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Landlords 'must prepare for Universal Credit'

Landlords must ready themselves for the rollout of Universal Credit, according to the Residential...

Landlords must ready themselves for the rollout of Universal Credit, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

 
The RLA is responding to the surprise announcement by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith that Universal Credit will be introduced across the country by February 2015, following what the government describes as a “successful” pilot scheme in the North West.
 
The controversial new scheme is the foundation of the government’s welfare policies. The RLA warns that Mr Duncan Smith’s announcement is “very important news” for landlords.

The Universal Credit system rolls six benefits into a single monthly payment. Its introduction has been controversial, with those in receipt of housing benefit overwhelmingly opposing the programme.

 
The RLA has warned that its Universal Credit trainer does not believe that the Department for Work and Pensions is in a position to roll the scheme out by the new February deadline. The Association suggests that its team in Bolton is struggling to cope with even straightforward claims under the new system.
 It is thought that the Universal Credit rollout will affect some 1.6 million tenancies. Read more about Universal Credit for landlords.

Belvoir Kingston feel Landlord's should start preparing for the impact the Universal Credit will have on the private sector. Tenants in receipt of housing benefit and other benefits will now receive one lump payment for all six benefits that can be claimed. 

Landlords are understandably concerned about the impact of Universal Credit, as deductions from Local Housing Allowance payments to cap a household’s overall benefits could increase the risk of rent arrears and late payments.

Not only are Landlords concerned about the Universal Credit, but tenants are feeling the strain too. Tenants are concerned of managing their finances with only receiving money once a month. The change in the system will be hard for tenants to get used to as there is now a cap on how much money each household will receive, and tenants have to manage their money better as it is paid monthly.

Landlords who are concerned about the impact this may have on the private renting sector, and your rented property, please contact Hannah at Belvoir Kingston on 0208 549 4365, or email our team on kingston@belvoir.co.uk

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