Tenants in Scotland can now choose to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) believes that these new benefit rules will cut rent arrears in Scotland.
Commenting on the news, the Vice Chairman of the RLA, Chris Town, says: “Allowing tenants to choose to have their rent paid directly to landlords will enable them to better plan their spending and will prevent many from falling into arrears. It will also give confidence to landlords to rent to those on benefit, giving tenants more choice.”
He adds: “We strongly urge the UK Government to follow Scotland’s lead.”
Under the Government’s new benefit system, the housing element of Universal Credit is paid to the tenant, rather than the landlord, which has caused many renters to fall into arrears.
We recently spoke to landlord law expert Tessa Shepperson about what landlords should do if their tenant falls into rent arrears due to Universal Credit. We have her suggestions here.
If you have tenants on benefits and are worried about them falling into rent arrears, you’ll be pleased to know that our peace of mind cover, Rent Guarantee Insurance, accepts DSS tenants. It’s essential that you protect your rental income against tenant rent default – this way, you’ll still get paid if your tenant can’t. Find out more about this essential cover: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/rentguaranteeinsurance
We’ve created a really handy guide for landlords to help you understand the new benefit system and how it’ll affect you and your tenants: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/news/landlords-guide-universal-credit/
Do you agree with the RLA that allowing tenants to choose whether the housing element of Universal Credit is paid directly to their landlord is a good move, or does it defeat the point of the Government’s new welfare system? It may work in keeping rent arrears down, but it could remove a tenant’s independence regarding their finances.