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Updates made to landlords Universal Credit guide

Friday 29 March 2019

The Government has recently updated the Universal Credit and Renting Housing Guide for landlords, as well as a more detailed guide on Alternative Payment Arrangements.

Some of the key messages include that in most cases Universal Credit will be a single, monthly payment which is paid in arrears directly into the claimant’s bank account. Payments will include all eligible housing costs. This means that claimants will be responsible for paying their rent themselves.

Couples living in the same household will get one monthly payment between them, this can be paid into a joint account or a single account in either person’s name. Any other adults living in the same household who are claiming Universal Credit will be paid separately.

Alternative payment arrangements

Alternative payment arrangements are available for claimants who can’t manage their monthly payment.

The landlord or claimant can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL) at any time, which will be considered on a case by case basis. An APA can also include a more frequent than monthly payments or a split payment of an award between partners.

If a tenant has trouble managing their single monthly payment or gets into difficulty paying their rent, the claimant, their work coach, Case Manager or their landlord can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL), which will be considered on a case by case basis.

An APA may apply from day one or at any point throughout the UC claim for those claimants who are not yet in rent arrears but who may benefit from an APA. An APA can also include, a more frequent than monthly payment or a split payment of an award between partners.

For more detailed information about alternative payment arrangements and other factors the Department for Works & Pensions (DWP) guidance can be found here.


Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the UK by postcode area. Log into the members’ area to download our Fact Sheet which includes information about eligibility and support for tenants.

ARLA Propertymark welcomes the Scottish Government’s approach to allow greater flexibility for Universal Credit claimants. You can read our response to the consultation here.