We don't process claims for universal credit but continue to process housing benefit and local housing allowance (LHA) claims.
Further information on how universal credit works can be found on GOV.UK. The Department for Work and Pensions has provided an information page for landlords on their website. This includes information on alternative payment arrangements if your tenant is in arrears.
The universal credit team phone number is 0345 600 0723.
Local housing allowance is usually paid four weekly in arrears directly to the tenant. The tenant is then responsible for making arrangements to pay their rent to the landlord. But there are circumstances in which we may be able to pay the landlord direct.
If your tenant has rent arrears, or they're unable or unlikely to pay their rent, you should contact us for advice. Where there are rent arrears, we'll need to see the evidence.
We can only provide information about a claim to those landlords who are receiving direct payments of housing benefit or where a tenant has given us written permission to do so. In these cases, the information we can disclose is limited and doesn't include the tenant's personal, household or financial circumstances.
Where we pay a landlord direct, we'll write to them and let them know the dates that benefit starts and ends and the weekly rate of entitlement.
Landlords who receive direct payment of benefit have a legal responsibility to tell us about changes in circumstances that could affect their tenant's entitlement. It's important that changes are reported straight away to avoid any overpayment of benefit. If a tenant leaves a property, any overpaid benefit may be recoverable from the landlord.