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ARLA Propertymark responds to Scottish Government consultation on Universal Credit changes

Thursday 16 March 2017

ARLA Propertymark has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on changes to Universal Credit. The proposals would allow Universal Credit applicants in Scotland to receive payments twice monthly, with those on managed payments having the option of their rent being paid directly to their landlord.

In January, Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman introduced the consultation on the Universal Credit (Claims and Payments) (Scotland) Regulations following the devolution of powers to make such regulations by the Scotland Act 2016. The UK’s Department of Work and Pensions retains overall control over Universal Credit.

ARLA Propertymark believes that the draft regulations will help tenants to budget and assist landlords to manage rental income. However, in order for the regulations to be effective, it is essential that claimants receive appropriate communication so they understand the timescales involved and can plan accordingly. The regulations should also include how a claimant can appeal if the managed payments or more frequent payments options are refused.

ARLA Propertymark welcomes the Scottish Government’s approach to allow greater flexibility for Universal Credit claimants. It is vital that people on Universal Credit are prevented from falling into rent arrears and claimants can continue to use the private rented sector as a viable housing option.

Read our response to the consultation