How much rent will Universal Credit pay?

If you need help with rent, you might be able to claim Universal Credit. Read on if you want to know how much rent Universal Credit will pay.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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Are you struggling with housing costs? You could be eligible for Universal Credit. If you are thinking about applying and want to know how much rent Universal Credit will pay, this article has it covered.

Social housing tenants

As a social housing tenant, you get your full rent covered as part of your Universal Credit payment. However, there are specific circumstances when your Universal Credit may be reduced. These are as follows:

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Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy

When living in a property with a spare bedroom, how much rent Universal Credit will pay is reduced by 14%. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, your Universal Credit is reduced by 25%.

Non-dependants living with you

If you have a non-dependant living with you aged 21 or over, your payment could be reduced.


Private tenants

The amount you get is dependent on the number of people living in your home. The size of the home you live in makes no difference to your payment.

So, even if you live in a property with a number of spare bedrooms, your claim will still be based on the number of people living in the property. 

The amount of rent you receive will depend on your Local Housing Allowance rate.

Private tenants in Scotland

All landlords in Scotland must register their properties with the local authority. Even if the property is not registered, you can still apply for Universal Credit but you need to inform your local authority.

Your Universal Credit can be paid directly to your landlord.

Temporary accommodation

If you live in temporary accommodation and make a new claim, you will need to make a separate claim for housing benefit. You need to make the claim with the local authority that placed you in temporary accommodation.

Shared ownership accommodation

In shared ownership accommodation, you pay part rent and part mortgage on your home.

If you are living in shared ownership accommodation and you are wondering how much rent universal credit will pay, you will get help with your rent and with the mortgage interest.

Service charges

You can get Universal Credit if you need help with any service charges on your rented property. You will need proof of these charges when you apply.

Rent on two homes

You can use Universal Credit for the rental costs of two homes, but your circumstances must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Your family is too large to live in a single home.
  • A family member has left the home due to fear of violence and abuse but will return at some point.
  • You have a disabled family member that is living with you and is on benefits. They are waiting before they can move into their new home because it is being adapted for their disability.


Information for a new claim

When making a new claim, make sure your paperwork is in order. This will help prevent delays in your claim. Make sure you bring the following to your claim interview, as applicable:

  • Your current tenancy agreement
  • Your rent statement
  • A signed letter from your landlord
  • Evidence of any service charges
  • Information about your shared ownership agreement, including the mortgage agreement

Take home

It’s a good idea to do some research, especially if you are making a new claim. Further information is available on the Universal Credit website.

Make a list of any queries or questions you have about your claim. Make sure you ask as many questions as you need to during your interview, and make sure you understand the process.

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