factchecking myths and misconceptions about universal credit

“My rent can be paid direct to my landlord each month”

The short answer:

That’s possible … but only if certain conditions are met

If you live in a full service area in Scotland you can choose to have the money for your rent paid direct to you or direct to your landlord.

In the rest of the UK you can ask for an alternative payment arrangement (APA) to have your rent money paid direct to your landlord in the following circumstances -

  • If you are a private tenant and you previously had your rent paid direct to your landlord;
  • If you are at least two months in arrears;
  • If you find it difficult to manage your money, perhaps because of health problems, disability, debt problems, or your family circumstances.

In the first two situations the DWP should agree to pay your landlord direct, but in the last situation, the decision maker will decide according to your circumstances.

Tip: When you apply, make sure you explain all the reasons why you have difficulty managing your money and any problems you have had in the past managing to pay your rent on time.

To apply for an APA you can ask your work coach at the jobcentre, or ring the universal credit helpline. Your landlord can also request one by completing the form online.


Official guidance:

There is more guidance on Personal Budgeting Support and Alternative Payment Arrangements from gov.uk.

Need more help?

If you need help in finding out more about your rights and the options available to you, do consider contacting a local independent advice organisation. 

Enter a postcode on our advicelocal site to find details of advice organisations in your area. They will usually be able to offer free advice and support, and help to answer any questions you have.

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