The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has worked with residents and social landlords to simplify the verification process for any April rent changes.
Residents are not able to notify changes in advance but people with weekly tenancies should receive a ‘to-do’ in the online journal from the 5 April 2021. Monthly charged tenants will receive a to-do on 1 April. A letter has been added to the Landlord Portal page on the Understanding Universal Credit website. It gives landlords more information about the actions needed and includes screen shots of the to-do to help staff and residents prepare. Residents will have the option at the start to say that there has not been any change in the rent.
Many housing associations are already working with their residents to alert people to the importance of telling DWP about any change in rent. If residents do not respond to the to-do then they may not get the correct housing payments, so it’s critical that housing associations support their residents to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
DWP has said that, despite extensive testing, there will be no bulk upload of rent data from housing associations to DWP this year.