Opinions on taking a tenant with UC?

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    Opinions on taking a tenant with UC?


    Just about to start looking for a new tenant after we had our fingers burnt. Previous tenant wasn’t on any benefits - was working when they first moved in etc.

    A few tenants interested are claiming universal credit - there’s no contractual reason I can’t accept someone claiming anything etc.

    Just looking for people’s opinion from experience?

    thanks :-)

    My experience? Tenant never paid any rent, and I had to wait two months and claim direct from council. Never again!


      It can depend on if UC their only income, and how long the prospective tenant has been on UC.

      There are going to be a lot of working people claiming some UC, it replaces six 'legacy' benefits and not just Jobseekers Allowance.

      New claims for UC are slow to set up and pay which is where most of the current problems are coming from. Someone already on UC will not have the same problems.

      The big issue with rent is that UC pays it a month in arrears, whereas most landlords want a month in advance.
      So when an existing tenant migrates to UC it can leave an 2 month void between paying in advance and getting money off UC to be paid in arrears.

      PS. Universal Credit is administered by the DWP, nothing to do with the Council they do Housing Benefit which you can only make a new claim for now in special circumstances.


        Perhaps with a Guarantor?


          I'd check with the previous LL to see how they got on with their tenant been on UC. That should give a good guide on how their finances have been previously.


            Thanks all :-)

            I think on balance sadly I don’t think I can take the increased risk.


              You do need to take a look at their circumsatnces as a whole, and not just decline because of UC.

              For instance a couple, both working, with a child may well be claiming UC for that child.
              In that case the UC has replaced the old Child Tax Credit.

              Even without a child they may be claiming UC that has replaced Working Tax Credits.

              Would you currently refuse a prospective working tenant who has CTC or WTC?
              Most landlords would not even consider those as 'benefits', but when they get migrated to become UC they are suddenly seen differently by the landlord.
              Nothing has really changed for the (prospective) tenant, they are still earning the same wages as before.
              It's simply the landlords perception of UC as opposed to those legacy benefits.

              Landlords are going to have to get used to the idea that someone having UC does not always mean that they are not working.
              If you have a blanket ban on renting to those with UC then all you are doing is restricting your potential market of working tenants.

              Of course if UC is their only income then that's a different matter.


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