Direct Payments can now go to Landlord
- 01 May
The government have changed universal credit policy to allow automatic direct payments of housing benefit to landlords.
If the tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears then the benefit payment can be automatically set up to be sent to the landlord.
It has not been dramatically announced, but revealed in the details given to the Greater Manchester housing benefit staff.
The area of Ashton Under Lyme are the first to officially trial universal credit starting yesterday, and are the first to see this change in the details, reading:
Landlords can refer rent arrears cases to Universal Credit; those which are under 2 months rent will trigger Universal Credit to contact the claimant to discuss their non payment as part of the Personal Budgeting Support process, where as those with over 2 months arrears will be switched to direct rent payment automatically and relevant budgeting support activity arranged subsequently.
The adjustment to the scheme has been welcomed by many, who have been saying since universal credit was first announced that direct payments may not be suitable for all circumstances.
The original concept that all direct payments of benefits go to the tenant did not take in to consideration that this would not be suitable for everyone, and could result in tenants falling behind in payments and a deficit building up for the landlord.
The change has been made following pilots across the country, which have proven that the method for direct payments will not work for every tenant and is likely to result in a shortfall for the landlords, and trouble for the tenant.
The government have maintained that they would not change the rules, in spite of the results from the pilot, so the change is a surprise, but a very welcome one!
The policy by the coalition Government, which had previously insisted that direct payments to landlords would only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and even then not automatically.
Richard Jones, policy director of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said:
The RLA welcomes this new guidance to DWP staff, which represents a significant step-change in attitude by Government; and, for the first time publicly acknowledges that direct payments to landlords are a crucial component of any welfare reform process.
However, Government promises of automatic direct payments do not yet extend to the national roll-out of universal credit later this year, and we are eager to ensure that it will apply when this happens.
At the same time, the RLA will continue lobbying for a shorter time period in which automatic payments can be triggered, and for more details about the direct payments process.
It is important for landlords to know that if tenants fall into arrears an immediate stop will placed on further payment of housing costs to the tenant until direct payments to the landlord have been established.
A DWP spokesperson said:
Paying housing costs direct to claimants will allow them to take greater responsibility of their finances and breaks a barrier that people can face when moving into work.
The safeguards in the pathfinder area have existed for private sector housing benefit claimants since 2008. We have always been clear protection will continue under Universal Credit.
- 03 May
MANY MAY STRUGGLE AS A RESULT OF CHANGES TO THE UNIVERSAL CREDIT SYSTEM
The study envisages the following issues from the move which is expected to save the taxman £1billion a year by 2021:Chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham said:"This cut...
- 13 Mar
CIH SCOTLAND POINTS OUT ISSUES WITH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW SINGLE PAYMENT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Following recent warnings from the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee about problems with the new Universal Credit system, CIH Scotland has pointed out some issues with the...
- 23 Nov
THE LHA CAP WILL APPLY TO ALL TENANTS THAT RECEIVE UNIVERSAL CREDIT
These details were stated by the government:Lord Freud announced in a ministerial statement that this would "ensure simplicity and a streamlined process". He also said tenants who are moved from...
- 17 Oct
UNIVERSAL CREDIT SET TO EXPAND IN AREAS SERVED BY KIRKINTILLOCH JOBCENTRE
The beneficiaries of this would have to live within one of these postcodes: G64 4, G66 1, G66 2, G66 3, G66 4, G66 5, G66 7 and G66 8.This entitlement means working age people in these postcodes...
- 25 Aug
AFTERMATH OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT DELAYS
The labour MP also said "the minimum six-week payment period faced by new Universal Credit claimants led to reliance on emergency food parcels, triggered debt and rent arrears, and caused health...
- 25 May
FIRST ERROR AND FRAUD FINDINGS FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The department's findings show that underpayments due to official errors were considerably higher than for the older Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) Programme, however, the rate of overpayments was...
- 09 Sep
Universal credit targets defended by Iain Duncan Smith
When asked about the effectiveness of the roll-out of universal credit Mr Duncan Smith said: “Universal credit is now available in more than half of jobcentres across Great Britain and will be...
- 18 Aug
Scottish carers are worse off due to universal credit
Child Poverty Action Group has sent a report to Scottish and UK ministers urging them to amend the universal credit regime to pay closer heed to Scotland’s systems and use devolved power to protect...
- 13 Aug
Universal Credit claimants rise to almost 90,000
Figures by the Department for Work and Pensions have found that 89,357 people were claiming universal credit by 9th July which was a rise of 18% compared to 75,426 on 11th June, reports Inside...
- 13 Aug
Scottish government to revamp universal credit
The Scottish Government has decided it wants to give claimants the choice of having their payments made twice a month rather than just once a month on universal credit, reports Scottish Housing...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Services Good clear delivery of some complicated information. Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project