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Ask The Expert - Universal Credit

Tags: Considerate, Universal, Credit, Tenant

Sarah Gorton from Consider-Rate. Consider-Rate provide a 2-way tenant-landlord feedback scheme that helps landlords to make sound judgments and protect their investments.  The company aim to build a bank of reliable tenants that can be trusted to look after the accommodation that they rent.
“As most of you who rent to tenant’s receiving benefits are aware that under the government’s new Welfare Reform comes the launch of ‘Universal Credit’ (UC). UC is a new single benefit for working age claimants which may mean that landlords are no longer able to get direct payment once there are eight weeks of arrears, or indeed any other amount of arrears owing. Decisions as to payment will be made individually on a case-by-case basis according to the guidance. 70% of the landlords we have spoken to are worried about the changes associated with welfare reform which is probably fuelled by the alarming statistic that 86% of tenants reported that they are not ready to budget with single monthly budgets.
The new changes are not expected to come into force in the East Midlands until 2015 however Landlords and agents need to start thinking now how they are going to reduce the risk of rent not being paid, tenants being evicted and all the aggravation, time and cost associated with these changes.
It is essential that landlords work with their tenants now to ensure that their tenants are seeking budgeting advice.  Local councils are struggling with the enormity of the task ahead and are working with companies like consider-Rate and various Credit Unions to try and work together to come up with a solution.  The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) have a useful guide for landlords www.rla.org.uk/UC and landlords can visit our website: https://consider-rate.co.uk/ for more information on how we can help

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