Blog: Consultation on Universal Credit regulations

John Blackwood
John Blackwood

Private landlords representative John Blackwood encourages people to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Universal Credit regulations.

The Scottish Government announced in January it would use the new social security powers coming to Scotland to give Universal Credit claimants:

  • the option of increasing the frequency of their benefit payments from monthly to twice a month to help them manage their finances; and
  • give tenants both in the social sector and the private rented sector the option of having the housing element of their UC paid directly to their landlord.
  • Universal Credit remains a reserved benefit however the use of these new flexibilities by the Scottish Government means Universal Credit payments in Scotland are to become more frequent and adaptable which will be good for both tenants and landlords.

    The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) welcome both of these new flexibilities, in particular the extension of choice of direct payments to landlords for tenants in the private sector of the housing element of Universal Credit which we have long campaigned for.

    This move should help protect tenancies and minimise rent arrears which will benefit both the tenant and the landlord. And it is only fair that private sector tenants have the same option to choose direct payments as tenants in the social sector.

    A consultation is taking place on the draft legislation and we would encourage people to respond and in particular to support the rights of tenants in the Private Rented Sector to choose to have the housing cost element of their benefits paid directly to their private landlord.

    The deadline for responses to the Consultation on Universal Credit is 13th March 2017.

    • John Blackwood is chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords
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