Experienced benefits landlord Mick Roberts (main pic, right) is despairing after a DWP minister gave him incorrect information about a long-standing payment problem.

Nottingham-based Mick is hugely frustrated by the fact Third Party Deductions – taken from a tenant’s Universal Credit (UC) payment to cover rent arrears and prevent them from being evicted – is paid to landlords at completely different days and dates to the Housing Element which is paid at the same time as Universal Credit.

After being unable to get a straight answer as to why this was the case for the last two and a half years, he posed the question through his MP Alex Norris, who wrote to the DWP.

Mick has finally got a response from Minister for Welfare Delivery, David Rutley (main pic, left), who replied: “It is unclear why Mr Roberts believes that rent arrears are paid four-weekly…rent arrears are both calculated and subsequently paid monthly.”

Mick says his bank statements prove the actual payments are going into the bank every 28 days on a Thursday and not every calendar month.

“If the welfare delivery team don’t know how welfare delivery works, then there is no hope for the UC tenants who can’t secure accommodation,” Mick tells LandlordZONE.

Extra obstacle

“The current set-up means that it’s very hard to work out and apportion different payments to particular dates and help tenants or the landlord budget,” says Mick. “It’s confusing for everyone and is just an extra obstacle.”

He believes it would be much easier if the payments aligned. “A lot of landlords try to work the rent out the same day that the tenant’s Universal Credit is due. Wouldn’t the simplest thing in the world be for UC to deduct it and pay at the same time?” asks Mick, who adds: “Landlords are pulling their hair out at the daftness and lack of communication. Some will just decide to give up taking benefits tenants – I’m not taking on any more myself.”

Read the DWP’s Third Party Deductions handbook.

Read more about Mick’s run-ins with the DWP.


  1. Just another reason to avoid tenants with benefits… with the current situation of more tenants than properties available just let to the best.

    Eventually (After a few years) perhaps shelter might stop berating landlords and start doing something useful like going to the source of much homelessness… the DWP

  2. I have stopped renting to UC claiments at the moment as having issues being paid direct whilst they buy nice tv’s and clothes and i spend money on evictions and no rent payments. UC tell me the tenant has to agree to direct payments which obviously the don’t

  3. No that is NOT the answer while ‘clawback’ exists.

    Paying from a CU the full contractual rent means NO ‘clawback’ possibility.

    You should already know this.

  4. I receive these payments every 28 days and then there is one payment date dropped per 52 weeks so that I only receive 12 payments (and that is if I am lucky). Also the amount can change with no reason and no warning. I cannot contact anyone about this as the payment comes from a different department than Universal Credit. They only tell you that they pay what they are instructed to pay.
    On a separate matter, if I increase the rent of a Tenant on Universal credit and the Tenant does not forward this on to Universal Credit, then there is no way if I try to communicate with Universal Credit that they will take any notice of me.
    This part of the system does NOT work.


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