Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Highland Council Universal Credit Claimants Urged To Act Ahead Of Annual Rent Increase

20th March 2020

Highland Council tenants claiming Universal Credit are being urged to look out for messages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The messages, due to start being sent to claimants from the 6th April 2020 will remind people to log on to their online journal and complete a to-do ‘Report any changes to your housing costs' to ensure their entitlement covers their annual rent increase for the year ahead.

Those tenants who do not notify the DWP of their rent increase will face a shortfall in their housing entitlement, which will put them at risk of rent arrears.

This year Highland Council tenants will see their rent rise by 3% from the 30th March 2020. Tenants claiming UC are being encouraged by the Council to wait for the prompt from the DWP rather than notifying the DWP prior to April. This will help prevent any confusion for our tenants, who could be prompted to report the change in rent again, even though they have already notified DWP of the change.

Not all tenants will receive their message on the same day, the date of the message will be determined by the UC Assessment Period. We would advise all our tenants to keep checking for the message to ensure they act quickly when it arrives.

If a tenant does not receive a message during the first couple of weeks of April 2020, we would advise them to report a housing change in circumstances in their UC journal or contact the UC Service Centre direct on 0800 328 5644. Alternatively, they can speak to their Housing Officer by calling 01349 886602

Cllr Ben Thompson, Chair of the Housing & Property Committee said: "We understand that the UC system can be complex, particularly this year with our rents increasing in March.

"We also appreciate that our tenants will be extremely worried about the impact that coronavirus may have on their ability to pay their rent. We have trained our staff to support tenants with any questions or concerns they may have in relation to their rent. They can also assist them tenants to with manage their online journal.

"If any tenant is worried about their rent, we would urge them to contact their Housing Officer as soon as possible. We will shortly be issuing more detailed information in relation to the impacts of Coronavirus and how we will minimise service disruption and support our tenants."

When logging in to their UC journal to complete the ‘To-do' all Universal Credit claimants will be asked the following:

• Has your rent changed?

• Have your service charges changed?

• When did your housing costs change?

• How much will you be charged for your new rent?

• How frequent is your new rent?

• How much will you be charged for your new service charges?

• How frequent is your new service charge?

We would urge all our tenants to have their annual rent increase letter to hand when they log into their UC journal.

Anyone unsure of any of these details or have service charges included in their rent should contact their Housing Officer to find out the correct information before they update their on-line Universal Credit journal.

If any tenants are worried about their rent arrears, or the impact that COVID19 may have on your ability to pay your rent they can seek advice and help from their Housing Officer on 01349 886602.

Our Housing Officers will be able to discuss a wide range of options for payment and signpost tenants to a wide range of specialist support including welfare benefits, money and debt advice, or short-term housing support.

For more information about Universal Credit and COVID19 visit:


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Digital Learning success for Highland Council schools and staffThumbnail for article : Digital Learning success for Highland Council schools and staff
The Highland Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland recognised to develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub, which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning.   Prior to Covid-19, we had an estate of 27,000 Chromebooks that were already a part of our ICT in Learning Strategy.  
Highland Council Committee discussed future of Corran Ferry serviceThumbnail for article : Highland Council Committee discussed future of Corran Ferry service
Earlier today (Wednesday 1 July 2020) members of The Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee had the opportunity to discuss (by video conference) progress made with the Corran Ferry Project which is reviewing the options for securing a replacement ferry and considering the way forward for the future operation and management of the service.   The Corran ferry service has reached a critical point and strategic decisions need to be made.  
Private water supply advice to tourist accommodation providers
As Scotland prepares for the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the tourism and hospitality sector, The Highland Council's Environmental Health are advising holiday accommodation providers to make sure their private water supplies are safe to drink.   A large number of self-catering and tourist accommodation in the Highlands are served by private water supplies and with these being closed during the lockdown period, the water supply system may not have been maintained and could create a risk to the quality and safety of the drinking water.  
Executive Chief Officer For Health And Social Care, Lesley Weber Is To Leave The Highland Council In September 2020Thumbnail for article : Executive Chief Officer For Health And Social Care, Lesley Weber Is To Leave The Highland Council In September 2020
Lesley, who previously worked for Hackney Local Authority in London, expressed how much she has enjoyed working for the Council.   Lelsey started with highland council on 13 August 2019.  
Highland Council Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme EES:ABS to resume
Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites across Scotland, works will be restarting on the EES:ABS scheme across the Highlands.   In line with the guidance, contractors will be undertaking phased restarts and adhering to social distancing to allow workers to return to construction sites gradually while using measures such as hand hygiene.  
Finally Two Derelict Buildings In Wick's High Street To Be DemolishedThumbnail for article : Finally Two Derelict Buildings In Wick's High Street To Be Demolished
Two prominent derelict buildings in Wick High Street are to be demolished following decades lying empty.  Numbers 30 and 126 (known locally as Dominoes (the former cinema) and Sloans are to benefit from demolition and site clearance, before ownership is returned to the local community.  
Learning During Lockdown II - the pupil's perspectiveThumbnail for article : Learning During Lockdown II - the pupil's perspective
Highland Council has produced a new video which shines a spotlight on how children across the region have been able to continue learning during lockdown.   Last month the Council produced a video 'Learning During Lockdown' to highlight how teachers were able to continue to deliver education despite the closure of school across the UK.  
Council Leader requests meeting on future of Wick Airport
The Leader of The Highland Council has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson MSP, raising her deepest concerns over Eastern Airways decision to withdraw their Wick - Aberdeen Service.   The decision by Eastern Airways follows Loganair's earlier decision to withdraw its Wick-Edinburgh route, which now leaves Wick John O'Groats Airport with no commercial services operating.  
Additional Funding For Councils in Scotland
£257.6 million to help tackle COVID-19 approved by Parliament.   Almost £258 million of additional funding for vital local services, such as food provision for those in need, education and social care, has been approved by the Scottish Parliament.  
Council Reaches Out To Accommodation Providers To Help Tackle Covid-19 Homelessness
The Highland Council is inviting private landlords and providers of short-term lets, including Air B&B hosts who may be interested in leasing their property to the Council to get in touch.   Chair of the Housing and Property Committee, Councillor Ben Thompson said: "The COVID-19 outbreak has affected all aspects of our daily lives and we have seen increased pressure on our homelessness service, including demand from the loss of tied accommodation in the hotel industry.