DWP to reopen forum for agents and landlords

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

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.

Before this, the Private Rented Sector Universal Credit Engagement Group had 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 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 secretary of state Mel Stride urging the reopening of the forum, the minister acknowledged the importance of the group.

The first meeting of the reopened forum is now scheduled for 12 December 2023.


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