If you need help with rent and are eligible for Universal Credit, an amount for housing will be included in your Universal Credit and there will be no separate Housing Benefit payment.
What is Universal Credit?
Universal Credit is a single monthly benefit payment.
Universal Credit is paid:
- Per calendar month
- In arrears
- Directly into your bank account
You will normally receive the amount for housing as part of the single monthly Universal Credit payment paid into your bank. It will not be paid separately or to your landlord.
You will therefore need to pay the whole of your rent to your landlord.
Claiming for rent
If you are an existing claimant call the Universal Credit Helpline 0345 600 0723.
If you are a new claimant, make a claim online.
You can use public computers at the Council's Customer Service Centre or in libraries as necessary.
Help with budgeting
Once your claim has been registered you will be allocated a Job Centre Plus work coach:
- If you feel you need help with budgeting tell your work coach and they should arrange this.
- If you feel unable to manage the single monthly payment, ask your work coach to consider an alternative payment arrangement e.g. payment of the housing amount directly to your landlord.
Paying rent in the Private Sector
Rent in the private sector normally has to be paid monthly in advance.
If you cannot afford the first month's rent, speak to the Universal Credit Helpline 0345 600 0723 or your Job Centre Plus work coach about a budgeting advance.
Your monthly Universal Credit payment is likely to arrive earlier in the month than the day your rent becomes due:
- You will therefore need to keep enough money aside for the whole of your next monthly rent payment, or you could pay the whole of your next rent payment as soon as you receive your Universal Credit payment.
- If you spend any of this money on other things you will not have enough to pay the rent when it's due, which could lead to you losing your home.
Paying rent to a Housing Association
Housing association rent is normally due weekly in advance, but you will receive Universal Credit monthly in arrears.
You will therefore need to agree with your landlord how often you will pay rent and any service charges.
If they agree to accept a monthly payment you may need to pay an additional amount each month to eventually stop arrears re-occurring.
If you spend the money needed for your payments on other things, you will not have enough to make payments when they are due, which could lead to you losing your home.
If you have fallen behind with your payments
You need to take action to avoid losing your home. Get advice from our Housing Options Team on 01283 508120.
The DWP Universal Credit Helpline is 0345 600 0723.