If your tenant is having trouble making their rent payments, they are in rent arrears or at risk of losing their home you should contact the Universal Credit service centre. In these cases, you may ask for direct payments.

You can contact the Universal Credit service centre by telephoning 0345 600 0723 or emailing uc.servicecentrehousing@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

The Universal Credit service centre may decide to pay the part of the Universal Credit covering housing costs directly to you. This arrangement is called an 'alternative payment arrangement'.

More information about Universal Credit

It may take a while for your tenant to get used to budgeting for a month at a time if they have been used to managing their money from week to week. Support will be available to help them manage their personal budgets.  They can also find help at the Money Advice Service.

You can find more information on Universal Credit and how it could affect you and your tenants on the Universal Credit pages on the GOV.UK website.

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