Letter to Universal Credit and MP

by Readers Question

7 months ago

Letter to Universal Credit and MP

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Letter to Universal Credit and MP

This is a copy of an email I sent to Mr Rhodes under the advice of ICE, as they said that way I would get a decision. Guess what no reply. This was then sent to my MP who contacted U/C who answered him, but not to address any of my complaints. He has now gone back to them to ask or an explanation, and final decision.

The email was also sent to the select committee who have asked to use it as written evidence.

Dear Mr Rhodes

I am writing to you to complain regarding the way myself and my tenant have been treated by the universal credit agency.

I have been contacting/trying to contact the agency since December 2016. During my first call I was told that I would require my tenants full name NI no and passwords for them to be able to talk to me. My tenant gave me these and I again rang this time to be told they couldn’t talk to me at all and couldn’t access her account to see if she had given permission for them to talk to me unless she was with me. I then emailed the agency on every email address I could find on 13th January 2017. And again on 16th January 2017. I then sent a UC47 form on 17th January 2017. I have since rang numerous times and sent more emails.

I then sent in more UC47 (updated) forms and eventually someone left me an answerphone message as my tenants date of birth was 1 day out. So I submitted yet another form and waited, I then started to ring and ring just to establish if you had even received my forms. But no one could talk to me or access her account to see if she had given permission to talk to me as she stated she had. Eventually I sent more emails to around 5 different address and received a response as I threatened to go to my MP. A managed payment was eventually put in place and I was told

We will pay part of your tenant’s Universal Credit to cover rent or rent owed.

Based on your tenant’s current circumstances, we can make a direct payment to you every month. For security reasons, we can’t confirm the amount in this email. You’ll see the amount with a reference number in your next bank statement. Payments for rent have reference numbers ending in MP. Payments for rent arrears have reference numbers ending in RA.

This did not match any payments going into my account, so I rang again and was told they couldn’t tell me why money had gone into my account or where it was from as they could not discuss her claim with me. This was despite it stating on the .GOV website that once a payment plan was in place the operator could discuss the rent part of the claim with the landlord.

The payments being made into my account do not cover the rent as stated in the email. And the amount being paid for arrears will take over 30 years to clear her debt.

I was then informed by her case manager that the amount paid was not correct by £200 a month and this was paid back to me. I questioned if this had been the case since she first started her claim as if so surly the corrected amount should be paid to me to help clear her arrears. I was told that if there were any they would be paid directly to her.

I have raised numerous complaints and sent in numerous emails. But to date I have not received any response. Even when I have, as stated on the GOV website, sent emails to the landlords address with the subject as eviction, I still get no response.

I was first contacting U/C to establish if my tenant was waiting for a claim to be dealt with as she had claimed, or whether she was lying to me. It then became apparent that as U/C wouldn’t even talk to me or answer my emails . I would have to ask for a managed payment, just to try to established if my tenant was lying.

I spoke to someone last week who said they would send over to the complaint team again and someone should contact me shortly. Again no one has contacted me. He also stated that the first record they have of my contacting them was in I think April. The first lady even told me that the address I had been sending emails to didn’t exist, but I was then given the same address by her manger. I have evidence of all the emails I have ever sent to you, although I do not have evidence of phone calls.

The last contact I had from her case manager was 3rd August 2017

Hello Marc,

Any underpayments due for periods prior to when the arrangement was set up are paid directly to the claimant as that would have been what would have happened if the payment(s) had been made at the time.

I haven’t yet had an answer back regarding the online guidance, but I am chasing that up for you and I’ll let you know as soon as I have a response.

Thanks,

Steve Aitken | UC Service Centre Operations | Department for Work and Pensions | Penhaligon House | Trinity Street | St Austell | PL25 5BG | Please consider the environment before printing www.gov.uk |

Despite me emailing him numerous times since for an update I have not received anything further.
Had the universal credit replied to my first contact, then my tenant would not be in so much debt, and I would not be struggling to stop the house being repossessed, and trying to find out if I should evict her for not paying to me the rent element of her u/c claim or whether it is universal credit messing her about as she claims (and from how I have been treated I suggest the latter is correct).

I have contacted ICE regarding my treatment and that of my tenants, but as none of my complaints have even been acknowledged by email or letter they cannot look into this for me until I receive a final response. They have given me this email address and a postal address for Andrew Rhodes which I will also be sending a copy of this email to, and I ask that as this has been going on for 10 months+ now I am given a final response to my complaints as a matter of urgency.

I can forward to you all the emails I have sent and received regarding this matter.

I look forward to your urgent reply.

Marc



Comments

Robert Grant

7 months ago

Very similar to my own experiences. In the end the tenant left owing me £4800. (Letting agent didn't issue a Section 8 when they should have) Still waiting for a response from UC but not holding my breath.


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