By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Universal Credit to be taken from claimants and paid directly to landlords

The government has announced a new online system that will pay private landlords of those on Universal Credit directly.

It is hoped the change will reduce the number of rent arrears involving tenants on Universal Credit.

Recent research revealed that almost two-thirds of private landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit have experienced them going into rent arrears.


Based on responses from over 2,200 landlords, the Residential Landlord Association’s (RLA) research exchange, PEARL, has found that 61% of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have experienced them going into rent arrears. This is up from 27% in 2016.

The study found that on average Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears owed almost £2,400, which is up almost half - 49% - compared to last year. 

Chris Town, vice chair of the RLA, said: “Improving, and speeding up, the process by which payments can be made directly to the landlord has been a central part of the RLA’s campaign on Universal Credit.

“Anything that helps this will give landlords much greater confidence in the system and ensure tenants have greater security in the knowledge that their rent payments will be met.”

With reports also that Amber Rudd will announce that the current benefit freeze will not continue beyond next year, Town added: “Independent research commissioned by the RLA has recently warned that the freeze in housing benefit rates has been a key driver of homelessness from the private rented sector.

 “Unfreezing them will enable benefits to keep up with the reality of market rents.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

Poll: Will the new online system encourage you to rent to Universal Credit recipients?


  • icon

    A welcome move in the right direction at last, however there is still the difference between the housing benefit payment and the market rent, so i will still be saying no dss.


    Absolutely, so will I.
    Also, these types of tenant are more likely to cause damage and or a nuisance to the property.
    Unless 'the powers that be' can come up with a solution for this and the problems with eviction, then I can't see this move (although welcomed) making that much difference to genuine private landlords who wish to safe guard their investment as well as their income.

  • icon

    This is all well and good, but what happens when a tenant fraudulently claims, who are they going to chase to reclaim any over payments?!

    This is one of the main reasons we stopped dealing with housing benefit tenants, the landlords did not want to take this risk.

  • icon
    • 15 January 2019 11:30 AM

    Exactly abolish 'clawback' and facilitate HB direct payment and many LL would return to the HB market.
    As long as 'clawback' exists NO way would I EVER want direct payment unless I was evicting for rent default.
    Best solution is for payments to be made via a Credit Union.
    This method avoids 'clawback' from the LL.
    But with LHA rates so low most LL can achieve more rent from non-HB tenants.
    Can't blame LL for stating No DSS.
    We are operating businesses after all NOT affordable social housing!!!


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up