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 element to be paid direct to your landlord. This is called a 'managed payment'.

When the housing element can be paid to a landlord

You can ask for managed payments if you have rent arrears or find it hard to budget because of other factors such as:  

  • learning difficulties or a mental health condition
  • severe or multiple debts
  • addiction problems
  • domestic abuse

Jobcentre Plus decides whether to make managed payments to your landlord. You might be offered budgeting support instead or at the same time.

Your landlord can request managed payments if you have 2 months' rent arrears.

How you can 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 5644 if you manage your UC claim online

Call 0800 328 9344 if you manage your UC claim by phone

Information to provide

Tell your work coach or adviser if:

  • you're in rent arrears or have other priority debts
  • there are any personal issues that make it difficult for you to budget
  • you're homeless and a landlord will offer you a tenancy if the housing element is paid direct to them  

Jobcentre Plus should also consider any information provided by your landlord, family members or support workers.

If your landlord asks for managed payments

Your landlord needs to:

Your landlord may also ask for deductions from your monthly UC payment towards the rent arrears. You get a lower UC payment until the arrears are cleared. 

Jobcentre Plus can set rent arrears deductions at 20% of your UC standard allowance. Ask them to reduce the rate to 10% if you're struggling to manage financially.  

Still need help?

Get housing advice if you have rent arrears:

Contact a Shelter adviser online, by phone or in person

Get benefits advice if you have problems with universal credit:

Look for an advice agency on the Money Advice Service website


Last updated 25 Oct 2018 | © Shelter

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