When you make a claim for Universal Credit, you may be asked to provide certain documents as evidential support to your claim. Through this article, we will explore whether or not a claimant will need a letter of proof from their landlord when they make a claim for Universal Credit. In addition to this, we will also discuss whether or not authorities contact landlords contact directly to inform them that their tenants are claiming benefits and a quick review of the reasons why they contact landlords. 

Do I Need A Letter From My Landlord As Proof Of Address For Universal Credit?

Yes, you need a letter from your landlord as proof of housing in order to claim Universal Credit. The information contained in the letter should include the following:

  • Who your landlord is
  • When your tenancy started
  • The amount of rent that you pay
  • How often do you pay rent
  • Whether or not any service charges are included in your rent

This should be documented and signed by the landlord (as well as the tenant in some cases).

While tenants must be able to provide proof of their rental payments and service charges; likewise, landlords must ensure that they have provided their tenants with a tenancy agreement and a letter confirming their housing costs; with a complete break-up of housing costs, rents and rates; since Universal Credit does not pay for rates. 

Sample letter from the landlord as proof of address with regards to Universal Credit:

Below is a sample letter from the landlord as proof of address with regards to Universal Credit:

Date

Name

Institution

Postal Address

Postal Code

Dear Ms/Mr,

This is to verify that (name of the tenant) has been living in my property (complete address) as a tenant from (statrting date of the tenancy agreement) to date; with their lease expiring on (date).

The rental payment that is due upon (name of tenant) is (amount in pounds) per (week/fortnight/month).

During the past (number of years) that (name of tenant) has been my tenant, they have paid their rent on time and in full. I have found them to be cooperative and amiable in all respects and would be pleased to renew the tenancy lease when the time comes.

In addition to this, (name of tenant) is an honest and trustworthy person, who is well regarded by the community. 

If you require any further assistance from my side, please contact me on (contact number) during (time and days of the week).

Sincerely,

(name of landlord)

(name/details of property)

In addition to a letter of proof, you will also need to provide the following documents as evidence of your rent and tenancy:

  • tenancy agreement
  • rent book
  • rent receipts

Does Universal Credit Tell Your Landlord You Are On Benefits?

No, Universal Credit does not tell your private sector landlord that you are on benefits. However, if you live in a social housing facility, as per the Social Security (Information Sharing in Relation to Welfare Services etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions and the officials at Universal Credit must inform social housing landlords when their tenants are on benefits.

Irrespective of this, Universal Credit can contact both the private sector and social housing landlords. 

Why Do Universal Credit Contact Landlords of Claimants? 

The reason why Universal Credit may contact your landlord is that monthly payments covering housing costs are made directly to landlords for which their bank details are required. In very rare cases and should claimants fulfil specific criteria will housing costs for rental payments be sent directly to them instead of their landlord.

These include the following situations:

  • has not paid previously owed rent and currently has rent arrears
  • is repaying previous rent arrears
  • is repaying an overpayment 
  • currently has Social Fund or Discretionary Support debt
  • is residing in a hostel, refuge or residential care
  • shares the Universal Credit payment with another member of the household

Conclusion:

We have been able to learn from the discussion in this blog post that claimants need to have a letter from their landlord as proof of address when they make a claim for Universal Credit. While there are many formats for such letters, you may find it helpful to include all relevant information such as details about the property and landlord as well as the amount and frequency of rental payments made.

FAQs: Do I Need A Letter From My Landlord As Proof Of Address For Universal Credit?

What evidence is needed for Universal Credit?

You will need evidence of your income, savings, health conditions, expenses and mentionable living conditions on the basis of which you have applied for a Universal Credit claim. It is best to keep copies of the required documents during your interview.

What questions does Universal Credit ask?

Usually, a DWP adviser called a Work Coach will be the one asking the questions during a phone appointment for Universal Credit. The purpose of the interview is to confirm the information provided in your claim, assess your income and expense details, and discuss the work-related options available for you so that a Claimant Commitment may be drawn up. Questions can be related to your identification details your qualification and work experiences, your health condition and some personal details including your family life.

Can a landlord refuse Universal Credit?

Landlords can choose not to rent out their property to tenants who are claiming benefits; therefore, they can refuse Universal Credit. The reason for this may be that landlords are sceptical about whether an individual claiming benefits will be able to keep up with their rental payments.

Will my private landlord know if I claim Universal Credit?

No, unless you tell your private landlord, they will not know that you claim Universal Credit. There may be times when the DWP contact them with regards to payment confirmations or to confirm bank details as the housing element of your claim will be paid directly to them.

Do I have to tell my landlord that I am on benefits?

You only have to tell your landlord that you are on benefits in case they ask you directly. Otherwise, there is no obligation to do so especially if you don’t receive support for rental payments or you receive them directly.

References:

Social housing landlords with tenants on Universal Credit | nidirect

Universal Credit and rented housing – frequently asked questions

Landlords with tenants claiming Universal Credit | nidirect

Providing proof of rent and tenancy – Providing documents for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support

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