Half of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who are in rent arrears

We already know social landlords have been complaining about tenants falling into rent arrears because of Universal Credit.

This site has already commented on the Northern Housing Consortium, which warned that two-thirds of members said rent arrears were increasing, with 73 per cent of them blaming UC.

And of course the Financial Conduct Authority has said UC claimants have been turning to loan sharks because the so-called benefit does not provide enough money for claimants to pay their bills.

This means they must pay back the loans at enormous rates of interest, putting themselves even deeper into debt and putting all their possessions at risk.

Now we find that private landlords – who traditionally rent at higher prices than their social housing counterparts – are also concerned about tenants falling into arrears.

So not only is Universal Credit a failure because it pushes tenants into debt rather than ensuring their financial security, but it also pushes landlords into financial difficulty when claimants are unable to pay the rent.

Who, exactly, is it supposed to be helping?

More than half of private landlords say their tenants on Universal Credit have fallen behind on their rent payments in the last twelve months.

A survey by the Residential Landlords Associations (RLA) found that 54% of private landlords have tenants in receipt of Universal Credit who have rent arrears, putting them at increased risk of potential repossession.

Of these, 82% said that the arrears only began after a new claim for Universal Credit or after a tenant had been moved to the Credit from housing benefit.

And 68% of landlords said that there was a shortfall between the cost of rent and the amount paid in Universal Credit.

Landlords can ask the Department for Work and Pensions for rent to be paid directly to them, instead of to the claimant, but the RLA says it takes an average of 8.5 weeks for this to be set up.

The problem have become so dire that 62% of landlords fear their tenants won’t be able to afford rent payments when they are moved to the new benefits system, which is expected to be completed by December 2023.

Source: Half of private landlords say tenants on Universal Credit have rent arrears

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  1. kevin Kersse August 24, 2019 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I’m on UC, it’s an absolute mess, I get paid on the 29th & 5 days later I’m skint then I have to borrow to get through till the next payment. Monthly payments don’t work, it has to be fortnightly and needs to go up, I’ve had 4 electric increases since I’ve been on it!

  2. Liz August 24, 2019 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    What when it’s the landlords thought your in arrears because they listen to the the Tennant’s when you say you need I don’t think they should put you in arrears my partner has the worse landlord in Southend and to get more money splitting couples up …..

  3. Zippi August 25, 2019 at 1:54 am - Reply

    54% of private landlords have tenants on Universal Credit who are in arrears(!) “A survey by the Residential Landlords Associations (RLA) found that 54% of private landlords have tenants in receipt of Universal Credit who have rent arrears.” What of those who are not in arrears? If true, this is a staggering statistic, that more than half of private tenants are in receipt of Universal Credit! So, where are all of the tenants who are not in receipt of Universal Credit? In my experience, many private landlords will not take tenants who are on Benefits. These figures seem contradict that by a large measure, or am I reading the statistics incorrectly?

    • Mike Sivier August 26, 2019 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      The aim has always been to put as many working people on UC as possible, as this means the Tory government can control their income, ensuring that they are never in a position of security and may be made to do whatever their paymasters fancy at the time. I would have thought that was obvious. It’s what “flexible working” means.

  4. Derrick Lawson August 25, 2019 at 10:20 am - Reply

    It is a Ridiculous System – – People with addictions when they receive their first housing rent Cheque after waiting 6 weeks for it – believe me – They’re first priority wont be paying the landlord! – Then they cannot reclaim because of debt x Surely the Government isn’t blind thet are obviously aware x I believe UC is the first step in dismantling The Welfare System as we know it x

  5. Mark Allinson August 25, 2019 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    When I was put on UC over 4 years ago after I lost my job after injuring my spine it was when it made you wait 3 months before getting the first payment I nearly lost my home because of non payment of rent and it forced me into debt and when I did start receiving my UC it was never backdated either not even the rent money was backdated I was nearly £2000 in debt with rent I was forced to beg family and friends for food and money to get gas, electric I was even refused a loan by the DWP jobcentre when I asked my work coach and she even refused me help from a foodbank because I had family and I was clean shaven UC should be scrapped I was lied to other the phone when I would get a payment also my landlord was lied to because I gave him permission to ring up with my details to find out about a payment for me Aswel so I could pay some rent.

    • Mike Sivier August 26, 2019 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      When was the UC wait three months? I remember it being six weeks.

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