A Lincolnshire property company has threatened all of its tenants with eviction if they fail to pay their rent because of delays in receiving universal credit payments, sending all tenants pre-emptive notices ahead of the rollout of the welfare reform.
The letter from GAP Property in Grimsby was highlighted by Jeremy Corbyn in his weekly clash with Theresa May at prime minister’s questions. Corbyn said tenants of the property management company faced the prospect of being made homeless before Christmas. May said she would look into the “particular case” raised by the Labour leader.
GAP Property said the changes would affect the vast majority of its tenants and it needed to take action to avoid a slew of rent arrears.
Universal credit is due to be rolled out across north-east Lincolnshire from 13 December and new applicants will have a minimum six-week wait for their first payments, though many have reported longer delays.
What is universal credit?
Universal credit is the supposed flagship reform of the benefits system, rolling together six benefits (including unemployment benefit, tax credits and housing benefit) into one, online-only system. The theoretical aim, for which there was general support across the political divide, was to simplify the benefits system and increase the incentives for people to work, rather than stay on benefits.