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The Introduction of Universal Credit Plays Havoc in the Private Rental Sector

The introduction of Universal Credit (UC) is causing concern to many landlords and some are refusing to take on tenants claiming UC. Members of the Eastern Landlords Association have reported the number of rough sleepers on the streets of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft is at an all-time high.

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Landlords Reluctant to Take On UC Tenants

Landlords are reluctant to take on tenants in receipt of Universal Credit because of the time it takes to receive payment (anything from six to 12 weeks). Many landlords can’t wait this long for the rent to be paid, so some say they have no alternative but to refuse such tenants.

There is also the problem of tenants falling into rent arrears because they can’t manage their own finances once it becomes their responsibility to pay the rent out of a Universal Credit payment.

DWP Happy with UC Rollout

The Department of Work and Pensions is confident that Universal Credit is the answer.

“Our research shows that the majority of UC claimants are comfortable managing their budgets, and we’re working with local authorities and landlords to get extra support to those people who may find themselves in arrears.”

Vulnerable tenants who end up in rental arrears are likely to be handed a Section 21 notice and asked to find somewhere else to live. This then leaves the local authority no option but to house them in emergency accommodation.

Unfortunately, landlords have no option but to take a tough line. They are running a business after all.


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