Latest News

Regulations on local lockdown published

03 July 2020

The UK Government has published Regulations for Leicester which clarify that agents do not need to cease viewings or close branches in areas of local lockdown. Read More...

Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill no longer proceeding

03 July 2020

The Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill that was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 1 June 2020, with the aim of controlling rent levels for Private Residential Tenancies has not been advanced to Stage 1 consideration. Read More...

Guidance launched to tackle COVID-19 rent arrears

03 July 2020

ARLA Propertymark has joined forces with other leading organisations from across the housing sector to support tenants and landlords facing rent arrears as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Read More...

Universal Credit system on the horizon to improve direct payment to landlords

Thursday 06 June 2019

A Croydon-based software company says payment times will be cut from weeks to two days after the launch of their new system later this year in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

ARLA Propertymark has long campaigned for letting agents and landlords to be directly paid their tenant’s housing costs for Universal Credit. Currently, the Alternative Payment Arrangements System must be applied for by the landlord where it can be proven that the tenant has trouble paying their rent. This is called a Managed Payment to Landlord, and they are dealt with by the DWP on a ‘case by case’ basis.

However, a new online system seems to be on the horizon which will enable private landlords to be paid rent from tenants in receipt of Universal Credit in as little as two hours, instead of the usual three weeks. This initiative is set be launched later this year. The launch will follow an extended pilot of the platform,

The system replaces the current UC47 forms landlords have had to fill in to redirect payments to their bank accounts via the Alternative Payment Arrangement System, rather than those of their tenants.

Caridon Landlord Solutions, which works with private landlords, letting agents and housing associations to help them recover DWP payments due to them, says the UC47 forms have been the main cause of problems with Universal Credit within the Private Rented Sector.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Landlords Solutions said: “We have been working with DWP to develop an agile online system, making suggestions for adjustments to ensure it is as user friendly and efficient as possible.

“Landlords are now receiving confirmation of direct payments within 48 hours which is such an incredible improvement.”

What Propertymark is doing

ARLA Propertymark is currently in discussion with Harrogate Job Centre, which will be piloting ‘managed migration’ for recipients still on the legacy benefits system. A group of no more than 100 recipients will be the first of existing claimants to be moved onto Universal Credit. The pilot begins from 17 July.

Read more

Although processes for Universal Credit are slightly different in Scotland, due to Scottish choices allowing direct payment to landlord and different frequencies of payment, ARLA Propertymark discussed Universal Credit in the Scottish private rented sector in response to the Social Security Committee. We argued that delayed payments to recipients, and in turn landlords must be remedied. We also highlighted our support for the Scottish Government’s introduction of Scottish Choices for Universal Credit.

Read the response

Propertymark resources

ARLA Propertymark members have access to the Universal Credit and Private Rented Housing Fact Sheets, one applies for England and Wales and the other for Scotland. Members can download these by logging into the members area.