The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is welcoming
planned changes to the Universal
Responding to reports that the Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber
Rudd MP, will announce reforms to Universal Credit today, Chris Town, the Vice
Chair of the RLA, has spoken out in support.
The plans include a new online system for private landlords
to receive rents paid directly to them.
Town says: “Our most recent research has shown
that 61% of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have seen them go into
rent arrears, up from 27% in 2016.
“Improving, and speeding up, the process by which
payments can be made directly to the landlord has been a central part of the
RLA’s campaign on Universal Credit. Anything that helps this will give
landlords much greater confidence in the system and ensure tenants have greater
security in the knowledge that their rent payments will be met.”
With further reports that Rudd will announce that the current benefits freeze will not continue beyond next year, Town adds: “Independent research commissioned by the RLA has recently warned that the freeze in housing benefit rates has been a key driver of homelessness from the private rented sector.
“Unfreezing them will enable benefits to keep up with the reality of market rents.”
These findings are
based on an RLA survey that was conducted last year amongst 2,234 landlords.
Our sister company, Just Landlords, was concerned by how many landlords were facing tenant rent arrears as a result of the new welfare system.
We look forward to
seeing whether these new planned changes will improve some of the issues that
both landlords and tenants have faced at the hands of Universal Credit over the
past few years.
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