Rent Arrears & Universal Credit

10th March 2020

The Evictions (Universal Credit) Bill had its first reading on 10 February 2020 with its second reading now scheduled for 27 November 2020. The purpose of the Bill is to prevent landlords from evicting tenants who are in arrears due to Universal Credit.

Eviction rates amongst those who are on Universal Credit are three times higher than the average and the average amount towed is over £100 more then those not on Universal Credit and the cause of these arrears are often not the fault of the tenants but a slow benefits system.

So where does that leave landlords?

Whilst this is unlikely to become legislation until some time in 2021, landlord’s who have tenants on Universal Credit are likely to face the Courts being more generous with eviction timescales and should plan for the tenant may have up to 42 days (maximum by law) to leave the property before they can even instruct.

When the new legislation comes into effect it is unlikely to affect any existing claims, but new claims are likely to either be delayed or even prevented for being brought.

Burtons will be keeping an eye on this new legislation and will provide updates as and when changes come into effect. If you have a tenant who owes you rent already and wish to discuss your options, then please contact our Landlord & Tenant Team on 01892 824 577 or on