The DWP has said it will address problems faced by landlords who house Universal Credit tenants following a meeting with the RLA.
RLA directors David Smith and Chris Town met with Caroline Dinenage MP, the new Minister responsible for housing cost support at the Department for Work and Pensions, to discuss issues including rent arrears and direct payments.
They also presented key research findings from the RLA’s welfare survey.
The DWP agreed to look at what could potentially be done to address the RLA’s concerns about tenants in receipt of Universal Credit who build arrears then move out of a property, after the RLA raised concerns about the inability of landlords to be able to claim arrears back.
The Minister and officials have agreed to look closely at the RLA’s key concerns and report back.
It also told the RLA there are new plans to improve the information on the DWP website for landlords applying for Alternative Payment Arrangements to help address some of the concerns landlords have raised over direct payments.
It was re-stated that a claimant and a landlord have the ability to ask for direct payments where they feel there is a good case.
A new ‘Housing Confident’ scheme was also announced. This will be an internal learning product for DWP staff which is intended to ensure Universal Credit work coaches talk to claimants specifically about housing – and are alert to the support claimants might need.
One of the aims of the initiative is to get claimants talking to their landlord – something the RLA has campaigned for – with the scheme to be piloted with DWP staff in four areas.
The RLA runs training course on Universal Credit. For details, including the latest dates and booking click here.