Scottish Parliament inquiry into social security support for rented housing.

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    Scottish Parliament inquiry into social security support for rented housing.

    The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee is looking at how the social security system is impacting on tenants and landlords (e.g. Universal Credit, Local Housing Allowance rates). The Committee would like to hear from landlords and tenants in response to any of the following questions:
    1. Have UK welfare reforms (for example the shift to Universal Credit, the benefit freeze and the benefit cap) impacted on private landlords’ willingness to let to those in receipt of social security benefits? If so, in what way and why.
    2. How has the administration of Universal Credit Housing Costs affected landlords? Has it made things easier or created difficulties? (for example, impact on rent arrears, communication between landlords and the DWP)
    3. How do Universal Credit Scottish Choices and Discretionary Housing Payments impact on the way landlords and tenants handle Universal Credit housing costs?
    4. What improvements could be made to reserved or devolved social security systems to address any of the problems identified above?
    If you have any views, please post them below and they will feed into the Committee’s call for evidence. The consultation is open until Monday 18 March.

    More information about the inquiry can be found on the Committee's web page.

    1 Yes definitely there is a reluctance to take housing benefit tenants.
    2 I don't have much experience of Universal credit sorry.
    3 As above
    4 The main negative issues I have experienced are:

    a) It is very difficult to keep track of a system when rent is charged monthly, paid 4 weekly in arrears and tenants are topping up payments. Even software struggles to work out how much is due.
    b) If a tenant has lied about their Income then money can be clawed back from payments made to the Landlord and the Landlord left with the responsibility of chasing monies.
    c) When a tenant moves properties it is normal that there payments stop on the date they move out however this is rarely the lease end date and whilst it is possible to get a double payment most tenants don't apply.
    d) Payments can be frozen if a tenant hasn't kept the council up to date and if something happens to the tenant before the payments are unfrozen then payments are not made.

    I would get rid of the 4 weekly payments and move them to monthly.
    Ensure that payments are made up to the end of the lease.
    Stop clawbacks from the landlord.

    I don't know what I would do about payments being frozen when information is not provided by the tenant.


      Thank you for contributing to the Committee’s inquiry.

      The Committee held its first meeting on 21 March and heard evidence from John Blackwood (The Scottish Association of Landlords), Homes for Good and the City of Edinburgh Council. You can watch the Committee meeting on Parliament TV.

      Although the formal call for views has closed, you can still submit your views in this forum.
      1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether to take items 4 and 5 in private. 2. Social Security Support for Housing: The…


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