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RLA campaign and media review: Friday 19th October

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

As the week comes to a close, it is time to take a look at some of the big news stories affecting the private rented sector this week, including some of the RLA’s campaigning work and media coverage.

Our Universal Credit research receives wide media coverage and is cited by MPs in Parliament

Universal Credit has been making headlines all throughout this week. Last Friday, our research arm PEARL released new research, revealing that 61% of landlords with tenants on Universal Credit have seen them go into rent arrears.

This is up from 27 % in 2016, and the research has gained a huge amount of media coverage in the past week, and was mentioned several times by MPs in the House of Commons this week as well. It was also included in a Commons briefing paper.

In parallel to this, this week we have also been in some productive meetings with the Department of Work and Pensions and Neil Couling, and on Wednesday we were pleased to be involved with important discussions on Managed Migration with other stakeholders. Working together is key to safe implementation.

Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance

Last month, we announced in our Residential Property Investor magazine that we are working with the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) which is running a two year PRS project to promote awareness of domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Bill is making its way through Parliament at the moment, and while no-one is expecting landlords to physically intervene in abusive situations, the RLA has been working with the alliance to provide advice to landlords on where to go for help.  This week, we announced that DAHA has created a useful guide for landlords on this matter. You can read the guide on our website here, and watch DAHA Development Manager PRS, Victoria Watts, explain the work of DAHA in the video below.

Tenant Fees Bill

This week it was announced that the next stage of the England Tenant Fees Bill, the Committee Stage, will take place on 5th November 2018 in the House of Lords.

RLA responds to additional licensing consultation

Earlier the week we responded to Thurrock Council’s consultation on introducing additional licensing in some areas of the time. In the response, which you can read here we have raised some concerns that introducing additional licensing will squeeze landlords financially, and could put pressure on non-selective licensing areas.

Office for National Statistics publishes the latest Index of Private Housing Rental Prices for September 2018

This week, the ONS published new statistics relating to private housing rental prices. Of note, private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 0.9% in the 12 months to September 2018, unchanged from the 12 months to August 2018. You can read the more of the latest statistics here. 

Updated guidance on PRS Energy Efficiency Standards

This week, the Government published updated guidance on PRS Energy Efficiency Standards. You can read this here 

Welsh Government energy efficiency consultation

In Wales, we have responded to several consultations, including one on carbon emissions which you can read here


Media coverage this week

Landlords issue stark warning over universal credit as two thirds see tenants fall into debt The Independent

Two Thirds Of Landlords With Tenants On Universal Credit Are Owed Rent Arrears, New Study Shows Huffington Post

Two in three tenants on Universal Credit can’t pay their rent on time, landlords say The Sun

Rent arrears involving tenants on Universal Credit have surged, say landlords MSN Money

David Smith was also on BBC Radio Four on Friday discussing the findings from the research. You can listen again here (package starts approx. six mins in)

Nearly two thirds of PRS tenants claiming Universal Credit in arrears Inside Housing

New research reveals impact of Universal Credit on PRS 24 Housing

Rent arrears involving tenants on Universal Credit have surged, say landlords AOL

Sharp rise in rent arrears involving tenants on Universal Credit Landlord Today

Arrears rocket for tenants on Universal Credit Letting Agent Today

New reports are ‘another damning indictment’ into Universal Credit roll-out Scottish Housing News

Opinion: The Tories will regret ignoring the pain inflicted by universal credit The Guardian

Universal Credit causing more rent arrears Mortgage Introducer

Landlords warn Universal Credit driving tenants into rent arrears Local Gov

Landlords report surge in arrears among Universal Credit tenants Property Industry Eye

Tighter regulation makes HMO investment an area for specialists Property Week

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

With a degree in Journalism, she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and creating social media content.

Before joining the RLA, Victoria worked in the University of Salford’s press office, and during University she represented Smooth Radio at events across the North West, as a member of the street team.

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