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UK government urged to follow Scotland’s lead to reduce rent arrears

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has hailed the Scottish government for offering people receiving Universal Credit north of the border more options aimed at preventing debt and homelessness.

The so-called “Scottish Flexibilities” mean new online claimants can choose to have Universal Credit paid fortnightly rather than monthly, as is standard.

They can also have the housing elements of the benefit paid directly to their landlord, after evidence from Universal Credit pilots revealed that many people fall into arrears when housing costs are paid to them directly, as the money is spent on other things.

Chris Town, vice chairman of the RLA, said: “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.”

“We strongly urge the UK government to follow Scotland’s lead.”

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