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Renting from a Council or Housing Association

Being eligible for Universal Credit means you may get help with your rental payments and some service charges. You would receive the housing payment so you would need to pay it to your landlord.

Some claimants also qualify for help paying other bills. The extra support would get taken from the main Universal Credit payment.

If You Pay for Service Charges

If you get Universal Credit you might also get help paying for service charges, such as:

  • The use of shared facilities (e.g. communal lifts or rubbish collection).
  • Using essential items in your home (e.g. domestic appliances).
  • Window cleaning services of upper floors.

Note: Check to see if you can apply for a Council Tax Reduction (often called Council Tax Support). Anyone who qualifies will get a discount on the bill.

Households with Someone Aged 21 or Older

As a rule, you would get a reduced housing payment if your household includes someone who is aged 21 or older (unless it is your partner).

But, the payment does not get reduced if any of these apply to your situation:

  • You are receiving the Carer’s Allowance.
  • You get Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • You are registered as a blind person.

Likewise, the reduction of the housing payment would not apply if the person who is 21 or older is (any):

  • Getting Pension Credit.
  • Getting Attendance Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Registered as a blind person.
  • Responsible for a child under the age of five (5).
  • Your boarder, lodger, or sub-tenant.
  • A member of the armed forces (away on operations) and is also your child or your step-child.
Paying Rent on 2 Homes

The Universal Credit housing payment can cover the rent on two homes at the same time. But, it would only apply if (either):

  • The housing authority housed your family in two separate properties because of the high number of people in your family.
  • A family member moved out due to fear of violence or abuse, they pay rent somewhere else, and they intend to come back.
  • You started renting a new home with a disabled family member but the home still needs adapting to meet their needs.
Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy

Universal Credit housing payments may be reduced if your home has more rooms than the household needs. If the ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’ applies to your situation, the payment will reduce by:

  • 14%: If there is one (1) spare bedroom.
  • 25%: If there are two (2) or more spare bedrooms.
How to Make a Claim

They will send a housing costs verification form to your landlord if you are living in one of the ‘full service’ areas.

The landlord must complete the HCV an return send it back. The main purpose is to check the details against your claim and upload it to your online account.

If You Get Behind with Your Rent

What should you do if you fall behind on your rental payments? If this happens, you could set up an alternative payment arrangement (APA). It means they would send your housing payment direct to your landlord.

Note: Your landlord can make the application for an APA or you can discuss it with your work coach.

Universal Credit and Renting from the Local Authority or a Housing Association