Tenant News

RLA Welcomes Planned Changes to Universal Credit

Rose Jinks - January 11, 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is welcoming planned changes to the Universal Credit system.

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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