Act now to fix Universal Credit, NLA urges Government
Research by the National Landlords Association (NLA) has found that 73 per cent of landlords who let to tenants on Universal Credit have experienced rent arrears in the last year.
The research also found that of the 18 per cent of landlords who let to tenants on Universal Credit, almost half (46 per cent) had applied for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA), and three fifths (61 per cent) of those landlords had experienced delays in having it set up.
This comes on the back of research by Citizen’s Advice where 60 per cent of people they helped are taking out an advance while they wait for their initial payment, and BBC figures showing rent arrears owed to councils in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have risen by 27 per cent in four years to £315m.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the NLA, says:
“We have been calling on the Government to fix this system since its implementation and raise housing benefit rates in line with current rent levels. This needs to happen sooner rather than later, or those who are most in need of help will continue to suffer.
“Everyone deserves a home. Data from various sources, as well as first-hand accounts from tenants and landlords alike, show Universal Credit isn’t making renting easier for tenants in either the private rented sector or social housing.
“If, as the Government has said, austerity is indeed over, those who have been hit hardest by it should be seeing their hardships lessen. The Government must act now to fix Universal Credit.”
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