Deductions from benefits

If you get income support, jobseeker's allowance, employment and support allowance or pension credit and you have rent arrears, payments towards your arrears can be deducted directly from your benefits.

Rent arrears and deductions from benefits requested by tenants

If you have rent arrears that amount to more than four weeks' rent, you can ask for part of your universal credit to be paid to your landlord until your rent arrears are cleared. This is called an Alternative Payment Arrangement and you must meet certain criteria to be allowed to make this change to your Universal Credit payments. Call the Universal Credit Helpline 0345 600 0723 or 0345 600 0723 or speak to your JobcentrePlus to find out more.

Let your landlord know if you have asked to do this. Only a small amount will be deducted from your benefits each week, possibly just a couple of pounds. If you have large rent arrears, you may have to make additional payments on top of the deductions to prevent your landlord from taking action to evict you.

Rent arrears and deductions from benefits requested by landlords

If your rent arrears amount to more than eight weeks' rent, your landlord can ask to be paid part of your benefits until your arrears are cleared. They can ask for something called a Rent arrears reduction.

If you are in rent arrears because you have been withholding rent, for example because your landlord is refusing to carry out repairs, you can ask not to have deductions taken from your benefits.

If you have any queries about deductions from your benefits for rent arrears, contact an adviser at Shelter, Citizens Advice, a welfare rights centre or another advice service in your area. Contact details are in the Advice Services Directory.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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