Pace works with UK Government on Universal Credit improvement initiatives

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has established two working parties with the specific aim of understanding and improving the issues around Universal Credit; the first group is for social landlords, the second solely for private sector landlords.

Representing the South East

Our very own Martin Ransom (pictured) has been invited to represent the South East, as a member of the Private Landlords group.  This working party is made up of senior members of the DWP along with influential representatives from the main industry trade organisations namely the RLA, NLA, ELA, Property Mark and Safeagent and a small number of Letting Agents who have a substantial number of tenants in receipt of benefits.

Three national initiatives so far

The group meets quarterly to discuss common problems landlords have encountered with Universal Credit and outline possible process improvements.  So far, the group have worked on three specific initiatives;

The first, an online system to administer payments directly to landlords.  It is hoped this will go live this year and is currently in the final security testing stages.

The second, a project to develop an explainer video aimed at private landlords which is now live on government site and can be viewed here;

The third, to produce a ‘myth-busting’ leaflet addressing some of the historic issues surrounding Universal Credit.  A copy is available to download here.

Progress at a local level

As a result of Martin’s work with the DWP, he is now in discussions with the local Job Centre to develop a program for tenants who have specific needs and require assistance with their Universal Credit claims.  This ranges from issues such as lack of online access, to helping tenants with learning difficulties understand and complete application forms in person.  It is hoped that Pace will be part of a pilot scheme along with a number of other SEAL landlords.

We are very proud of the work Martin in doing at a national and local level and applaud his dedication to help drive improvements in the private rented sector.

Martin Ransom is Office Manager at Pace, an independent Southend on Sea Letting Agent.

With nearly 25 years experience in the property industry, Martin is well placed in his role as Branch Manager for Pace.

After joining the business in 2010 Martin took it upon himself to foster excellent customer service among the team and this continues to position Pace as a leader in its field today.