16:18 PM, 20th March 2017, About 7 years ago 8
Many landlords and tenants alike have experienced some sort of issue since the roll out of Universal Credit.
Claimants are often left with no money for a long period of time during the assessment period, this delay causes a lot of other issues for the claimant such as debt, rent arrears and risk of eviction.
Astonishingly Frank Field the chair of the work and pensions committee has identified this issue and said: “Despite a growing body of evidence about the very real hardship that the roll out of universal credit is creating for some, often the most vulnerable, claimants and the struggles it is creating for local authorities trying to fulfill their responsibilities it is flabbergasting that the government continues to keep its head in the sand.”
Unlike with the LHA system landlords are unable to simply pick up the phone and contact the Housing Benefit department and speak with an advisor to find out information. Calling DWP is a complete different ball game there are no real set of procedures that DWP are abiding too.
Field went onto say the government was still not attempting to solve the problems with the benefit as it was being rolled out across the country.
To many landlords we are left thinking what more will it take for the Government to release that the system is not working and when will they listen to our points of view, the select committee have reopened its inquiry into the major welfare reform and have said that rent arrears associated with universal credit were “likely to be of a short duration”.
For us landlords only time will tell whether this is true or not but one thing that is clear is the Government will continue with the roll out of Universal Credit.
Several landlords that were quite happy housing those on benefits are now rapidly withdrawing and turning to the private market, the vulnerable are becoming more vulnerable and homelessness is rapidly increasing.
Sherrelle is an independent consultant and is recommended by Property118 for landlords who require professional advice and assistance in regards to dealing with Universal credit related matters