73% of Universal Credit Housing Association tenants in arrears!

by Property 118

10:17 AM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

73% of Universal Credit Housing Association tenants in arrears!

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73% of Universal Credit Housing Association tenants in arrears!

A staggering 73% of Universal Credit (UC) tenants that rent from Housing Associations are in arrears compared to only 29% not on UC. No wonder 62% of private landlords are unwilling to let to UC claimants.

These figures have been collated by Sky News using figures from the National Housing Federation for their Line 18 investigation into welfare.

43 Housing associations were surveyed and one said that 90% of UC tenants were in arrears.

The RLA and Pearl survey showed that in the last year nearly a third of UC tenants renting privately were evicted by landlords and 77% of these evictions were for rent arrears.

The RLA said: “We understand the Government’s objective to promote and encourage financial responsibility, but we continue to believe that tenants receiving UC know better than the Government what is in their own financial interest.

“For many, opting to have payments made directly to their landlords would be the financially responsible thing to do. They then have the security of knowing that their rent is paid and can budget for the rest of their money accordingly.

“We strongly believe that all tenants should be given the right to choose direct payment to the landlord and be trusted to make such decisions themselves, as they now are in Scotland.”

The Department of Work and Pensions told Sky News: “The best way to help a person pay their rent is to help them find work, and Universal Credit is succeeding at getting people into work faster, and helping them stay in work longer. Our research shows that many people join Universal Credit with pre-existing arrears, but the proportion of people with arrears falls by a third after four months.

“We have made a number of improvements already, including making 100% advance payments, including housing costs, available from day one, and introducing two weeks additional rent payment for people joining UC from Housing Benefit.

“Landlords can also apply to have rent paid directly to them if their tenants are in arrears.”

The government seem to be ploughing on regardless of feedback, especially from Landlords, and the number of people on UC is set to double this year alone.



Comments

Mick Roberts

11:16 AM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

They made all these mistakes when they switched from HB to LHA in 2008. When the Govt were determined to pay tenants direct. To cheese Landlords off as usual I wonder?
And then approx 2012 2013, the local HB staff could see too many evictions and problems, so they made it much easier to pay Landlord. Oh they in arrears are they, just send us quick email to say that and we'll pay u Landlord IMMEDIATELY.
Whereas before, No they must spend a bit more on cocaine and holidays first to get ALL THE 8 WEEKS IN ARREARS.
So if HB staff who's been doing it years know the answer, why don't DWP listen?
And where do they get this craving of 8 weeks? Who invented it someone called Mr 8 Weeks?
Why oh WHY if they've not paid u the first lot after 2 weeks one month etc., why let it mount up even further debt?
A 5 year old could run it better. Mummy why they still paying u when u spent the last lot on cigarettes? Or Sky TV? We now going to have no home soon.
You couldn't make it up.

Monty Bodkin

12:45 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 24/04/2018 - 11:16
"And where do they get this craving of 8 weeks? Who invented it someone called Mr 8 Weeks?"

Ha ha! Call me cynical but I reckon it is cos of mandatory possession ground 8;

Both at the date of the service of the notice under section 8 of this Act relating to the proceedings for possession and at the date of the hearing—
(a) if rent is payable weekly or fortnightly, at least eight weeks’ rent is unpaid

Luke P

12:52 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 24/04/2018 - 11:16
The big difference between LHA (council) staff that realised, was that the local staff, who are obligated to deal with local homelessness also saw the impact, locally, of not paying LLs direct and quickly changed things up (so to meet their obligations on housing people). Now, the centralised DWP deal with it, but also don't have a direct obligation to house people. If the DWP cock it up, the local council will have to pick up the pieces.

Essentially, this time, those causing the problem are not the ones who have a duty to deal with the fall-out.

Rod

16:21 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Let's not forget, some cute tenants realise that delays with U.C. can work in their favour e.g. not paying the rent 'on' then move on! I've said it before, the gov' can also be quite cute e.g. 'no rent paid 'on'= eviction = no H.B payouts = gov' saving money' !!! ???

Mick Roberts

16:32 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 24/04/2018 - 12:52
Yes, it's the same non-joined up thinking from DWP to local council.
But we all know the homeless cost eventually comes from taxpayers at the bottom.

Us lot on these forums could potentially solve 50% of the homeless Housing crisis.

Those at top won't listen to us mere mortals though, us that house hundreds of thousands starting from zero budgets and regulation fighting us all the way. What do we know eh.

Sam Addison

17:55 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Of course 'the proportion of people with arrears falls by a third after four months.' They get evicted and the landlord has no chance of recovering the arrears so tenant now has no arrears!

Mick Roberts

19:31 PM, 24th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sam Addison at 24/04/2018 - 17:55That's good point.
When I'd move a tenant from one house to another, I used to have some battles as the LHA HB staff would say we need proof of arrears, u can't have any, she's just moved in. I'd say arrears last house. And if one council to neighboring council, they'd say No can't be arrears, u wouldn't move her again with u.
Two things there, they never used to share info.
And yeah to the new council they don't have arrears any more.
And I'd move her again cause I now want to keep them as get direct payment forever instead of starting all over again with new tenant to accrue another new 8 weeks of arrears.

So is this how UC are keeping their records? No arrears any more as their last house off the system? Hmm..

sam

7:28 AM, 25th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Does anybody understand the rationale why DWP does not pay rent direct to LLs right from the outset as a matter of policy ? It wud save everybody, themselves included, a whole lot of grief n save a whole lot of hassle, time n money.

Luke P

9:31 AM, 25th April 2018
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 25/04/2018 - 07:28
MPs have thought about it based on their own circumstance (not the same world in which tenants live), in that if they lost their job or fell on hard times, they (as an ex-MP) would like to think that the benefits system would pick up where their salary left off (albeit less money) and all of their direct debits and standing orders would continue as normal. They'd still get a single monthly payment into their account, just as they did when they were employed and they are fully in control of their money without anyone having a say (except the council tax allowance portion...that goes direct to the local authority -can't risk tenants spending that on booze & fags). Except in the real world tenants don't live a perfect life like that. They can't handle large chunks of money. They don't have bank accounts/direct debits. They can't budget for a full month. If they're desperate, even knowing they shouldn't spend their rent money, giving it to them is too much temptation.

Essentially, the people who created this system neither live in the world that the people that will 'benefit' from it do and have no experience of the way tenants live like LLs do.

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