DWP culpable in ensuring landlords are out of pocket for 12 months?

by Readers Question

9:39 AM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

DWP culpable in ensuring landlords are out of pocket for 12 months?

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DWP culpable in ensuring landlords are out of pocket for 12 months?

With the latest tightening of the noose around landlords necks, will the DWP now GUARANTEE that where direct rent payments are being paid to the landlord, these will continue?

I am talking direct payments which have been requested from the start of the tenancy agreement due to the tenant being a ‘high risk’ category as listed on the UC47 form, this being listed in the TA and the fact the tenant has asked and agreed for this to be the case.

If the DWP then acts on the tenant’s request for rent payments to be made to them, in this one single act the DWP are single-handedly culpable in ensuring the landlord is not only out of pocket for the period of now up to 12 months, but also putting the tenant in the position of eviction. Isn’t this totally AGAINST the point of why direct payments are requested and granted in the first place?

Despite having all the above in place I have had one tenant just cancel his claim, set up with another address and payments due to me paid directly to him. The DWP have washed their hands of it saying they paid him, so he should have paid me.

Where/who do I complain to at the DWP? Are they looking at reviewing the review process for direct payments as a DIRECT result of this situation?

Reluctant Landlord


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Rbinscotland

10:30 AM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

Im going to be out of pocket for ages. When a few tenants went in furlough, and started the process to get some relief via UC. it was all fine, i received rents and could pay my expenses, mortgages trades etc. However 3 months ago, when the first payment came through the reference number given or the amounts shown - I could not relate the payment to which tenants rent. I did immediately contact DWP and got the usual bumped around here and there. Eventually told they couldn't tell me who monies belonged to as it was a date protection thing. now 3 - 4 months on I have a letter from DWP they've overpaid me !! Wait for it nearly £5,000 and I have to pay it back. Trouble is because it wa in the account it paid the mortgages and if that money was not from or for my tenants I am now left short on income from rents and I know I could have kept the rents seperate to repay it if it was wrong, but I had no reason to think it was wrong. I've tried contacting many folk but to no avail. Anyone else experience this ?

Mick Roberts

11:11 AM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

Yes, Bill Irvine (below) sorted this out in Dec 2017 that tenant cannot ring up any more to ask for payments back to himself if already in arrears. However it is happening.

They actually getting worse at the moment. David Attenborough Nature shows could do better.

These are words from Bill Irvine of https://universalcreditadvice.com/ who knows UC inside out:

Nowadays, we try and make the 1st Stage Complaint via the online complaints system https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/ which usually produces a quick acknowledgement if not response. Where we already know the tenant's Work Coach or Case Manager we will write to them instead. Dealing with staff close to the everyday action can often produce a quick & positive result.
The COVID crisis has forced DWP to redeploy staff from everyday duties, like "complaints & resolutions" to claim processing, so timescales for responses may vary significantly. If the case is really urgent, escalate straight to the 2nd stage email (correspondence@dwp.gov.uk) and ask them to forward,as a matter of urgency to appropriate manager.

My not to the point words below:

If UC have messed up, u MUST complain. Otherwise it could be over a year before u get solved. Get the clock ticking down now.

Email N-EMIDLANDS.CRT@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK (this address for Nottinghamshire)
& put Stage 1 complaint in subject.
In the body of the e-mail you should provide all the details of the tenant, address, NINO, DOB etc. or your landlord reference number, a summary of your concerns (what has happened) and the issues still to be addressed.

If they don’t reply in 15 days, write to: Correspondence@dwp.gsi.gov.uk & put Stage 2 Complaint in subject
And u could just forward your previous email. Saying you have waited 15 working days.

If they don’t reply in 15 working days, you then write to ice@dwp.gov.uk & tell them you haven’t had a reply.
ICE normally say You have to have a referral from DWP. And that's where in August 2020 we stumped cause if DWP don't reply, ICE won't take on. So please all of u, get writing to your MP tell him/her this is happening.

You need to start complaining to get the system changed or u could be in same boat next year.

Mick Roberts

11:11 AM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Rbinscotland at 25/08/2020 - 10:30
Yes Rbin, I've had same, payments in bank, not got a clue who's it is, shocking how DWP aren't embarrassed to sort out these easy to solve mistakes. No one is accountable, they have no process in dealing with Landlord.
Again please complain & contact MP.

Clint

11:19 AM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

I have had the same situation where a tenant changed her address and held on to the flat at the same time. I lost a years rent from Aug 19 to July 20 but knew that the tenant was just holding on to the flat, waiting to be evicted with a section 21 so she could get a council flat, and had in fact asked me to do this. I eventually told her to move her things which was basically a flat full of rubbish as, I was changing the locks which I did, and then got a skip threw all the rubbish out, redecorated the flat and let it out. Stuck notice on door saying I was taking over the flat (Cannot remember what the notice was, legal but not fully legal).

First time in 20 years I took the risk as would otherwise probably lose another year's rent.

The tenant phoned me and said she had not moved out and was going to sue me for costs. I told her, that she owed me around £13000 so she could take costs from there. I feel confident she will not pursue it any further.

With another tenant, she was two months in arrears so I applied to UC and lost 3 months rent by the time they paid me directly although, I had applied when the tenant just moved in and was one month in arrears, and I got her a CCJ. Later after almost a year, in January 2020, the tenant asked for the rent to be paid to her and UC quite happily did so without letting me know. I lost a further 3 months in the process of getting it paid back directly to me.

I complained to UC and had no reply, wrote to MP who got me a reply from UC explaining that I should have asked the tenant for the money and should take legal action against her. I still have to write another letter to my MP but all in all wasting more of my time. Tenant has already had both s21 and s8 notices to get rid of her but this will probably take a year after courts open up. Just wondering when she will once again ask for the rent to be paid to her and UC of course whole heartedly obliging.

This last tenant had the cheek to phone me around two weeks ago to say that she wanted me to evict her as, she now had two children and needed a bigger place where the council would only offer her a place if I served her a notice.

She obviously did not read the emails where notices were already served to her or the mail which was sent to her by proof of delivery.

This is I guess the new society, created by successive governments where renters do not have to have any responsibilities, and often rewarded for this sort of behaviour. The conservative party which was the party with some sense, have now done a complete U turn to what they considered to be sense and all in the last 5 years.

Mick Roberts

15:42 PM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

U say it all Clint, & that's why the likes of me & u, the limited few who have been housing Benefit tenants, are avoiding them going forwards, & this is costing the Councils & Govt a fortune in Homeless bills. No joined up thinking they have.

Clint

17:09 PM, 25th August 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 25/08/2020 - 15:42
And they know they have caused a huge problem with homelessness, and are now trying to alleviate the problem by using Covid-19 as an excuse in an attempt to lessen the blow, by banning evictions and pushing the problem even further ahead by introducing 6 month notices and eventually by the time the 6 months approaches, they will probably ban section 21 altogether.

It is the governments responsibility to take the losses and not ours.

Dylan Morris

8:13 AM, 26th August 2020
About a month ago

Can’t see them ever going back on the 6 months notice.........why would they ? Especially as this now applies permanently in Wales. So going forward Section 21 to be scrapped (Theresa May confirmed this) and with two months arrears required to serve a Section 8 then 6 months notice, it will be 8 months before Court action can be commenced.


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