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APPLYING FOR DIRECT HOUSING PAYMENTS UNDER UNIVERSAL CREDIT AND DEDUCTIONS FOR ARREARS

Introduction

This guide explains how and where a landlord can make a request for direct payments through the Universal Credit system and apply for deductions from the tenant's ongoing Universal Credit payments to recover outstanding rent arrears, but only where the tenant continues to live in the property to which the arrears relate. 

Paying the tenant is normal

As with the other elements that make up a Universal Credit payment, housing costs are normally paid direct to the claimant rather than direct to the landlord. There are some protections available for the landlord where there are rent arrears but they can be difficult to access. In these cases, landlords can request what is called a landlord managed payment, or an alternative payment arrangement, under which the housing costs element can then be paid to the landlord, if the request is approved.

Reviews

Direct payments to Landlords are kept under review. DWP will fix a review date with a view to the tenant then returning to the former single monthly payment process. Reviews will be set for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24 month periods but could be longer in some instances. The idea also is that those claimants who have direct payments of housing costs to their landlords made will also receive personal budgeting support to build the claimant's financial capability so that in time they can manage a normal single monthly payment.

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This page covers how to apply for direct payments, how to manage them once the direct payment has been arranged, and what help is availabe to tenants while they wait for a Universal Credit claim.

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