Universal Credit information for landlords
From October 2017 some Gateshead residents will apply for a new government benefit called Universal Credit. This will replace:
- Income Support
- Income related Jobseekers Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing benefit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
Read the Universal Credit and rented housing: Guide for Landlords for further information.
If a tenant qualifies for Universal Credit, their housing costs are paid as part of their award. The tenant must supply proof of their rent to the Department for Work and Pensions at an interview.
How do I know if my tenant is claiming or has claimed Universal Credit?
If your tenant claims Universal Credit, and they were claiming housing benefit, Jobcentre Plus will tell us when to stop any housing benefit.
If your tenant's housing benefit was being paid directly to you, you will receive a letter from us to inform you that the tenant is no longer receiving Housing Benefit. You will need to speak to your tenant to see what their circumstances are. If you are a Registered Social Landlord, you may be contacted by the Universal Credit service centre to provide proof of your tenant's rent.
Proof of rent
To be eligible for housing costs a private tenant must provide
- a rent book
- tenancy agreement, or
- a letter from the landlord
as evidence to support their claim.
This must state
- the name of all tenants on the tenancy agreement
- the property address including postcode
- the current rent and frequency, for example monthly or weekly
- the landlord/agent's name and address
How is Universal Credit paid?
Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears as a lump sum to the tenant. This includes housing costs.
Alternative payment arrangements are available on a temporary basis to help people who need extra support. These are:
- Paying the housing element of Universal Credit direct to the landlord. This is usually where there are two months' rent arrears or more, or if the claimant has difficulty managing their affairs.
- More frequent than monthly payments. This is usually where the claimant has difficulty managing their affairs.
- A split payment of an award between partners
What do I do if I want to apply for payment direct to me or to recover rent arrears?
Visit Alternative Payment Arrangements and managing rent arrears on the Gov.uk website for more information.
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