Worries ahead of the introduction of the controversial Universal Credit scheme are continuing, following concerning results of a recent trial.
The trial scheme saw Local Housing Allowance (LHA) paid directly to tenants and not landlords, as will be the case when Universal Credit is introduced.
Disappointingly, landlords taking part in the scheme said that their rent arrears had almost doubled from their average. This will do nothing to appease detractors of the scheme, who worry that tenants will spend LHA on things other than rent.
Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that 6,220 tenants were paid benefits directly during the opening four months of the trial. In this time, arrears stand at around 8%. Interestingly, 316 tenants have already had their direct payments withdrawn, with landlords now receiving this payment as before.