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DWP confirms Universal Credit arrangements for rent change notifications for landlord portal

DWP confirms social landlords using Universal Credit landlord portal can upload April’s rent change data.

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The DWP has officially confirmed that social landlords using the Universal Credit landlord portal will be able to upload April’s rent change data.

In a letter to stakeholders, the DWP states that from mid-April, it will make available a downloadable file of all tenants claiming Universal Credit who have been verified via the portal. Landlords will then need to update this file with the new housing costs of each tenant listed, then upload the amended file to the portal.

The DWP will then make the necessary adjustments to housing costs and inform the claimant of the change via their Universal Credit  journal. No further action will be required unless the tenant disputes their housing costs.

Claimants will also be able to notify the DWP of their rent changes. The DWP will, from 3 April, send a 'To Do' action to their journal entitled 'Report any changes to your housing costs'. This will ask for responses to a number of questions such as;

  • Has your rent or service charge changed?
  • Do you wish to report any other changes to your housing?
  • When did your rent or service charge change?

In a highly critical report published by the National Audit Office in June last year, the DWP was urged to accept the bulk transfer of data. The DWP appear to have accepted this recommendation, though it is unfortunate that resources did not allow the DWP to have arrangements in place much earlier, prior to the dispatch of rent change notices issued by social landlords under Section 25 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

Copies of the DWP letter to stakeholders and accompanying FAQ leaflet (updated on 27 March) can be downloaded from the SFHA website.

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