Only two out of ten landlords willing to let to UC tenants

Only two out of ten landlords willing to let to UC tenants

17:00 PM, 18th October 2017, About 7 years ago 12

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Just two in 10 landlords say they are willing to let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit, according to latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA).

The findings come on the day the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee questions the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about the roll out of Universal Credit.

They show that the proportion of landlords who say they are willing to let their property to housing benefit claimants has fallen to just 20%, down from 34% at the start of 2013.

The research, taken from the NLA’s Quarterly Landlord Panel, also shows that two in three landlords who let to housing benefit recipients say they have fallen behind on rental payments in the last 12 months.

The NLA has already provided written evidence to the Committee’s inquiry, outlining some of the major problems the new system is causing landlords, and why so many are shying away from accepting Universal Credit tenants.  These include:

  • The difficulty of communicating and interacting with the Universal Credit administration system.
  • The time and effort it takes to secure direct payment of the housing element of Universal Credit to the landlord, and
  • The six week waiting period causing tenants to be two-months in rent arrears by the time of the first payment

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is calling on the Government to pause the national roll-out of its Universal Credit project and to lift the current freeze on housing benefit rates.

Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the NLA, said:

“Underlying all the problems with Universal Credit is the freeze on housing benefit rates, which means that the housing element of Universal Credit is simply insufficient for many tenants to be able to cover their rent.

“The decline in social housing means that some of the most vulnerable in society can only turn to the private rented sector. We have long called for the freeze to be scrapped as it creates a barrier that prevents claimants from securing the housing they need.

“If the Government is serious about helping then it needs to press pause on the roll out of Universal Credit, and fix its underlying problems. Otherwise more and more people will find themselves homeless as the proportion of landlords who consider themselves able to house those who need it most will keep on falling.”

Editors Note:

MPs have voted 299 to 0 for Labour’s motion to pause the further roll out of Universal Credit after the majority of Conservative MPs decided to abstain and some voted with Labour.

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7:13 AM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

I'm surprised it's as high as 2 in 10, just wait as Sec.24 kicks in and it'll drop close to zero

Mick Roberts

8:51 AM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

I've been HB specialist for 20 years.
Housed A LOT of homeless people.

And now, with benefit cap coming in, UC becoming more prevalent & the problems & lack of money & delays for UC tenants, I'm coming out the benefit market as & when my houses come empty. Which also ain't happening 'cause my HB tenants aren't moving anywhere now 'cause they can't get anywhere 'cause the few Landlords that would take 'em, are no longer taking Welfare tenants either, or selling their houses cause of Clause 24.

100% of my UC tenants are in arrears.

Dr Rosalind Beck

9:37 AM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

I don't see how any landlords in London and other expensive cities can afford to do it. It's too big a risk as well when you're talking about rents of more than £1,000pm and when you have a mortgage to pay that could swallow up most of that. I also think that when the claimants eventually get the money after the long delay they'd think they'd done well if they gave you a couple of hundred and not the full amount. My only consolation is that for a change the Housing Associations are getting hit - that gives the opponents of UC a lot more leverage as no-one cares if private landlords are owed a fortune.

terry sullivan

9:55 AM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

i have not taken hb tenants for 10+ years--you are mad to do so--just say no


12:28 PM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

Hopefully pausing the roll out will give officials more time to look into the process and procedures and come up with a solution that assist private landlords.

Rob Crawford

13:04 PM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 19/10/2017 - 08:51
"100% of tenants in arrears" - you don't mention that you are evicting them! It's easy to feel emotionally attached but you have to keep a business head, the situation won't get better. Serve section 21's and pass on the problem to the Local Authority and get your tenants & LA to complain to their MP's.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

13:17 PM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Sherrelle Collman at 19/10/2017 - 12:28
Sorry to be cynical but personally I do not expect at all that this particular Tory Government (including the Chancellor and Minister of Housing) will ever come up with ANY solution which will assist private landlords, who have been declared the "enemy of the state and hard working families".

Mick Roberts

14:15 PM, 19th October 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 19/10/2017 - 13:04
Ha ha I can't chuck 'em all out, some been with me 20 years.
Yes I suppose I am getting more sentimental, emotional as get older.
I have had to evict the benefit cap ones with zero rent coming in, but to evict a UC tenant who is an arrears, but now getting the current ongoing payments would be a bit foolhardy, as to get new UC tenant, would mean having to start all over again.


8:11 AM, 21st October 2017, About 7 years ago

It's not just the arrears, the incidence of damage and disrespect of your property, which is high with benefits tenants is also a disincentive.

Jonathan Clarke

0:45 AM, 22nd October 2017, About 7 years ago

LHA worked well for me for 16 years. Cant complain at all
Then the LHA freeze came - Ouch that hurt
Then the HB Caps came - Ouch that hurt
Sorry two strikes and I`m now out - So a big no to UC
I want the tax payers money that they allocate to housing to be paid direct to me not them - Many have not the capacity to manage their finances as many are dysfunctional and need support which no one provides them . My first transition tenant from LHA to UC spent it all on drink
East European workers are taking their place in many cases and the 10 or so I`ve taken on in the last 2 years pay on time every time
The roll out of UC has been a disastrous catastrophe
The architects who designed it should be ashamed
It falls short on so many fronts
LL`s are leaving the UC sector in their droves
The worst is yet to come

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