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.
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.
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.