DWP announces improvements to landlord payments

Direct payment of Universal Credit to a landlord, referred to as “managed payment to landlord” (MPL) can be made when any of the following apply:

  • a claimant is in arrears with their rent for an amount equal to, or more than, two months of their rent
  • a claimant has continually underpaid their rent over a period of time, and they have accrued arrears of an amount equal to or more than one month’s rent
  • any of the other Tier 1 and Tier 2 APA factors apply
  • where a claimant was previously in receipt of Housing Benefit and it was paid to their private landlord, a managed payment to landlord can be considered providing the claimant continues to meet the Tier 1 or Tier 2 APA factors. This is part of the conversation Universal Credit staff will have with the claimant at the start of the claim.

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has recently announced some improvements to the MPL process. Firstly, a new automated payment process has been brought in to reduce the risk of direct payments being missed. Additionally, DWP are now referencing payments with the reference requested by the landlord or, if no such request is made, payments will be referenced with a combination of the tenant’s name and postcode. This new reference number replaces the claimant’s National Insurance number which landlords often didn’t recognise.