The roll out of Universal Credit has had an impact on rental arrears for claimants. Rent owed by Universal Credit claimants in the UK is, on average, £663 compared to just £263 for those on housing benefit (source: a FOI request made by Panorama).

In July the Government will begin porting over legacy claimants of housing benefit, starting with a pilot in Harrogate. This pilot will look at how the managed migration will work and staff at the Jobcentre will closely support claimants.

Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions commented:

“Moving people from the old and outdated benefits system to Universal Credit is a positive and important moment. Once on Universal Credit people will benefit from a more personal service and can expect to receive up to 6 benefits combined into one, making it easier for them to manage their money.

“But the switch needs to be done carefully which is why we are taking a step-by-step approach to this, starting in Harrogate. I want to be sure that the switch to Universal Credit is a hassle-free process for claimants and everyone receives the personalised service they deserve.”

Obviously, landlords may well be affected by the transition of any tenants. The pilot will hopefully consider any issues and look at the best way to support both tenants and landlords through the process.

The DWP has published a newsletter for landlords to keep them up to date with the latest information and the roll out of Universal Credit.

The information included in the newsletter includes: recent announcements from the Government including pilots, key statistics, information and guides for landlords including disclosure guides, how to submit a managed payment request, help to claim and other additional useful information.

The statistics

In April 2019 there were 610,000 people on Universal Credit who were in employment.

Submitting a managed payment request

A landlord can submit a request using form UC47; this form can be used for managed payment and rent arrears deduction. The form is available here, you will need to send the completed form to ucfull.service@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

Other information available for landlords

Several documents have been published by the Government including:

Universal Credit and rented housing: guide for landlords

Alternative Payment Arrangements

Universal Credit: April 2019 rent changes for social landlords

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance

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