The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published guidance that explains how creditors, including landlords, can request deductions from benefits to help people manage debt.
The guidance is aimed at all creditors, such as landlords, local authorities, and utility companies. It explains how these organisations can apply for deductions from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), income support, and Pension Credit claims.
Debt can harm someone’s health, wellbeing and prospects in the short and long term, and in our recent research report, Housing homeless families, we set out some of the ways that rent arrears can affect families.
Third-party deductions have been developed to protect claimants receiving income-related benefits from accumulating unmanageable debt. A fixed amount is deducted at source from the individual's benefits and paid directly to the creditor until the debt is cleared. This serves as a safety net for those who owe essential household bills and means that other methods of debt recovery, such as negotiating ways to pay and manage bills, are not needed.
Landlords can apply for third-party deductions from rent and service charges for ESA, JSA, Income Support, and Pension Credit via the government website. For landlords who want to apply for rent arrears to be deducted from Universal Credit, a separate application form is available.