DWP – overpayment of a deduction?

DWP – overpayment of a deduction?

11:43 AM, 12th August 2021, About 2 months ago 21

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Despite letting UC know (though the official form) that the tenant has now paid back in full her rent arrears, I have since been paid directly another deducted payment. I am assuming that at some point DWP will realise this and ask for it back as it classes as an overpayment, but the tenant says the DWP has said it is between the Landlord and tenant to sort out.

Who is right?

If I pay the tenant the overpayment, am I then at risk of the DWP clawing it back from me?

Or do I have to wait for DWP to request it back and send it to them?

Many thanks

DSR



Comments

by Mick Roberts

9:02 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

I'm in same boat. What is the official form?
I've got one about to be paid up & if it's ote like trying to tell DWP I've sold that house, Please stop paying me. And they still keep paying me 4 months later & acknowledge in a letter there is no way to tell them, then how am I going to tell them Please stop paying me these rent arrears, tenant is struggling enough.
I actually Wednesday had my first phone conversation with the direct arrears deductions team & he said they don't even see the schedules, don't yet know what's on em, they just pay it.
And yesterday I was supposed to be getting paid for 6 tenants direct arrears deductions & only got about 3 (Don't yet know cause han't yet received schedule as u know), so again got 3 stopped for no reason at all. Then we have to go back & do the UC47 again once we receive the schedule & know who is missing.
And then as u know, Direct arrears deductions pays every 28 days when UC pays every calendar month. This does nothing to help the tenant & us budget-Another thing puts us off taking UC next time. All these things so simple to solve.
When I spoke to the team this week, he wasn't even aware of the disparity between their 28 days payments misaligning with UC payments & putting tenant in a mess. It's cause they've NEVER spoke to us & asked us. I found out their payments team has been doing direct arrears for Govt for years for water bills etc. Which has always been every 28 days. So they did the same with UC not even considering the trouble it brings to all.
I feel better now I got that out me system & hope some comment on here to your question to help me too.

by Blodwyn

9:46 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Having dealt with various govt depts over the years, I suggect you do what is in YOUR own best interests. In my cases (nothing to do with this type of problem), I told the overpaying dept that they had done this and where would they like me to send the refund cheque, as that may not be the issuing dept.?
I couldn't just send it back without checking in case I was wrong and a client asked me for the money, would I ever get it back for them? And, get your goodness on the record? One of our difficulties in a world of ever-increasing complexity in a system that is allegedly making itself simpler for our use (???), sorry) is that these depts and their dratted computers don't talk to each other (blame Covid or the frequently misused Data Protection/Obstruction laws) and its not often you can get an intelligent and knowledgeable (at the same time) human being to do something on the phone? Depends on the dept., I have always found HMRC very helpful, be nice to them, say please and thank you and they are as good as gold Futher down that tree, there are the lesser beings? I can only wish you luck/

by Bill irvine

10:40 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

DSR

"Who is right"?

Certainly not the DWP!

In order to receive "Third Party deductions" (TPD) a landlord must prove, their tenant has accrued more than 2 months rent arrears, at that address. Any less than 2 months doesn't satisfy the criteria, so when you confirm that the tenant's debt has been cleared, DWP should immediately stop the TPD. The fact it hasn't means, you've certainly been overpaid.

You've got three options, as I see it:

a) Place the money in a suspense account whilst you await the "overpayment" demand from DWP which could take months, years even; or
b) Write to your local Partnership or Practice Manager explaining what's happened; ask them to cancel the TPD; and seek their advice on whether you can refund the sum direct to your tenant, on the basis, she has been underpaid; or
c) Simply credit your tenant's rent account with the sum and if this creates a credit, refund the sum and secure a receipt from the tenant confirming what's been agreed.

I should add, there's every chance, the same thing will occur on a monthly basis, until DWP takes the appropriate action to cancel the TPD.

How do I know this?

It happens on an all too regular basis, especially with social landlords, who sometimes have thousands of their tenants subject to "direct payments" and TPDs.

Bill

by DSR

10:43 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 13/08/2021 - 09:02
Tenant complained to UC that they were still taking rent arrears deductions from her to pay me when the debt has now been paid in full. Tenant contacted me after she was advised by UC that a request to STOP this had to come from the Landlord first to confirm this. (that's a bloody first the UC actually asking LL to contact them!!).

She told me that UC has said I had to fill in a UC47 but make it clear in the comments box the request was to STOP payments. I did this, printed off a copy as evidence.

Then I get a payment 🙁

I have explained to tenant that I cant pay her it back even though it is the most sensible solution, as it may class as 'overpayment' and the DWP will look to reclaim it back from me before they then supposidly given back to her. Bonkers situation really common sense should prevail especially if I have evidence I have sent it back to tenant and tenant has accepted it.

Everything in limbo now to see what happens next month...

by Bill irvine

10:59 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

HI DSR

Our posts appear to have crossed!

You had to complete a UC 47 - what a load of tosh!

As you know, UC 47's were made redundant when the new online "direct payment" facility was created. Its clear purpose is to facilitate direct payments, not cancel them!

Nothing surprises me nowadays with DWP.

Bill

by Mick Roberts

11:00 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 13/08/2021 - 10:43
Ha ha Yes, be nice if they said it had to come from Landlord all the time. We wish for that don't we.

Is there a comments box now in the UC47 online form then? Good if so, may get a human being to read 'em.
Ha ha u got the payment again. Yes we could maybe solve 50% of the UK homeless & save £ billions to the Taxpayer if they listened to us.
On my call with the Direct payments team this week, he (very good & rang me again today) acknowledged it was set up without Landlords in mind. He says that & Covid & no excuse is why I'm experiencing all these problems. He said normally they go to talk to the people they setting the system up for ie. Landlords.
Few days ago, I had Teams Meeting with the two top tech guys who do the electronic notifications for DWP & they are proper clever & they was bemused when I said we get told nothing when we've asked for payments, no acknowledgment at all.
They bemused at the 28 days payments when UC HE is monthly. They couldn't believe what I was telling them. They don't get to talk to us the end user on the ground to see the problems which as we know the real loser is the tenant & why everyone saying no UC.

by Mick Roberts

11:40 AM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

The Direct payments team man has emailed me the below if it does help anyone. Bill will tell u this is all on that Creditors handbook which totally bamboozles me, they have that many email addresses

Missing paper schedules – please complete the attached pro-forma above ensuring that your CRN 00000 is added and stating that you have a missing schedule and require another re-sending. The team will also require the date and if possible the amount of the missing schedule. Please send this to tpp.enquiries@dwp.gov.uk

Payment query on a specific schedule - please complete the attached pro forma ensuring that your CRN 00000 is added and stating that you have a payment query ensuring you give the NINO and or the Customer reference for the payment and again the date of the schedule the payment is from. This will also be sent to tpp.enquiries@dwp.gov.uk.

The above e-mail address (tpp.enquiries@dwp.gov.uk) is where any paper schedule queries should be sent to using the pro-forma and I think you also mentioned that you have been discussing similar issues with other landlords so if you want to give this e-mail address to any other landlords to use please feel free to do so. The team there may even be able to send UC queries on to them but I am not sure about that.

You also mentioned that some of your schedules have been going to different postal addresses which really should not happen so what you can do is write directly to TPP.CREDITORAMEND@DWP.GOV.UK to alter your postal address if that is what you want to do.

by Bill irvine

12:32 PM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Hi Mick

Sharing this information only serves to confuse things.

As we've discussed a few times, it primarily refers to Social landlords (Councils & Housing Associations) and not the PRS landlord.

Private landlords should pursue things, in the first instance, with their Practice or Partnership Manager. How successful they'll be will depend on the ability of these managers to make things happen.

Bill

by DSR

12:54 PM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 13/08/2021 - 10:40
Bill to the rescue again - thanks 🙂 email pinged off to Partnership Manager....

by Mick Roberts

13:07 PM, 13th August 2021, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 13/08/2021 - 12:32
Yes that bit there Bill is for us mere mortals normal Landlords if anyone doesn't get their paper schedule.

My Practice manager never replies as u know. Probably sick of my abuse.

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