The Department for Work and Pensions has published a guidebook for landlords to help them prepare for the roll-out of Universal Credit.
The change to benefits will see housing benefit paid to tenants as part of a single monthly payment, rather than directly to landlords.
The pilots have so far seen a huge spike in arrears, especially early in the scheme’s introduction, with research this summer showing 86% of council tenants in receipt of the benefit were in arrears.
The guidance, published today, says: “Social landlords may need to look at how and when they collect their rent, and the level of support some tenants will need to make the transition to a single, direct monthly payment.”
It adds that landlords can prepare for Universal Credit’s introduction by:
The guidance is available here.