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More tenants face eviction and rent arrears due to universal credit

Delays in universal credit benefit payments for housing costs are leaving claimants unable to pay rent and pushing some deep into debt, a committee of MPs has heard.

The government’s own research suggests that a lengthy wait for Universal Credit, which combines six existing benefits into one, has been a key contributor in pushing some claimants into rent arrears, the government’s own research has found.

Universal Credit combines existing benefits such as tax credits, housing benefit, income support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, and employment and support allowance.


But a new study by the Department for Work and Pensions found that around a quarter of new claimants waited more than six weeks to be paid.

Many experts, including Tory MP Heidi Allen, believe that the roll-out of Universal Credit, which is being introduced gradually across the UK, should be suspended.

Allen told the BBC that the government “should slow down a little bit and get it right”.

David Smith, policy director at the Residential Landlords Association, which represents more than 50,000 private sector landlords, said some members were now “increasingly reluctant” to offer accommodation to tenants on universal credit.

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  • icon

    I will not offer accommodation to ANYONE on UC.

    The system is a absolute disaster. Despite having not received any rent money for 3 months, the jokers at DWP continue to send money directly to the tenant. I complained over a month ago, and heard nothing back.

    This system is a disaster and a huge lucrative gift to tenants in receipt of UC.

    When you call UC they say, "all you can do is take your tenant to court". Its absolute madness

  • G romit

    Local Councils are totally unprepared for the tidal wave of homeless people heading their way. There's a perfect storm for low-income people with Universal Credit, capped LHA, and rents rising due to higher costs form both Central and Local Government.
    The recent damning report by the National Audit Office on the increase in homelessness will seem like a storm in a teacup in comparison to what is coming down the line. The wait and see attitude (the best response) from MPs (from Theresa May downwards) and Local Councils shows sheer contempt for the utter misery that will be caused before any thought of action let alone action itself occurs. A liitle forethought by Government can still avert the impending train crash.


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