Skip to main content

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.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
Get advice if you're England

If you're still looking for help, try searching, or find out how to contact us

Was this page helpful?

This feedback tool can't offer advice. If you still need help, please call our free housing helpline on 0808 800 4444

Would you recommend Shelter Scotland's website to a friend, colleague or family member?
(0 - not at all likely, 10 - extremely likely)

Your feedback is being submitted

Success! Thank you for your feedback.

If you'd like to hear more about our work at Shelter Scotland, you can sign up to receive updates on our campaigns page.

Sorry, there was a problem sending your feedback to us. Please try again or contact us via the website if this error persists.

The fight isn't over - support us this summer

far from fixed campaign logo
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today. Join our campaign
It’s a disgrace that people are still homeless in Scotland today.
Find out more about volunteering with Shelter Scotland
Volunteer with Shelter Scotland
Have you had a bad housing experience? Tell us about your story.
Share your story of a bad housing experience