When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

What happens to your UC housing costs if you move home?

You need to update your Universal Credit account if you move home.

Updating your account

You can tell Universal Credit about a change in your circumstances, by

  • Logging into your account or
  • Calling the UC helpline on 0800 012 1331

What happens when you move?

If you are a tenant, you will have to update your account with

  • Your new address
  • Your new landlord’s information
  • Your new rent figures

You will probably have to give your work coach a copy of your new tenancy agreement to prove these changes.

How moving impacts on the amount of help you get with rent

Universal Credit is a monthly benefit. This means that if something changes during your month long assessment period, the change is understood to have taken place at the start of the assessment period.

This means that your new landlord will get all your housing costs for the month, and your old landlord will get nothing.

Example of tenant moving between two landlords

So, if you move out of a Housing Executive property the week before your assessment period ends and move into a Radius Housing property, Universal Credit will decide that you have been living in the Radius property for the full month.

This means that the amount of help you get with your housing costs for that month will be based on the rent you are expected to pay Radius each month. If your housing costs payments goes directly to your landlord, all the money will go to Radius. Radius and the Housing Executive will then have to work together to sort out how much is owed to the Housing Executive.

This is pretty complicated, and it makes things especially difficult for private tenants.

Preparing for a move

If you know that you are going to be moving, it may be best to ask that your housing costs payments go directly to you for the next few months. This will allow you to work out how much you owe to your old landlord and how much you have to give to your new landlord,

Speak to an adviser if your old landlord tells you that you owe money.