July 2013 – Direct Payments to Landlords under Universal Credit
Direct payments are to be triggered after two months' rent arrears under universal credit, Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, has announced.
The DWP has set out three levels of protection that will exist -
decisions about whether tenants should receive direct payments will be made in collaboration with social landlords;
if arrears build up to the equivalent of one month’s rent the decision to make direct payments will be reviewed; and
if arrears reach the equivalent of two months rent, the claimant will have housing payments switched to the landlord, or managed payments
The DWP says that once the arrears have been cleared, it will work with landlords to return tenants to direct payments, and then in most cases - following the tenant being offered budgeting support - they will return to direct payments within six months.