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Housing secured after DWP error on Universal Credit

Lawyers from our housing team recently helped a victim of domestic violence to keep her home, after an error by DWP created a threat of eviction.

Our client had been a victim of persistent and long-term domestic violence from her husband, and she obtained an injunction to exclude him from the marital home – a rented property, where he was a joint tenant.

Erroneously deeming that she was now only liable for half the rent, the DWP halved her universal credit allowance for housing. Unable to cover the rent, she fell into arears and was threatened with eviction by her landlord.

Lou Crisfield, a partner and expert housing caseworker with Miles & Partners Solicitors, pointed out to the DWP that they had failed to follow their own guidance and had misinterpreted the law.  If they failed to rectify the situation, the next step would be to launch judicial review proceedings.

Following Lou’s intervention, the DWP recognised their error and reinstated the correct amount of universal credit and paid the previous underpayments which allowed our client to clear the rent arrears.

For more information on housing law, please contact Lou Crisfield 020 7426 0400 or email

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

Lou Crisfield, Miles & Partners Solicitors, London