by Mick Roberts
10:04 AM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago 28
Benefit tenants, I’m sorry, I now have to refuse & discriminate against you if you have Mental Health problems too. And urge all other Landlords to do so too.
A strong statement here, I cannot and urge you all to not take Mental Health Benefit tenants. We can’t get help for Mental Health tenants from DWP UC to get any rent paid at all. And I’ve taken Mentally ill tenants for 24 years. Not any more.
Here’s a snippet of two problems I’ve had this week.
I’ve sold a house and DWP Universal Credit are still paying me the Rent Housing Element for my old house. The old tenant & DWP give us no way of notifying them. Except to ring a phone number which takes an hour to answer, won’t talk to Landlords and then cuts us off.
You have a legal obligation to inform us immediately when you cease to hold an Assured Tenancy with a UC claimant, where a Managed Payment to Landlord is in force. Therefore, can you please provide the full name and address of this former tenant, so we can stop any further payment of Housing Element going to you, as you are no longer entitled to these monies.
Why do you think I have asked in the first place? How do we Landlords tell you?
I am asking for an email address for Landlords to tell UC we have sold a house.
My second problem this week is I’ve had an 80-year-old tenant die, his 56-year-old son with Mental Health Problems wants to take over the house, however, I cannot get anyone at UC to talk to me to go this solved to start setting up rent payments.
DWP saying this person has complex Mental Health needs, then she says she wants me to give her his number to ring him, so she can pay this unstable person a month’s rent. Crackers or what. The tenant is already in arrears, yet then she tells me she wants to pay his rent direct to him. You couldn’t make this up.
From DWP experienced Mental Health expert:
Firstly, are you able to provide me with a contact number for XXXX as in the first instance I need to speak to him and arrange for him to come into the jobcentre so that I can assist with making his claim for Universal Credit. XXXX has a number of complex mental health needs.
Are you able to provide XXXX with a tenancy agreement in his name solely? We would need this in order to verify housing costs. If you want to send it directly to me with your signature I can ask XXXX to sign this when he comes into the jobcentre.
As per your email, once we set up a claim for Universal Credit I can ask the Case Manager to look at paying the rent from 01/04/2021. Once we are able to get XXXX in the jobcentre the claim will be set up the same day and he can take an advance to cover the rent.
XXXX Service Delivery Coach | Mental health and Wellbeing Lead | Mental Health First Aider
You mention giving him Advance to pay the rent. Surely you’re not thinking of paying someone with complex mental health needs the rent money direct are you? When he’s already in arrears?
The tenancy agreement, I am reluctant to do this, as UC DWP fail to realise even though we keep telling ‘em tenant doesn’t need a new tenancy, as giving tenant new current dated tenancy then entwines us both into new current laws/rules where Landlord can never get his house back. Another reason why so many UC tenants can’t get a house.
I can if need be, provide you with a current Rent proof that supersedes tenancies. XXXX has to sign tenancy in front of me.
I’m still waiting for a Bulwell Nottingham case manager to backdate another claim of mine from 2.10.20 & still not heard anything 6 months later, so I have little confidence in UC case managers backdating. And this is one XXXX Bulwell manager knows about how we proved UC made some serious errors.
I say I’ve rung him loads of times, been round, wife been round, & rang Council Homeless while with him, I’ve emailed u lot lots of times, cost me 20 hours last few days, what have u lot done?
She says she will ring the Police for his welfare. Gees that ain’t helping him solve his rent & homeless problem. Solve that & we don’t have a welfare problem.
SO DWP rang Met Police. Police rang me & said why has DWP rang Met Police? I say Exactly why? And the Police thought I was the Mental Health tenant, cause DWP gave them my number thinking I was a tenant.
So 2+ weeks in & we no closer to getting this vulnerable tenant rent paid & not being homeless.
If this was HB, I could have solved in 1 day.
Bill Irvine, UC expert & trainer to Landlords has done a video about the mess DWP is in, the direct payments we all suffering from not getting or not getting any replies from DWP. The link to the interview is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sMXmnhHpwQ
He also promoted his new advice & training website, which focuses on Universal Credit, from the perspective of PRS landlords and letting agents. Bill’s retained by the NRLA as its UC consultant and continues to provide advice and support to its members. However, on the training and consultancy front, he aims to offer landlords/agents a more 1-2-1 experience by keeping numbers of participants low and rates very affordable.
The new site https://universalcreditacademy.com/ compliments his main site www.ucadvice.co.uk of which I’m a member, and receive his regular bulletins.
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