Benefit tenants, I am sorry!

Benefit tenants, I am sorry!

10:04 AM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago 28

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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.

From DWP:
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.

From Me:
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

From Me:
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.



Comments

by reader

11:59 AM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Dear Mick,

Sadly you are experiencing similar problems in the care of mentally ill tenants. I can assure you that the local care services and my local council are equally inept and will not try and engage with a tenant unless he asks for help. The guy just lies on his bed, does not use any electricity including all winter and is surrounded by his rubbish which plies up around and over him. He refuses all forms of communication. We broke in once when there was a major flood from his flat so know the conditions inside.

The council will not become involved in any shape or form unless he has been served notice and is homeless. Social services will not help unless he is in trouble, probably with the police.

You have to feel sorry for such sick people and try and help, but it is impossible no one will. There are two charities that might help but each require some form of engagement from the tenant. Try, Disability Coalition and Christians Against Poverty.

The physically sick get an ambulance the mentally ill get the police. As much as some landlords try and help sick tenants nobody genuinely cares for these people, even when as caring human beings landlords try.

by Trapped Landlord

13:30 PM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Given that universal credit isn't fit for purpose and the society we live in has a relentless vendetta for private landlords, I have come to the conclusion that anyone who is ' vulnerable ', i.e. with mental health problems , low income , domestic violence runaways would be much better suited under the direct supervision of big state. I feel its better for everyone that the these vulnerable people are housed in council houses and housing association owned properties, or maybe , just maybe Shelter might house them. That way they can deal with all of the complications that come with them. Yes, I think with the huge demand I am seeing in my town, I will sway towards stable people.

by Jay James

14:06 PM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 16/04/2021 - 11:59
"The physically sick get an ambulance the mentally ill get the police."

Stop trying. Look after yourself. Evict your tenants and sell up.

by Paul Shears

19:54 PM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jay James at 16/04/2021 - 14:06
My thoughts exactly.

by Peter G

23:20 PM, 16th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Where are the MPs in these discussions? Are they not responsible for getting the right state services for their constituents and for trying to stop people becoming homeless. It's in the MPs interest to have Landlords feeling positive about tenants of all kinds, especially those needing more care and at risk of homelessness. Why do State employees make it so hard?

by Ian Simpson

7:31 AM, 17th April 2021, About 4 months ago

We have taken on a new policy now .... NO new tenancies at all, unless with a solid guarantor who actually owns a home of their own. No Guarantor, no tenancy. SImple. The rooms might be empty, but at least they don't stink of cannabis, fags, body odour and rotting food any more....

....are there ANY decent tenants out there any more....?

by Mick Roberts

8:31 AM, 17th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 16/04/2021 - 11:59
Yes, shocking how we shouting for help now or the consequences are much worse & all we get are obstacles.

by Mick Roberts

8:40 AM, 17th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Peter G at 16/04/2021 - 23:20
Will Quince MP who's now involved with DWP is defending UC it seems, if all want to jolt him on Twitter which is having a few bugs at moment.
My latest Tweet to him below once it loads.

@willquince Get talking to us big Benefit Landlords please. @dwppressoffice now conceding the first paper form wasn't great, yet @DWP @NeilCouling defended it with their high teeth at the time.
Just as now, this latest online form needs lot of work.
https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/minister-blog-universal-credit-and-direct-payments-of-rent

by Mick Roberts

8:42 AM, 17th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Simpson at 17/04/2021 - 07:31
That's it, us Landlords are being super cautious, the losers are the Benefit tenants who may not be squeaky clean.

I have loads of decent tenants, we just can't get the correct help when needed.

by Rbinscotland

9:17 AM, 17th April 2021, About 4 months ago

Not going over old ground too much, But in a snippet.

1.Been paid for tenants no longer there, in my property.
2.being paid for owners nowhere near me, because my AC number is close to the other owners.
3. Told UC about thin March 2020 and more kept coming.
4. UC mixed some payment due to me (legally) and some nothing to do with me in the same payments.
5 UC couldnt work out who paid what or when!!
6.I gave them as much info as I have, payees and amounts 100% Thy didnt have any figure......BUT they asked me to pay it all back in a oner !!
7. I at that point brought an MP into this. This has been ongoing and is now with the Secretary of State at DWP Teresa Coffee' ( or something like that.) We wait for reply !

All in all a mess that UC got themselves into, due to no Audit trail and obvious incompetence. But will it get better. I think not

End of rant.

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