Two in ten landlords willing to house Universal Credit tenants

Article Posted -
18 Oct 2017

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.”

-ENDS-

*Findings from the NLA Quarterly Landlord Panel Q2 2017 (780 respondents)

Comments

Submitted by 151918 on 29 January 2018 - 1:23pm

I have a tenant that applied for universal credit, I was telephoned by the Dpt of Wks and Pens, they informed me they would pay the arrears and rent, but due to the time taken to pay me and the lack of communication and the impossibility of reaching the department in my local council I have decided to evict him. I will not take a tenant on this system. I have helped many of my long term tenants when they have a blip in their income as I know they will make up the shortfall. Being a landlord is not all about money. Its about providing a good quality service and mutual respect. I was not asked about this tenant or if I wanted them to pay his rent. I would not have him in my property if they payed me double. I suppose I will get his arrears paid and the tenant will feel empowered. Section 21 issued!

Submitted by 157955 on 2 January 2018 - 5:07pm

I had tenant who decided not to pay me. The tenant knew that land lords are helpless . My then tenant said get court order only then I would vacate. Eventually I got eviction order and £2500 as cost and rent.
A) To trace the tenant is expensive .
B) Even found can avoid to pay as they are on benefits of DHSS .
The council should be grantor of all Universal Credit tenants.

Join the NLA

The NLA is the UK's leading association providing support for private residential landlords, serving over 40,000 members nationwide. New landlords join the NLA for advice, information and guidance and to keep up-to-date with fast changing laws and regulations.

Join today and receive instant access to a wide range of key landlord services, award-winning resources and exclusive supplier discounts.

Become a member