Universal Credit information for landlords

Universal Credit is replacing Housing Benefit, along with five other means-tested benefits, for low-income households of working age who need help with their housing costs. There are some people who are excluded from claiming Universal Credit;

  • People of State Pension Age
  • People living in specified or supported accommodation where care is provided
  • Families with more than two children who need to make a new claim

Initially only households making a new application for benefit will claim Universal Credit. Anyone currently in receipt of Housing Benefit will continue to do so after 22 November 2017 unless they have a significant change in circumstances.

The government have not fixed a date when all working age claims will transfer to Universal Credit; the programme for this work is not currently expected to be completed nationally until the end of 2022.

 

Housing Benefit

Universal Credit

Who administers support with housing costs

Forest of Dean District Council

Department of Work and Pensions

How is it claimed

By obtaining a form from the Council

Online via GOV.UK

How much is paid

Means test based on household circumstances using Local Housing Allowance rates to

Means test based on household circumstances using Local Housing Allowance rates to

How it is paid

By transfer into bank, building society account

By transfer into bank, building society or credit union account

How often it is paid

Usually four-weekly in arrears

Calendar monthly in arrears after an initial waiting period of 6 weeks

Who housing costs are paid to

Usually the claimant

Cannot be paid to the landlords unless there arrears of more than 8 weeks or the tenant is vulnerable and has difficulty managing their financial affairs

Usually the claimant

Cannot be paid to the landlords unless there arrears of more than 8 weeks or the tenant is vulnerable and has difficulty managing their financial affairs

Additional support for housing costs where the household has exceptional hardship

Discretionary Housing Support scheme administered by the council

Discretionary Housing Support scheme administered by the council

Department of Work and Pensions guidance

For more information on how Universal Credit works and how to contact the Department of Work and Pensions to resolve any issues or to request a direct payment if your tenant is in arrears see:

Further sources of information 

Support for tenants in financial difficulties 

For details of local and national organisations offering free, confidential and independent advice to support tenants who are finding it difficult to pay their rent see: