Universal Credit in Great Yarmouth: 'This is the worst place they could've chosen'
Universal credit is the biggest threat to landlords and tenants in 25 years, according to the chairman of the Eastern Landlords Association.
Paul Cunningham, who rents several properties in Yarmouth, had to evict one tenant because of delays by the DWP paying universal credit.
He said the delays are hitting the most vulnerable tenants the hardest.
“This was the worst place you could pick (to test it),” he said. “It’s one of the most deprived boroughs in the country and people rely on seasonal labour so there’s a huge influx in September of people signing on.
“I’ve been a landlord for 25 years and this is the biggest threat in that time to both tenants and smaller landlords,” he said.
Mr Cunningham predicted smaller landlords could go under as they would not be able to keep up with mortgage payments when tenants fell into rent arrears.
He said it was currently taking eight weeks if everything ran smoothly between someone making a claim for universal credit and receiving money.
He evicted one tenant of five years two weeks ago who was more than £1,000 in arrears and blamed the DWP for a wait of 20 weeks for a tenant to get the credit.