Universal credit will lead to an average increase in rent arrears of £180 for each tenant, according to law firm Winckworth Sherwood.
A major shake-up of the benefits system began yesterday with a pilot involving new claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester. Universal credit will merge several benefits and tax credits, including housing benefit, into one monthly payment.
The government's new Universal Credit (UC) system has begun to be rolled-out today, in four North West towns.
The reformed benefit programme will be introduced in four jobcentres in parts of Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne, Wigan and Warrington.
The number of new applicants seeking to rent in March was up 21% from February, with demand outstripping supply as the number of available homes to rent rose only 5%.
According to Sequence – part of Connells – average rents for March were £704, unchanged from February. London rents averaged £1,375, almost twice the national average.
Rent paid in advance does NOT count as a deposit, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
The landmark ruling means that landlords and agents are not obliged to treat rent paid in advance as a deposit which requires protection under the Housing Act 2004.
Housing charity Shelter has reported a surge in demand for its homelessness advice services.
In the last year, the charity has recorded a 40% rise in the numbers of callers in England needing help with housing costs, arrears and other debt issues, while in the last six months, visitors to its online housing costs advice service have doubled.
Edinburgh Council has adopted a ‘no eviction’ policy for tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’.
The local authority agreed that ‘where the director of services for communities was satisfied that tenants who were subject to the under-occupation charge had done all they reasonably could to avoid falling in to arrears, then all legitimate means to collect rent arrears should be utilised except eviction’.
Bedroom tax protestors have hit the homes of Poole councillors with 'eviction notices' and police tape.
Only Conservative members of Borough of Poole Council were targeted in the protest, which is being investigated by the police.
The first four councils to test the government’s new benefit cap have warned they have not received enough money to implement the changes.
Enfield, Croydon, Haringey and Bromley councils on Monday became the first local authorities to implement the £26,000-a-year benefit cap. The councils must identify who is eligible for the cap and administer the new system.
Housing benefit tenants looking for private rental properties have soared over recent months, with demand heavily outstripping supply.
Searches on a specialist website, Dssmove, have increased by 400% in three months for properties in London and the home counties, but demand is also up elsewhere.
Half of landlords do not use agents, new research from an independent marketing consultancy has said.
While other estimates put the proportion of private landlords using agents at 60%, the BDRC Continental Landlords Panel puts it at 50% – suggesting the possibility of significant more growth for agents.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today awarded a £38 million contract to modernise and grow the credit union industry.
The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) is the successful bidder to deliver the DWP’s project, which is designed to help meet the growing demand for modern banking products for people on low incomes.
The government's cap on benefits begins today across four London boroughs.
The cap means that families in Enfield, Haringey, Bromley and Croydon will not be able to claim more than £500 per week, whilst single people will not be able to claim more than £350.
Similarly, over a third (35 percent) of people in England currently receiving council tax benefit said they are not aware that they may be required to pay more or all of their council tax from this April. Over two thirds (68 percent) said that they would have to cut back on heating and food if they had to pay more toward their council tax bill.
Turn2us is running its third annual Benefits Awareness Month campaign this April to encourage people in financial need to check their entitlements and prepare for the significant changes to the benefit system that are coming into effect.
The Post Office is to launch a new current account this spring.
The new service, which the Post Office says will offer customers greater accessibility through the UK’s largest branch network, will initially launch in a small number of branches before a wider roll-out in 2014.
Council tenants in the London Borough of Harrow could receive up to £20,000 to move abroad to help free up much needed housing.
Harrow Council says the cash incentives would only be made to those who were "already considering moving abroad" and it would be "entirely their choice".
Landlords are reminded that as from this week, local authorities now have the discretion to charge full Council Tax on empty properties.
The change affect properties that until now have been given automatic exemptions and discounts, including furnished and unfurnished properties for rent.
Iain Duncan Smith has been delivered a petition signed by over 455,000 people demanding that he live on £53 per week.
The Works and Pensions Secretary claimed last week that he could live on the sum after market trader David Bennet told him it was all he'd be left with after his housing benefit was cut.
The bedroom tax will cost Northern Ireland more to implement than it will save in housing benefit, new figures have revealed.
According to a joint study by the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations (NIFHA) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), though the bedroom tax aims to cut the benefits bill by £17m, it will cost £21m to implement.
The government has underestimated the combined impact of three different benefit cuts coming into effect at once, a think tank has claimed.
The New Policy Institute today publishes a report looking at the impact of the bedroom tax, council tax benefit changes and the overall benefit cap.
A letting agent who failed to protect tenants’ deposits and did not pass rent on to landlords has been jailed. The out-of-pocket victims have been warned they are unlikely to get a penny of their money back.
Paul Collins, 47, who ran Thomas and Company Rentals in Milton Keynes, was sentenced to ten months in prison after pleading guilty to 25 counts of fraud.