Councils using ‘Intelligence’ to track down low EPC properties and fine £5,00015:08 PM, 29th March 2021
About 2 weeks ago 36
Today we have taken on the following case:
In March the landlord granted a Tenancy to a tenant who informed him she was on Universal Credit. Unsure of the new scheme and not swayed by the bad press the optimistic landlord decided to give it a go.
The landlord was informed by the tenant that he had completed his change in circumstances via his online journal and had an appointment at the Jobcentre to verify his Tenancy by providing his Tenancy Agreement. When he attended this appointment he informed the landlord.
The landlord was unconcerned whether he received direct payment and therefore never completed the UC47 which is the form that DWP requires landlords to complete if the tenant is in rent arrears of 8 weeks or more and to request direct payment if the tenant fits into a their group set out by DWP.
A few weeks had passed and the landlord had not received any payments from the tenant, but as he had heard of the delays in DWP processing Universal Credit payments he assumed that there was a delay in the claim being set up.
Two months on and the landlord has still had not received a payment so he contacted the tenant who then contacted DWP and was told that the landlord had received the payment. Baffled by this claim the landlord went on a mission and contacted his bank who confirmed no payment had been made to him.
The tenant booked an appointment at the Jobcentre to get to the bottom of the situation and to his horror he was informed that a huge error had been made and the payment had been paid to his previous landlord. His work coach had assured him that the matter would be dealt with and that the payment would be recovered from his previous landlord.
A month later the tenant received the Housing Cost payment and forwarded the payment to his landlord. However, the tenant has now incurred rent arrears and the DWP six months later have failed to recover the payment that was sent to the previous landlord.
The landlord has contacted us today and we have contacted DWP and await their response.
We will update you with the progress on this case.
If you have a case like this please feel free to contact us where a member of our experienced team will be happy to assist.
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