Direct payment of Universal Credit to landlords – Online system being developed

by Property 118

9:16 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Direct payment of Universal Credit to landlords – Online system being developed

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Direct payment of Universal Credit to landlords – Online system being developed

“One third of UC claimants in social rented housing have their rent paid directly to their landlord. But in the private sector, that number is only 5%.

“People in the private rented sector already face a far higher risk of losing their tenancy, and I know from talking to claimants and landlords that the current system isn’t working for some of them.

“So we need to make it easier for tenants in the private sector to find and keep a good home, by giving landlords greater certainty that their rent will be paid.

Therefore, I have asked the Department to build an online system for private landlords, so they can request (where necessary) for their tenant’s rent to be paid directly to them. And I will consider what else we can do, because I am determined to help keep people in their homes.”

The above is a section of  a speech given yesterday by Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on changes to the roll out of Universal Credit. Click here to read the full speech on the government website.

“So here’s what’s going to change:

  • a more considered approach, so we can provide a better service for everyone moving onto Universal Credit from the old system
  • greater flexibility on payments, so the benefit fulfils its promise to adapt to individual needs and circumstances
  • more support for women: moving payments to the main carer, and making childcare payments more accessible
  • and every child born before April 2017 will now be supported by Universal Credit”

Under the current system 80% of landlords are reluctant to take the risk of renting to Universal Credit tenants with the average amount owed by Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears almost doubling in the last year from £1,600.88  to £2,390.19

Secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, James Brokenshire, said: “The measures announced today will ensure that landlords can receive rent from those on Universal Credit directly into their accounts. This important change will help strengthen the choices and opportunities available for those on Universal Credit to secure the homes they and their families need.”

NLA chief executive, Richard Lambert, responded to the planned changes: “Landlords have long supported the principles underlying Universal Credit, but have not been convinced by any of its practical implementations. Amber Rudd’s fresh approach is welcome, but needs to go much further if she wants Universal Credit to be truly effective and compassionate.

“Payments have fallen well behind rents across the country and will continue to do so while the freeze remains in place. In committing to end the freeze in 2020, all she’s saying is once the holes a bit deeper, I’ll stop digging.”

RLA Vice Chair, Chris Town, commented: “Our most recent research has shown that 61 per cent of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have seen them go into rent arrears, up from 27 per cent 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.”



Comments

Mick Roberts

9:50 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

So she's giving us this portal that they've been saying on the news they've being giving Landlords for months-Only if u read the small print, it was for Social Landlords, as informed by Bill Irvine of https://universalcreditadvice.com/

And what she ain't saying is How are we getting this direct payment?
I'd suspect tenant STILL HAS TO HAVE 2 MONTHS ARREARS, spending Taxpayers money on shoes & holidays, but now the super nice thing the Govt has gave us is a portal where we can log it online instead of sending off UC47 APA rammel arrears form that UC DWP always lose & said they han't received & keep paying tenant another 2 months, now £2000 FREE Courtesy of taxpayer.

And someone who knows more about this portal, please tell me I'm wrong, I'll gladly eat humble pie, if it means we can genuinely ask for payment that we crave to pay the mortgage to stop tenant being homeless-At beginning of tenancy.

NW Landlord

9:52 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Devil in the detail if it’s not from day one I still won’t be taking UC

David Price

9:56 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NW Landlord at 12/01/2019 - 09:52
And if it does not cover the full rent regardless of the housing benefit.

David Price

10:05 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

“Therefore, I have asked the Department to build an online system for private landlords, so they can request (where necessary) for their tenant’s rent to be paid directly to them. And I will consider what else we can do, because I am determined to help keep people in their homes.”

When 'request' becomes 'demand' then I will start to reconsider my no UC policy. As NW Landlord says the devil is in the detail.

Ann Diamond

10:22 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

I have had a number of tenants in the past for whom the local authority paid the rent directly to me. They paid every 28 days in arrears rather than p.c.m. in advance as per my agreement. With no warning payments would cease, reasons being given that the tenants circumstances had changed or that they had not replied to a letter. It would then take weeks for the payments to be reinstated.
I have also been in the position where I was expected to sign an agreement before the prospective tenant could be told how much they would be getting. Luckily that tenant had a deposit and first months rent to give me otherwise I would not have taken the chance.
It is time that they acknowledged that without us private landlords there would be far more people living on the streets.

Rod

10:32 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

I've been saying for years :- housing benefit paid to tenant = not paid on to l/Lord = eviction = homelessness = everyone in a mess! I've sent mails to the gov' offices concerned many times, maybe it's finally sunk in! There's a new one coming where tenants can now sue l/lords introduced by Karen Buck (gov') and starting in March, look it up!

terry sullivan

10:51 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

rudd is even more useless than may

David Price

10:58 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by NW Landlord at 12/01/2019 - 09:52
And no claw back from the landlord.

AJ

11:07 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

what i am still worried about, is when the tenant does a runner and gets a new place. I have heard a few times about the council coming after the landlord for rent money back.

Gunga Din

11:10 AM, 12th January 2019
About 2 months ago

"amount owed by Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears almost doubling in the last year from £1,600.88 to £2,390.19"

Doubling? That's a bit of a stretch isn't it?

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