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If you are worried that a tenant may be receiving Housing Benefit payments but not using them to pay rent, or that they are about to leave your property and deliberately default on arrears, you should let us know immediately.
If we are able to establish that a person is abusing benefits payments, or there is a risk of this happening in the future, we can consider paying direct to the landlord. If you are concerned that this may be happening, please phone or email us immediately so that we can investigate the situation. We may then need to speak to the tenant and yourself and consider any information or evidence provided. We would normally suspend payment to prevent any monies going astray while we investigate.
We would advise you to keep accurate records of when rent is paid to you. If you do not already keep records a Rent Statement form is provided below for this purpose.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put URGENT RENT ARREARS in the subject box of your email.
If we do make a decision to pay further benefits direct to the landlord, the decision will be reviewed after a suitable length of time. You should use this period to work with your tenant to make arrangements to clear any arrears that have occurred and to look at how they will manage their finances in the future.
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The Government has introduced Universal Credit as part of the welfare reforms.
Universal Credit is a single monthly payment that will replace 6 existing benefits for working age people.
It will eventually replace:
Universal Credit is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and not local councils.
Those customers claiming Universal Credit (UC) will have their housing costs paid as part of their UC and will no longer be entitled to claim Housing Benefit.
Working age customers who would have made a new claim for Housing Benefit will claim Universal Credit instead. This means you will no longer receive payments from the Local Authority; you will receive them from the DWP instead.
As landlords you may be asked by DWP to confirm rent details for your tenants, or provide copies of tenancy agreements to confirm rent paid.
If you are asked to provide this information please do so immediately, otherwise there is a likelihood that the Housing Element of Universal Credit may not be paid.
All Pensions age claimants are excluded from the Universal Credit scheme and will still claim Housing Benefit.
Customers living in Supported Accommodation will continue to claim Housing Benefit. This is accommodation where you receive such support as care, supervision or counselling and advice. Some examples of supported accommodation are hostels, refuges and supported living complexes.
If you are a provider of Supported Exempt Accommodation you may be asked to confirm this, please ensure that you make this clear in any correspondence you have with DWP.
Customers with three or more children making a new claim after 6th April 2017 should still claim the relevant Benefits listed above instead of Universal Credit.
Further information can be found at GOV.UK