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14th April 2021

Universal Credit - NRLA News

This week Universal Credit have announced that they are improving their services to assist landlords and tenants with direct rent payments. Universal Credit is paid to those who are eligible - and this payment generally includes an amount to cover housing dependant on the circumstances, however generally the recipient is responsible for how this is managed.


If in a position of financial vulnerability or considered financially 'at risk' Universal Credit claimants can apply for a 'managed payment to landlord' as 1 of 3 types of alternative payment arrangement (APA). Landlords are able to request an APA to be put in place for their tenant as well as the claimant themselves at any point during the Universal Credit claim. There is also now a much more simple online system which can be used to apply for direct rent payments which replaces the previous postal & email services.


This should be a huge incentive for developers to purchase and renovate in areas of economic struggle and able them to support their tenants from facing financial difficulties in the current tough climate.


Property Problems - Property Wire

'Lack of speed' has been highlighted as the number one stumbling block in property transactions. 5,000 UK-based agents were polled a study that confirmed their number one pet peeve was the sluggish nature of the transaction.


Over 40% of respondents also stated 'lack of control' as a huge problem, putting this in second place. However, most surprisingly, of all respondents almost 50% stated that revenue generation was the least important when assessing improvement priorities. 59% of buyers and 51% of sellers found the sale/purchase process longer than expected. 34% of buyers and 31% of sellers chose 'speed of service' as something that could be improved upon.


Finally, the thing I found the most shocking from the article posted by Property wire was that the average transaction lead times have almost quadrupled in little over 20 years! These have gone from 6 weeks in the early 2000s to 20-22 weeks on average in 2021.


Sources:

https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/minister-blog-universal-credit-and-direct-payments-of-rent

https://www.propertywire.com/company-news/landbay-increases-flexibility-lowers-rates/

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