Universal Credit deposit

Hi can anyone give me advise, tenant moved in 2019, she didnt have the deposit, UC paid the deposit direct to me, however she has been given notice to quit and i imagine there is going to be a lot of cleaning up after she has left and she is currently in rent arrears. Will i have to pay the deposit back to UC, Spoke to UC and they say the deposit money is government money and not the tenants so the deposit will have to be paid back to them despite the fact of damage and rent arrears when the tenant leaves. sorry i hope this makes sense


they would say that wouldnt they? A reason not to get involved with the council YOU CANNOT TRUST THEM I bet you will not do that again


nope never again I can see this being costly to get my property back

Did you put the money in a deposit scheme?

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That’s not how deposits should work. If anyone the tenant should be on the hook for it since arguably the tenant owed it to the government (yes I know why they’re going after you!)

UC has a thing where a recipient can get money in advance then it’s deducted. That is what should be happening. And frankly UC should also be deducting the XXX/month they aren’t paying in rent. Terrible system.

I would fight that. That’s just really unacceptable. I don’t suppose you could at least go to the news about it to warn other landlords?


the council will only provide you with help for “hard to let tenants” to get them out of their hair. A warning for all landlords ,if the council are willing to provide a deposit then WALK , nay RUN away If you have this deposit in a deposit scheme, it is not Goverment money , it is YOUR money if you make a claim and are successful


yeah deposit is in deposit scheme

you can make a claim that is what the system is for . The council have LIED to you


yeah deposit is in the scheme. tenant is also behind in rent which UC are paying , the place is a pigsty (no sorry worse ) hasnt been compliant with the rental agreement either UC is paying the arrears, which i will lose when tenant leaves even although they originally paid the money to her for the rent, she didnt pay me. when she leaves, UC stop making deductions from her so theoretically she gets to keep the money. thats how i believe it works anyway. So it seems unfair not being able to make deductions from deposit for any damage/ clearing the property

i am waiting to see what UC actually do when tenant moves, although i am prepared to fight it depends on costs really, I spoke to UC and they said to me it is still government money and they would be expecting it back for the tenant to use for deposit for next property. the money doesnt belong to tenant.

If the deposit is in a scheme then its the scheme that decides, not the Council. Ignore the Council and make your application to the scheme for sensible deductions. If the Council contests them, ask for arbitration from the scheme. If you have a valid claim with good evidence, you will get some money.


Money may not belong to tenant but the tenant borrowed it for their use and lost it and should be repaying the loan.

There is no point of demanding landlords pay back the deposit. It defeats the entire purpose.

People will sometimes talk out their ass trying to convince you to do what they want. I suspect that is what’s happening here. Meanwhile they will tell the tenant to stay put and make you go through the whole eviction process to even more personal expense and stress.

As David said - make your claim as you are supposed to.


Spot on Ryan Anything so the council have as little expense as possible

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The way it works in our area is that the tenant has to pay the deposit back to the council in monthly amounts he/she can afford. If you have arrears and damage the deposit will cover that, whether the tenant has paid anything back or not. That is the whole reason you have a deposit so you can claim on it. They will of course need proof of arrears and damage.


I assume the council mean that IF there is any refund of deposit that would normally go to tenant, the as gov paid it, they expect to receive any refund. However, sounds like there will NOT be any refund as you will rightly claim it all, so nothing to argue about!


What the council seem to be describing is not really a deposit, if it can’t be used to make good any damages.

If it is “government money” then the tenant owes any loss to them.


Dawn, you need proper advice about this, not an online blog ( no offence meant to this forum ) I suggest you contract Possession Friend.uk who give Free Adviice.

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I had this, it is complete nonsense a deposit is a deposit take what you need of it. I got left with a lot more damage than the deposit after 20-years I no have employed a decent agent who protects my interests.
There are now two types of tenants the ones who can afford to go through an agent they are lower risk and you have more protection.
Advertising your property yourself without out.the necessary robustness of a business that is completely unemotional is much more risky as tenants will take the piss much more.

My advice would be to claim the unpaid rent from the deposit scheme primarily as they will definitely award this before damages. My experience of UC isn’t that bad, but when it does go sour it really goes sour.

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This is very straight forward, if she gave you the money as a deposit then your agreement is solely with her. She may well owe the money to UC but that’s nothing to do with you.