In reaction to headlines about landlords banning benefits tenants, Rentify previously posted about how this could backfire. But first and foremost, it is important that landlords fully understand Universal Credit so that they can make a informed decisions on how to approach those tenants who will be claiming it. A recent survey has suggested such an understanding is far from widespread. Makeurmove.co.uk found that 40% of landlords have heard of Universal Credit, but are unsure about the details. Only 27% said they fully understand the forthcoming changes (perhaps not actually that bad given that even many MPs have been left with unanswered questions.
Whatever the criticisms of how Universal Credit is being handled, it is important to remember that there is a while to go until it is implemented nationwide (most will not be affected until 2016-2017). The delays, while hardly helping confidence, should at least give people more time to learn about what it entails. Landlords can have an active role in helping to spread understanding amongst their tenants as the NLA recently found that 50% of tenants do not know the details and a worrying one-in-five had not even heard of Universal Credit. Of course, it is the job of government and councils to make sure people are aware of the reforms. However, if landlords help their own tenants now, not only will they reduce the risk of a chaotic and damaging changeover period later down the line, they may also do a lot of good for their local reputation as well as the sector’s reputation as a whole. Rentify will be doing all we can to help you stay informed about the developments. Keep an eye on the blog. A run-down of the key details for landlords will be coming soon!