Propertymark instrumental in the return of UC forum

The Department for Work and Pensions will recommence the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Universal Credit Engagement Group following Propertymark's continued lobbying.

Universal credit logo.jpg

The important issue of restarting the forum was raised with officials and highlighted by Propertymark to MPs during the evidence session of the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into benefit levels.

Furthermore, following a letter from Propertymark Chief Executive Nathan Emerson to the Secretary of State, Mel Stride, to reopen the forum, the Minister acknowledged the importance, and the first meeting is scheduled for 12 December 2023.  

Positive results 

The forum provides organisations representing agents and landlords an opportunity to engage with the DWP over benefits and welfare in the PRS. The group met regularly with officials before COVID-19, but the meetings lapsed as the UK Government resources concentrated on the pandemic.  

Prior to this, the Private Rented Sector Universal Credit Engagement Group successfully helped to improve the UC47 process (landlord request for direct payments of rent or rent arrears) and influenced the questions that DWP Work Coaches ask claimants regarding their rent and landlord information.

DWP logo
24 Jan 2022
Changes to Universal Credit payments to landlords

The Department for Work and Pensions have confirmed to Propertymark that changes will be made to Universal Credit Rent Arrears Payments so that they will be calculated at the same time as Direct Rent Payments.

We are pleased that the UK Government has listened to our call to reopen engagement with the private rented sector. The experiences of agents and landlords about Universal Credit must be heard by policymakers in order to bring about positive and practical changes that work for everyone.

The Engagement Group is an important forum that previously improved the way direct payments worked and we hope that through re-engaging with the sector we can highlight to the Department for Work and Pensions further areas of reform including unfreezing Local Housing Allowance and suspension of the Shared Accommodation Rate to support claimants and renters.

Timothy Douglas Serious.jpg
Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark