News

All the latest news and commentary from the Landlords Association for Northern Ireland.

Got a query on behalf of a Tenant receiving Universal Credit

The Housing Benefit section in Housing Executkve have been in contact with the LANI office to advisee that they  are no longer able to assist with for landlords with queries for UC claimants as tenants.  and have provided the following link should you require further information: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/articles/universal-credit-and-rented-housing-guide-landlords.  It features information for both social and private landlords.

The Department for Communities [https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/contact] or local Jobs & Benefits Offices would be the key point of contact for this benefit. for enquiries about Universal Credit   -The Housing Benefit section in Housing Executkve is no longer able to assist with this type of call.  It would be best to have your tenant make the call when you are with them and authorise you to speak on their behalf as they are restricted on the amount of information they are able to give to a 3rd party,  Each Claimant has a Coach allocated in their local Jobs and Benefits office – it is no longer dealt with centrally.

Private Sector tenants

For private sector tenants, their Universal Credit amount for housing costs will be whichever is lower, their actual costs or the Local Housing Allowance rate.

The claimant will be asked to provide the appropriate evidence to support their Universal Credit claim.  This will include evidence of occupancy, payment of rent and current rent liability.

If a tenant doesn’t have a copy of their tenancy agreement, Universal Credit may accept a letter from the landlord confirming the current rent and service charges.

Housing costs will be paid monthly in line with the date the claimant receives their first Universal Credit payment.

Notifying private landlords that tenants are claiming Universal Credit

The Department for Communities does not inform private landlords that their tenant has made a claim to Universal Credit.  However, Department for Communities will contact private landlords to capture bank details to enable payments to be made.

Payment of Universal Credit housing costs to private landlords

A Bank Automated Clearing System (BACS) payment will be paid into the bank account nominated by the landlord at the end of the claimant’s Universal Credit assessment period, on a monthly basis.

The tenant’s reference number and National Insurance number will be used as the BACs identifier and will appear on the transaction with the National Insurance number and 10 characters of the tenant’s reference number, in the following format:  AB12345670123456789

If a tenant reference of more than 10 characters is used, then the transaction and payment schedule will only include the first 10 characters of the reference.

Where a landlord owns multiple properties, it is recommended that they ensure they provide a tenant reference number.  In order to comply with the Data Protection Act (2018), The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and all applicable law governing the processing of personal data and privacy legislation it is not possible to include more than one piece of information per person in the BACs identifier.

Any queries regarding the extra two weeks Housing Benefit should be raised with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive(external link opens in a new window / tab) by calling Housing Benefit enquiries on 03448 920 902 (8.30am to 5.00pm).

More inforamtion can be found

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