8:40 AM, 4th December 2018, About 3 years ago 5
Minister for Families, Supported Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson:
I understand that Universal Credit has felt like a huge cultural change for many private landlords, their staff and tenants.
Universal Credit is a flexible benefit that gives people more control over their working lives and their finances. Payment under Universal Credit is designed to mirror the world of work, to help make the transition into employment smoother. To support this, rent is paid directly to tenants rather than landlords. While everyone adjusts to the new system, I want to provide some simple pointers for landlords to help support their tenants through the process.
Speak to your tenants early to make sure they know how much Universal Credit they will get towards their housing costs and are ready to pay their rent themselves.
If you have tenants who may struggle to pay their rent, are in rent arrears or are vulnerable, you can apply for their housing costs to be paid directly to you.
Tenants can also request for an alternative payment arrangement to be put in place by speaking to their work coach or case manager.
Claimants can get up to a 100% advance payment right from the start of their claim, and on the same day if needed. They can pay this back over 12 months.
Remind tenants who are moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit that they will receive an extra two weeks’ support for housing costs which they don’t need to pay back.
Encourage your tenants to set up direct debits or standing orders for their rent – it will help to make sure payments are made on time and support them in managing their money.
Get to know your local partnership manager – you can get all sorts of advice and guidance on Universal Credit from them. Jobcentres can also hold regular landlord forums or provide other opportunities for discussion about how the system is working for you.
More information for landlords, including how housing costs are worked out, can be found here: www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/landlords
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