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Poll reveals damage of benefit cuts to renters

Almost one in ten private landlords renting to Universal Credit claimants have experienced at least one tenant having difficulties paying their rent due to benefit cuts. In October last year the Government cut Universal Credit by £20 a week following a temporary increase in response to the pandemic. 

Following this announcement, a new YouGov poll of private landlords across England and Wales for the National Residential Landlords Association shows the extent of the cut’s impact on tenants in receipt of benefits. Of those landlords who were either currently letting to a Universal Credit claimant, or who had done so last year, 9% reported having at least one tenant experiencing difficulties as a result of the cut. 

According to official statistics, of those private rented households in England and Wales receiving support through Universal Credit to pay their rent, 55% had a gap between the support they received and their rent payments. 

The NRLA is warning that this will only become worse as a result of the Government’s decision last year to freeze in cash terms housing cost support. As a result, in the years ahead the level of benefit support available will be able to cover the rent on ever fewer numbers of properties.

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