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Is your tenant now claiming universal credit?

Today I want to talk about a number of changes in recent weeks to the Universal Credit system and how this may affect you as a landlord.

I have previously discussed other positive changes in the letting industry as a result of the impact of Covid-19.  The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimates that claims for Universal Credit in Scotland have risen by 856,500 last month.

All Landlords will need to familiarise themselves with the new system.  Many tenants, although still employed will now be eligible for unemployment related benefit support and maybe claiming Universal Credit.

In direct response to the current pandemic, the government has made enhancements to Universal Credit.  For the next twelve months, the standard allowance will be increased by £1000 a year, which roughly equates to an additional £80 per month, this is the first time any increase has been made since 2015.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced a new system, designed primarily to cut out processing time, by more than 3 weeks, but it also allows a simpler route for tenants and landlords to ensure the “housing element” of their Universal Credit is paid directly to their landlords.  The new system replaces the previous 2 UC47 forms for Alternative Payment Arrangements.

The information and opinions contained in this blog are for information only. They are not intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon or considered as a replacement for advice. Before acting on any of the information contained in this blog, please seek specific advice from Gilson Gray.

 

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