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Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element - How will I be paid the Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element?

Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element can help with rent and some service charges if you are a tenant. If you are a homeowner you can receive help with your mortgage interest payments in the form of a Support for Mortgage Interest Loan.

How will I be paid the Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element?

England and Wales

If you live in England or Wales and are getting help with your rent or service charges through Universal Credit, the housing costs element will usually be paid straight to your bank account. It will be your responsibility to make sure the right amount for your rent is paid to your landlord. 

If you think you are going to struggle to make sure the money for your rent does reach your landlord, you can ask for the amount for your rent to be paid direct to your landlord. This is called an Alternative Payment Arrangement or a Managed Payment to Landlords.

If you have a work coach. you should ask them about arranging to pay your rent direct to your landlord. If you don’t have a work coach, you should call the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644. You will need to explain in detail why you are struggling to manage your money on your own. If you have other debts, addiction problems or mental health difficulties you should explain this. 

If your request to have your rent money paid direct to your landlord is turned down, you can ask for the decision to be looked at again by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but you cannot appeal it to an independent tribunal. If you are in this position, you should speak to an adviser to see if there is anything more you could do.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, you can have your housing costs element paid direct to your landlord. You can’t set this up until after you have received your first payment of Universal Credit. You should write a note on your Journal asking for your housing costs element to be paid direct to your landlord. If your housing costs element is less than your rent, you will still be responsible for making sure the rest of your rent is paid in full and on time to your landlord.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland your rent will be paid direct to your landlord unless you choose to opt out of this and have your rent paid to your own account. If your housing costs element is less than your rent, you will still be responsible for making sure the rest of your rent is paid in full and on time to your landlord.

Further help

If you need extra help to cover your rent, you may be able to claim Discretionary Housing Payments from your local authority.

Updated: September 2019

 

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