When universal credit can be paid direct to a landlord

You can ask for housing costs to be paid direct to your landlord if you have rent arrears or find it hard to budget on universal credit.

How universal credit is paid

Universal credit is paid to you as a single monthly payment.

It can include a housing costs element to help you pay your rent. 

It's usually your responsibility to pass on the full rent to your landlord whether you're:

  • a council or housing association tenant
  • renting privately

In some situations you can ask for your housing costs to be paid direct to your landlord. This is called a 'managed payment'.

When housing costs can be paid direct to your landlord

You can ask for your housing costs to be paid direct to your landlord if you have rent arrears or find it hard to budget because of personal circumstances.  

Jobcentre Plus decides whether to make managed payments direct to your landlord. They may offer budgeting support instead.

Jobcentre Plus will usually make a managed payment if your landlord requests it and you owe at least 2 months' rent.

How to ask for managed payments

You can ask for managed payments to be made to your landlord by:

  • speaking to your work coach at Jobcentre Plus   
  • calling the universal credit helpline

Call 0800 328 9344 if you manage your universal credit claim by phone

Call 0800 328 5644 if you manage your universal credit claim online

Information to provide

Tell your work coach or adviser if you:

  • are in rent arrears or have other priority debts
  • live in temporary or supported accommodation
  • have a learning disability, mental health problem or addiction issue that makes it difficult for you to budget

They should also look at any information provided by your landlord, family members or support workers.

Landlord request for managed payments: two months’ rent arrears

Your landlord can ask for your housing costs to be paid direct to them if you owe at least 2 months' rent. 

They need to:

They can also request deductions from your universal credit towards the rent arrears. Deductions should stop once your arrears are cleared.

Still need help?

Get advice from a housing adviser if you have rent arrears:

Contact a Shelter adviser online or by phone

Contact a benefits adviser if you're having problems with universal credit:

Find out how to find a benefits adviser with the Money Advice Service.


Last updated 21 Dec 2017 | © Shelter

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