DWP report: 16% of ‘universal credit renters’ in arrears after three months

28 October 2014

The DWP universal credit ‘Pathfinder Evaluation’ report has found that sixteen percent of universal credit (UC) claimants who rent a property found themselves in arrears after three months of claiming the new benefit.

The report focuses on the UC claimant experience in the pathfinder areas. It only focuses on initial eligibility criteria of single, unemployed, non-home owning claimants without any children.

The majority of the research was carried out in the form a telephone survey of 900 claimants carried out in three stages – looking at their first impressions, and experiences at three then six months.At the three month stage, the report reveals that 16% of ‘UC renters’ were in arrears, reducing to 12% at six months.

The research suggests that rent arrears under UC increase initially, but payment patterms improve considerably by the end of 12 months.