Benefit tenants, I am sorry!

Benefit tenants, I am sorry!

10:04 AM, 16th April 2021, About 2 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 Smartermind

20:03 PM, 17th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bristol Landlord at 17/04/2021 - 17:20
In response to some of the comments above and yours, in principle I agree that Landlords should not have to be policemen or social workers. And I agree that the government is just passing the buck to landlords. However, you cannot blatantly breach the law and the Equality Act 2010 is law. Break the law and suffer the consequences. I personally wouldn't take tenants with pets, but if the law changes then will have no choice but to comply with it.

I agree with JamesB, that landlords could insist on a homeowner guarantor. However I suspect landlords facing a void would take risks and then whinge when the risk does not pay off.

by Mick Roberts

6:48 AM, 18th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 17/04/2021 - 20:03
That's the thing, DWP UC are now making us break the law. I want some Judge to listen to all the facts & say Ooh dear, u are only refusing this man because UC won't pay his benefit to pay the mortgage & won't work with u to help this man get a home visit to see what can be done?
Exactly your honour, this man knows nothing about rent, never rented, now Dad passed away, he's been thrust into the payment & responsibility world at 56 years old & UC know on their systems he has serious Mental Health complex needs, yet are saying he has to sort out the rent himself.

Eh I tell u what else people, If people aren't aware, DWP UC are leaving most disabled PIP DLA tenants for forced migration onto UC till 2024, as a few years ago when disabled people were forced to go on it, they was much worse off for all sorts of reasons-Maybe same as mine-And it was seen to be cruel, so UC are leaving 'em to end to maybe iron out all these problems. But if suddenly so many hundred thousand switch to UC in 2024, we gonna' see a lot more of my example. And who knows, will UC be forced to change then.

by Old Mrs Landlord

8:45 AM, 18th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 17/04/2021 - 20:03
Whilst you are quite correct that discrimination on the grounds you have listed is unlawful, the government have declared their determination to make the PRS operate as a business despite being treated as investors for tax purposes. This means in practice that where landlords have a choice of prospective tenants it is a sensible business decision for them to choose the tenant least likely to cause ongoing problems and most likely to pay the rent. The not fit for purpose UC system which does not even acknowledge the interest of the person providing the accommodation to their clients in its system set-up and provides no means of landlords communicating with those operating the system. Mick Roberts has set forth many of the ways this is making it impossible for him to provide accommodation for these needy people, whom he is eager to help despite all the extra work and worry and the loss of income he knows it entails. He is doing all he can the draw attention to the inherent faults in the system in a desperate bid to improve matters for tenants who rely on UC for the means to house themselves, particularly those with mental health problems. The contrast between his attitude and yours as you castigate him for doing all he can to get the shameful situation improved does not show you in good light. Rather than inciting landlords rto break the law Mick is illustrating by numerous examples how the inherently faulty system is making it impossible to house certain groups of tenant.

by reader

11:35 AM, 18th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Dear Contributors,

Justin Tomlinson MP Minister for Disabilities MP for Swindon North.

Can we make a case to submit to him for his consideration? There are a thousand opportunities for him to side step the issue of trying to house those in special need and having to battle the lack of local and national government social consideration. But if he is looking to truly make a positive difference this is an opportunity for him.

by Mick Roberts

16:10 PM, 18th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 18/04/2021 - 08:45
U say it exactly Old Mrs:
The not fit for purpose UC system which does not even acknowledge the interest of the person providing the accommodation to their clients in its system set-up and provides no means of landlords communicating with those operating the system.

Eh & I'm ok, I will still survive as I have dozens of other houses with good paying long term tenants that can subsidise this one-But why should they? Why should I? I never set out to be a charity. When I give my stuff to charity, I choose who to, not be told to provide free houses to/by the Govt cause they not doing their job right. But what about the Landlord with 1 or 2 hours that bought recently at expensive prices? This could break them.

by Mick Roberts

16:11 PM, 18th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 18/04/2021 - 11:35
Please send him details anyone who has time-If he as many MP's don't, will even look at it.

by Paul Shears

21:53 PM, 19th April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Smartermind at 17/04/2021 - 20:03
Totally agree.

by DSR

13:57 PM, 21st April 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 16/04/2021 - 11:59
Totally agree. One of my tenants has confirmed to me that she has asked for mental health help from some of the well known and local charities but has effectively been told that unless anyone/she is at full on crisis point where there is an immediate threat to their life or others, nothing can be done. Even in the event of this happening, the Police are the first responders and again unless a MH assessor comes along in the ambulance and assesses there and then a person needs immediate help (or they refuse it) NO FOLLOW UP is made. Deplorable situation. The LL is simply becoming an extension of Social Services.


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