Tenant News

Give Benefit Tenants a Choice, the RLA Urges

Rose Jinks - February 21, 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is urging the Government to give benefit tenants a choice when it comes to Universal Creditpayments and private rents.

Chris Town, the Vice Chair of the organisation, spoke out after the Prime Minister, Theresa May, made comments on the difficulties faced by benefit tenants.

On a day when three Conservative MPs resigned from the party, May confirmed that the Government is looking at ways to address the problems faced by benefit claimants living in private rental housing. 

Town responded: “With ever growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector for a place to live, we need to do much more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

“This means a package of measures that should include giving all tenants the right to decide what is best for them, by enabling them to choose to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord, as well as working with bank lenders to address the problem of mortgage terms that prevent landlords renting to benefit claimants.” 

Earlier this month, the RLA insisted that further reforms to the Universal Credit system are needed, as more benefit tenants fall into rent arrears. 

Yesterday (20thFebruary 2019), Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen wrote a joint letter to May to confirm their departure from the Conservative Party.

The Prime Minister was “saddened” by the resignations, but added that the party would “always offer…decent, moderate and patriotic politics”.

The three MPs criticised the Government’s “disastrous handling” of Brexit and said that it had undone “all the efforts to modernise” the Conservatives.

The pro-remain trip will join the new Independent Group, which is made up of eight Labour MPs, who resigned from their party over its handling of Brexit and anti-Semitism, saying that it represented “the centre ground of British politics”.