Currently viewing the tag: "Housing costs"
Uncertainty Remains Over Recovery Of Universal Credit Rent Arrears

Uncertainty Remains Over Recovery Of Universal Credit Rent Arrears

The UK Government are to introduce a mechanism to automatically recover rent arrears, alongside the direct payment of housing benefit to tenants.

Details released last week by the government explained that under the welfare reforms landlords will now be able to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to request Universal Credit benefits designed to cover housing costs of tenants are paid to them once a prescribed level of rent arrears have been reached.

At this point the DWP will recover the arrears by docking universal credit payments to tenants.

In its response to a Communities and Local Government (CLG) select committee report on the implementation of universal credit, the government says deductions can be up to 5% under existing legislation, but the government are considering whether this level of deduction is appropriate for tenants claiming universal credit, or if it should be increased in the future.

Under the new universal credit scheme, which is being rolled out nationally in the UK from autumn 2013, a range of benefits, including Housing Benefit (HB) or Local Housing Allowance (LHA), will be combined into a single monthly payment termed “Universal Credit”.

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UK Has 3rd Highest Housing Costs In Europe

UK Has 3rd Highest Housing Costs In Europe

New data released by the European Union has been highlighted by the housing and homeless charity Shelter, showing that the UK is the third worst off country in Europe when it comes to housing costs behind Denmark and Greece.

The EU says that 16.5% of people in the UK are financially burdened by housing costs, spending more than 40% of their income on rent or mortgage payments and other property related expenses.

Chief Executive of Shelter, Campbell Robb, said: “These figures are the evidence that the UK housing market is deeply dysfunctional. With so many families spending huge amounts of their income on their rent or mortgage, people will be making daily trade-offs between food bills, filling the car tank with petrol, and paying their housing costs. And this is not set to get better any time soon. While the situation is bleak at the moment, a succession of governments failing to provide much-needed affordable homes means that the future facing our children and our children’s children is only set to get worse. Housing is the largest monthly cost for most people, yet the affordability of housing is not getting the same attention as the monthly costs of other essentials such as food or fuel. We believe all political parties must recognise that solving our housing crisis is as fundamental as health and education.”

Landlords of Buy-To-Let properties are urged to set realistic rental prices for their properties but even they have high running costs to pay for as well as the mortgage.

However, Private Rented Sector (PRS) landlords are in a position to help struggling tenants by offering them a safety net when it comes to being able to pay the rent.

Rent Guarantee Insurance offered by Legal 4 Landlords can ensure that the rental income can continue to be paid should the tenants financial or employment circumstances change.

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