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The Department for Work and Pensions has recently updated its Universal Credit guidance to Landlords on the 30th December.
For private rented sector tenants, their Universal Credit additional amount for housing costs will be whichever is lower out of their actual costs or the Local Housing Allowance rate.
Landlords can help tenants to get ready for Universal Credit by encouraging them to:
Universal Credit is designed to be claimed online. If tenants don’t have access to the internet or are not confident using a computer, their jobcentre can tell them about local services that can help.
Alternative payment arrangements
Alternative payment arrangements are available for claimants who can’t manage their monthly payment.
The landlord or claimant can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL) at any time, which will be considered on a case by case basis.
An APA can also include a more frequent than monthly payments or a split payment of an award between partners.
The Universal Credit Landlord Portal allows registered social landlords to submit managed payment requests. This will only be for those tenants that are listed on the landlord’s Portal account.
If a tenant experiences difficulty in managing their single monthly payment or gets into difficulty paying their rent, the claimant, their work coach, Case Manager or their landlord can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL), which will be considered on a case by case basis.
An APA may apply from day 1 or at any point throughout the UC claim for those claimants who are not yet in rent arrears but who may benefit from an APA.
An APA can also include, a more frequent than monthly payment or a split payment of an award between partners.
The claimant should contact their work coach to be considered for a more frequent payment or a split payment.
All APA’s are subject to regular reviews to ensure that any managed payment remains in the claimant’s best interest.
The amount of any managed payment you receive may change from month to month depending on the claimant’s UC award, usually up to a maximum value of the eligible housing costs.
More detailed information about Alternative Payment Arrangements.
APA tier factors
The need for an APA will be considered on a case by case basis. A claimant can have one or more types of APA based on their individual circumstances.
For examples, a split payment and or, more frequent payment may accompany a managed payment to landlord. UC staff will make the decision to award an APA using the APA tier 1 and tier 2 factor guidance.
The APA factors might include the following:
This list is not exhaustive. More detailed information about the tier factors can be found in the guidance Alternative Payment Arrangements.
Information from a claimant’s representative/landlord, can be used when considering an APA.
Applying to have a Managed Payment To Landlord Alternative Payment Arrangement
If you have a tenant receiving Universal Credit you can apply for a Managed Payment To Landlord (MPTL) using the UC47 request forms at any time.
If you’re a private landlord and you’re applying for a MPTL due to rent arrears you will need to complete the non-secure UC47. If you are applying for a MPTL due to another tier 1 or tier 2 factor only, you will need to complete the secure version of the UC47 form and explain your reasons for the application in the additional information box.
The secure version of the UC47 can be found by selecting yes to the question ‘Does your email address contain any of the following?’ You must then post the form to us once completed.
If you’re a social landlord you can also apply for a MPTL as part of the housing costs verification process, either by using the Landlord Portal to apply, or the form Universal Credit sends to request housing cost details. You may also use the UC47 form.
Once the application has been processed the landlord will be advised of the decision. If the application is refused DWP won’t tell you the reason why. This is because of data sharing regulations and claimant confidentiality.
More detailed information about the Universal Credit Landlord Portal.
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