The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has unveiled an online system that will replace the paper-based method for landlords and lettings agents applying to receive direct payments from tenants on Universal Credit.
Previously, landlords and lettings agents who wish to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to them, have to download and complete the UC47 form from GOV.UK.
But following a trial last year run by Caridon Landlord Solutions, an online system has been launched that promises to reduce the processing time down from in excess of three weeks to just two hours in some cases.
Sherrelle Collman, managing director of Caridon Landlord Solutions, said: “This is excellent news for landlords and tenants, as well as all those new claimants who have recently been forced to sign up to Universal Credit due to Covid-19.
“For those struggling to manage their finances, it provides a much simpler route for tenants and landlords to request that the housing element of Universal Credit is paid directly to their landlord.
“The old paper forms, which required landlords to fill out, scan and email or post back, were not only time consuming but also took weeks process, sometimes getting lost along the way with rent arrears simultaneously mounting up.
“Given how stretched DWP’s resources are as a result of the pandemic, it is fantastic that they have managed to launch this important improvement to the system which will help those struggling to manage their finances.”