The government’s decision to make it easier for landlords to apply for Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs) without the consent of tenants’ receiving the all-in-one benefit Universal Credit has been warmly welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally bowed to pressure to introduce APAs enabling the housing element of Universal Credit to be paid directly to the landlord.
Until now a landlord would need the ‘explicit consent’ of the tenant to do this. In practice, this meant tenants could delay or refuse consent, leading to substantial rent arrears being built up.
Chris Town, RLA vice chair, said: “The latest news regarding APAs is a major step in the right direction, and will improve the operation of Universal Credit for landlords and tenants.
“The RLA’s close working relationship with the DWP has led to this and a number of other constructive changes in the operation of Universal Credit.
“That said, further reforms are still needed and we will continue to work with the Department to make Universal Credit work better for landlords and tenants alike.”