Universal Credit and paying your rent on time

If you claim Universal Credit, any housing costs will be included in your payment. You'll be responsible for paying rent to your landlord. Find out what you can do pay your rent on time.

Scottish choices

You can choose to have the housing element of Universal Credit (UC) paid direct to your landlord.

You can do this through your UC online journal after you have received your first payment.

Managed payment

If you can't manage your rent, your landlord can ask the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to pay rent direct to them. Your landlord must apply to DWP on your behalf. This will help to stop you building arrears and protect you from losing your home.

If you're in arrears, your landlord can ask DWP to make payments to them to pay them off. DWP call this a 'third party deduction'.

Find out more on the Scottish Government website (opens new window).

Standing order

You can set up a standing order when you know the date of your UC payments. This means you can pay your rent as soon as you get your UC.

The date of your second payment is the same date DWP will pay UC every month after.

Download a standing order form (PDF) [119KB] .

Open up a separate account

If you open a separate account, you can pay your rent into it as soon as you get UC. This will keep it separate from your everyday living costs.

Contact your bank or credit union to ask about a separate account.

Jam-jar account

This is sometimes known as a budgeting account.

It helps you manage your bills so you don't need to worry about them.

Find out more on the Money Advice Service website (opens new window).

Prepaid cards

A pre-paid card helps you keep money to spend separate from money to pay your bills.

Find out more about prepaid cards on the Money Advice Service website (opens new window).

UC and rent arrears

Talk to your landlord if you're having trouble paying your rent because you're waiting on your first UC payment. The sooner you tell them the more chance they have to help.

You might be able to agree to make payments towards any arrears. It's important you agree to help with payments you know you can afford.

UC advance payment

Your first UC payment can take around 5 weeks. If you're going to have problems while waiting for your first payment you can claim an advance.

You can claim up to 1 month's UC payment interest free. It takes 5 days to process.

You've 12 months to pay back this loan and it's taken from your UC payments.

You can apply for this once you've submitted your UC claim by contacting Jobcentre Plus.

Scottish Welfare Fund

You may also qualify for a crisis grant, which is a grant you don't need to pay back.

Find out if you're eligible for the grant.

Cost of living support

Find out about advice and support available to help with the increased cost of living..

Last modified on 25 October 2022