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Call of the Week: Universal Credit

Call of the week
Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

There are a range of ways that members are able to get in touch with our Landlord Advice Team when it comes obtaining advice for issues that they are facing.

As well as our phone line, members are also able to contact the landlord advice team by emailing in their query, or using the MYRLA advice option, on the ‘myrla’ page.

One member got in touch with us this week via their myrla account, with a question about Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is on the agenda at our Future Renting North conference, with the DWP hosting a fringe session on the topic, answering questions from landlords.

The situation

The member recently took on a new tenant, who had told them that they were in full-time employment.

The landlord didn’t do any checks on the tenant, as it later transpired that the tenant had lied and was actually unemployed.

The tenant in question did pay the landlord some rent initially, and the landlord then found out that the tenant was in receipt of Universal Credit. However, when they contacted us the tenant had stopped paying rent completely, and as of next week the tenant will be in two months worth of rent arrears.

The landlord wanted some advice on what they should do next.

The solution

An advisor from our Landlord Advice Team responded to the member’s query, by first explaining that Universal Credit works differently to the old Local Housing Allowance options for rent arrears.

Once the rent arrears reach two months, as in this landlord’s case, the landlord should contact the Department of Work and Pensions by filling in a form.

Two forms

When doing this, there are two forms available for landlords to complete, and it is important that landlords chose the correct form to fill in.

The form landlords need to fill in depends on the method that they plan to use to submit it. For example, the

  • The UC47 (non-secure) should be emailed to
  • The UC47 (secure) must be posted to; FREEPOST, DWP

Universal Credit Live Service

In order to obtain the form, landlords must first fill out a questionnaire on the government website.

Please be aware that if you answer yes to having an email address it will never give you the postal option.

You should attach any evidence of rent arrears build up over the previous months as well as any evidence of the tenant refusing payment plan option.

Rupinder Aujla, LAT Manager said: “Universal Credit direct payments are a source of contention for many landlords but the LAT is here to help whether it’s on the phone or online.”

Find out more
  • The RLA runs a training course on Universal Credit, which will give landlords an update on the benefit as the full service continues to be rolled out across the country.
  • The RLA has also done a significant amount of campaigning in the last few years around making changes to the Universal Credit system. You can check out our campaigning work here (link)

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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