Landlords must get up to speed on Universal Credit
By |Published On: 3rd October 2014|

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Landlords must get up to speed on Universal Credit

By |Published On: 3rd October 2014|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently announced that Universal Credit will be effective in all Jobcentres and local authorities from February 2015.

Universal Credit

As Ducan Smith explains, ‘Universal Credit is a vision for a new welfare settlement; a welfare state fit for the 21st century; a testament to the hard work of Jobcentres and local authorities that we are now implementing it. It has now rolled out in the north west of England – to couples, shortly to families, to more than one in eight jobcentres by Christmas – safely and securely as I always said.’[1]

In his address, Duncan Smith said, ‘I can announce that we are going to accelerate the delivery of Universal Credit from the new year, bringing forward the national rollout through 2015/16 to every single community across Great Britain. Secure national delivery, yet at the same time, delivering that life change at a local level; strengthening community partnerships, helping vulnerable households. Not just helping the economy but reducing child poverty as well.’[1]

This announcement surprised many who thought the scheme would be introduced later and has led to calls from the Residential Landlords Association to get organised ahead of the changes.


Universal credit is already available in more than 50 Jobcentres across the U.K, with that figure rising to over 100 by Christmas. The Residential Landlords Association recognised the announcement as very important for both landlords and housing associations.

Bill Irvine, RLA Universal Credit trainer, dealt with the Bolton branch that was part of the pilot scheme and has a warning for landlords. Irvine believes the time for planning is over and landlords must ensure that they are in a position to be immediately able with the demands of Universal Credit.



Mr Irvine is concerned that the Department of Work and Pensions are not yet ready for the scheme to be rolled out across the U.K. Universal Credit will have an impact on around 1.6m tenancies and Mr Irvine is not yet convinced that the DWP is able to handle such a demand.

Taking his experience in Bolton into account, Irvine said that the team in this particular branched struggled to understand some of the, ‘housing costs’ requirements. Irvine expresses that if DWP are experiencing such basic problems in their Bolton branch, then an accelerated roll out across the U.K seems too fast.

Landlords must ensure that they are comfortable with the scheme to avoid experiencing any rent arrears.





About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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