Universal Credit 'putting landlords off renting to benefit claimants'

Posted On: 
8th January 2018

Landlords are still wary of renting to tenants receiving Universal Credit despite government attempts to make sure they get their rent, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has said.

The overwhelming majority of landlords do not want to rent to tenants who use Universal Credit, according to figures released by the RLA.
Credit: 
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More than 73% of landlords are unlikely to rent homes to someone claiming Universal Credit as they are worried tenants will not be able to pay, according to the RLA. 

It said its members were not convinced by a scheme that should mean landlords are paid directly if tenants on benefits cannot cough up.

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The Alternative Payment Arrangements was designed to allow the Government to send overdue rent directly to landlords out of the claimants' benefits.

But the RLA has had complaints from landlords that they are having little success with the scheme.

Shadow Secretary of State for Housing John Healey said: “The Government’s universal credit chaos is already leading directly to threats of eviction.

“People on ordinary incomes, both in and out of work, are paying the price for ministers’ ideology and incompetence.

“During seven years of failure on housing, this Government has ignored renters with no protection against poor standards, no control of rising rents and no action on constant insecurity.

“Ministers must pause universal credit and fix the problems, and act on Labour’s plans to give renters the consumer rights they deserve.”

But a DWP spokesperson said: “Landlords can now apply to have rent paid directly to them if their tenants are more than two months in arrears.

“The majority of claimants are comfortable managing their money but we are increasing support to help people who need it to stay on top of their payments.

"From April, people in receipt of Housing Benefit will receive two weeks’ rent when they move onto Universal Credit.”

The figures have been released ahead of a debate on the impact Universal Credit is having on private landlords, due to take place this morning in Westminster Hall.