Agent letter evicting UC tenants read out by Corbyn in PMQs

Agent letter evicting UC tenants read out by Corbyn in PMQs

9:03 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago 33

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Jeremy Corbyn used one of his 5 questions to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons PMQs to read out a letter from GAP Property saying it was giving every single one of its Universal Credit (UC) tenants two months’ notice ahead of the roll-out of UC in the area.

The letter said: “GAP Property cannot sustain arrears at the potential levels Universal Credit could create.”

The letter sent to UC tenants by GAP said: “This is an extraordinary event that requires both you and us to take extraordinary measures.”

Corbyn told the PM that the buck stops with Ministers and “Blanket notices of eviction handed to tenants, because of Universal Credit are totally unacceptable, should shock us all and bring shame on this Conservative Government.

“Ministers have been told over and over again that the roll-out of their flagship social security policy is causing debt, hardship and homelessness, and this is further proof of the devastating impact it is having.

“The Tories must immediately pause the roll-out and fix these problems that are turning people’s lives upside down.”

Is it possible to smell a U-turn coming with Theresa May asking to see a copy of the letter?

Although she did attempt to defend UC by indicating that after 4 months the number of tenants claiming UC in arrears had dropped by a third.

How many more big agents and landlords will it take to do the same thing before the penny drops and the government comes to terms with the UC issues that have been reported by Property118 landlords and contributors ever since its inception?


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9:42 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Perhaps Mr Corbyn is seeing an opportunity to attract the wavering conservative landlords. (not that I am saying it would be a good thing for landlords if labour get in)

Robert M

9:49 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

I've just read the letter on Giles Peaker's "Nearly Legal Housing Law" blog. Although Giles Peaker criticises the wording of the letter, he does appear to accept that it is the UC system, and in particular the 6 week waiting period when the tenant has to go without any benefits whatsoever, that is the cause of the problem. He also appears to accept that, whether the letter is worded well of not, it is a rational and understandable response to the situation, as no landlord can sustain a sudden 6 week escalation in rent arrears across a large section of their tenant base.

I don't know how many families being made homeless it will take for the government to come to their senses, stop the 6 weeks with no benefits, and actually start working with private landlords to provide good quality homes, instead of always attacking landlords and imposing additional financial burdens on landlords (which ultimately have to be passed on to the tenants in increased rents). It is time the country woke up and realised the long-term devastation that the government is causing by their housing policies (particularly their constant demonisation of, and attacks on, private landlords).

Luke P

10:38 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 16/11/2017 - 09:49
This is my letter. I am GAP Property. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer 🙂

Monty Bodkin

10:57 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 16/11/2017 - 10:38Well done Luke for getting this raised.
Pity you didn't also mention section 24 as this has been another big factor to my rental ads now saying "No DSS".


11:09 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 16/11/2017 - 10:38
Dear Luke,
I would love to have a chat with you.
Would you give me a call on 02037289937.

Robert M

11:20 AM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 16/11/2017 - 10:38
Hi Luke

Personally I thought the letter was well worded and is simply advising tenants of the impending changes and advising them that they may wish to consider how the rent is going to be paid. I'm not sure what the specific points or wording was that Giles did not like, I guess he just did not like the "blanket" approach of sending s21 notices to all tenants. However, I think sending the letters and notices is a wise precaution in the circumstances. I hope that Giles, and Jeremy Corbin, and anyone else, realise that this is necessitated by the stupid policies of this Government, and that it is not a situation of your making.

Luke P

12:42 PM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

A DWP representative came to our offices before it was sent and made a number of minor amendments, suggestions and the recommendation of the deletion of an irrelevant paragraph on procedural accuracy of the introduction of UC. These were accepted and implemented.

We are the second largest provider of PRS property to HB tenants in the North East Lincolnshire area and although I do know which of my tenants are in receipt of this (locally it is sent direct to LLs upon request), many others receive one or more of the other five benefits that UC affects and these I do not know, so a blanket approach was used. No tenant within the first four months of their fixed term was served notice (only 27…perhaps deononstating that the vast majority are relatively long-term residents) and will receive notice as/when. I cannot sustain six or more week’ arrears across dozens and dozens of properties. I would go out of business. Hoping everything falls into place is not a realistic approach for a business to take. Grimsby is a poor area and many of the tenants do not have the means to pay beyond benefits. I am pre-warning then if what is happening because the LA have yet to have their training and many do not understand UC.

Gary Dully

13:49 PM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

The next attack letter should be Section 24, using Mr Corbyns constituants as an example of rent rises required just to pay the additional Tenant Tax.

He might get an education in how businesses work at the same time.
If he says it, all his MPs will say it as well.

Mick Roberts

14:33 PM, 16th November 2017, About 6 years ago

This Tory Govt han't got a clue,

I've had one girl been with me approx 15 years. She now been transferred to UC.
She now in arrears not having been in arrears in 15 years. What does that tell u?
Please Mr & Mrs Tory Govt, get down on the ground where it is really happening.
Stop keep saying this sh__e, it's getting more people back into work.

Even waiting 4 weeks is too long. Why has the old system been paying every 2 weeks? 'Cause it worked.

NW Landlord

10:29 AM, 18th November 2017, About 6 years ago

I had a tenant move in with just two weeks rent as I felt sorry for her she was a victim of domestic violence and had a young child. She had a job in a shop so paid on time every week. She lost the job and went on UC. We waited 13 weeks no rent as I assumed it would be backdated. They refused and I am now appealing so for me helping someone vunerable in society I get shafted they expect or assume we will pick up the slack they cannot help then refuse to pay welcome to Great Britain I'm ashamed to be British at the minute I really am.

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