Our Welfare Campaigns
Private renting provides badly needed homes for people vulnerable and low income tenant, especially those claiming benefits. Latest figures showing a total of £9.3bn in housing benefit payments were made to private landlords last year – double the figure a decade ago showing just how much the Government relies on private renting to meet its housing obligations, due to a lack of capacity in the social sector.
Universal Credit, introduced in 2013 and currently being rolled out across the country, is completely transforming the way benefits are paid, with a single payment made directly to the claimant, replacing six different benefits and tax credits. Universal Credit is paid monthly in arrears and direct to the tenant, ending the situation where rent is paid directly to the landlord. This is causing huge problems and deterring landlords from renting to tenants on benefits.
The RLA is now campaigning for reform to make the system work better for landlords and tenants alike.
The RLA is working to get the best deal for landlords with regards to the Government’s controversial Universal Credit scheme.
Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some benefits and tax credits, including income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and – most crucially – housing benefit.
Our main concern is how the housing costs element are being paid, and, in particular, the lack of a right for landlords to insist on direct payments once any arrears reach a set amount - currently set at eight weeks. We are also very concerned about the ways in which landlords will be able to obtain reliable information about the progress of tenants' claims.
We are currently organising meetings with Government officials to discuss Universal Credit.
To visit the RLA’s dedicated Universal Credit web page click here.