Universal Credit reforms offer confidence boost for some landlords
36% of private landlords now have more confidence to rent to Universal Credit claimants since changes were announced in the Autumn Budget, but 73% still lack confidence in the system.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) welcomes the changes, but has urged the government to act to ensure that landlords can claw back any rent arrears which may occur when a tenant moves to Universal Credit.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the changes to Universal Credit during the Autumn Budget speech on 22nd November. Universal Credit claimants generally wait six weeks to receive their first benefit payment, but from February 2018, this should be reduced to five weeks.
Vice Chair of the RLA, Chris Town, said: “Ministers have clearly been listening to concerns and we welcome their reforms to Universal Credit which have given landlords more confidence in the system.”
Town continued: “That said, there are still problems around rent arrears and recent tax hikes mean that landlords are less able to cope with difficulties in collecting rents”.
The changes to Universal Credit, which are designed to make it easier for claimants to get the support they need, include a removal of the seven-day waiting period which occurs when a claimant first makes a benefit claim.
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