Tory MPs say the housing element of Universal Credit should be paid direct to private landlords.

Speaking earlier this week, Work and Pensions Minister, Damian Hinds said arrangements were in place for over a third of tenants in the social rented sector under Universal Credit right now.

"It is available for vulnerable claimants and for those whom that arrangement is important,” he said.

But Kevin Hollinrake MP said more needed to be done to let private landlords know that they can apply for direct payments.

He said the government should make more people aware that "rent can be paid directly to the landlords in the social housing and private rented sectors and to have more training and ownership for the people who work to deliver these benefits.”

Peter Aldous MP said that in order to make universal credit "truly flexible and personalised but also fair," it was necessary to ensure that "first payments are made far more quickly and that private sector landlords can set up alternative payment arrangements on the same basis as social landlords.”

The Minister said: “We are continuing to improve processes, and that includes my hon. Friend’s point about ensuring that alternative payment arrangements in the private rented sector work as well as they can.”

Alex Huntley, Head of Operations at Simple Landlords Insurance said: “It’s great to see the government listening to the very real concerns of landlords - and tenants. But we do know that some landlords are still struggling to set up direct payments - even when they and their tenants have requested that support. The system has to be improved before it continues to impact on landlords’ collection arrangements, rental incomes, arrears control - and the lives of their vulnerable tenants.”