Confusion by universal credit means landlords stop renting to welfare recipients

  • A study by the British Property Federation has revealed that almost 40% of private landlords who own over ten properties are letting to fewer welfare recipients. /images/rent_due.jpg

    In February the BPF surveyed 102 landlords with 34% owning over ten properties. The study found that 39% of landlords were in a state of confusion on how the universal credit policy will impact rent arrears and consequently intend to rent to fewer welfare tenants.

    The BPF has warned that landlord groups, NGOs and the government should all act to reduce the uncertainty of the impact of universal credit, reports 24 dash.

    Ian Fletcher, BPF director of policy (real estate), said: "We urge DWP to implement alongside Universal Credit, a system to inform private landlords when a tenant has a change of circumstances that affects their housing benefit. This basic step will provide reassurance to a landlord and reduce any confusion regarding delayed payments or applications for alternative payment arrangements.  The challenges of housing supply are long term issues that will inevitably see the private rented sector continue to be relied upon to house welfare recipients. Universal credit is the most radical change to affect the payment of benefit in several generations and if private landlords do not feel confident they are going to receive rental income they will vote with their feet and not engage with it."

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