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Guide Universal Credit

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5. Universal Credit for landlords

1. What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single monthly benefit for the working age, administered by the Department for Work & Pensions and replaces: Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit

2. How does it affect me as a Landlord?

The move to tenants receiving monthly household payments that include the Housing Costs Element of Universal Credit is a significant change compared to the separate Housing Benefit payments that have previously been paid. In most cases, Universal Credit will be paid direct to your tenant.

3. How do I receive direct payment of my tenants Universal Credit Housing Costs?

Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) & Managed Payment to Landlord’s (MPTL) have been introduced to provide extra help for tenants to meet their rental costs:

  • where there's a risk of financial harm to the claimant or their family; or
  • in order to safeguard the claimant's home

APAs & MPTLs will be considered on a case by case basis. These can be considered at any point during the life of a Universal Credit claim and can be requested by the claimant, their representative or the landlord. As a landlord, you can apply for direct payment If you have a tenant receiving Universal Credit, using the UC47 request
forms

There's more detailed information about personal budgeting support and APAs.

If you’re a social landlord you can also apply for a MPTL as part of the housing costs verification process, either by using the form Universal Credit sends to request housing cost details, or by completing the UC47.

The amount you receive may change from month to month depending on the claimant’s Universal Credit award, usually up to a maximum value of the eligible housing costs

Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website on what Universal Credit means for Private Landlords and Housing Associations and applying for an APA.

 As a landlord, you may find these top tips helpful.