Bill irvine

Registered with
Wednesday 7th August 2013

Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 95

Bill irvine

9:35 AM, 7th November 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Valuable Webinar for Benefit of Universal Credit Landlords this Wednesday

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 07/11/2020 - 08:54

You’re a modern day hero and so humble to boot!... Read More

Bill irvine

12:18 PM, 6th November 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Valuable Webinar for Benefit of Universal Credit Landlords this Wednesday

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 06/11/2020 - 07:59
Hi Mick

The webinar session is on Wednesday 11th, starting 1pm.

Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

19:14 PM, 20th October 2020
About a month ago

LHA Increase to trigger rent increase?

Reply to the comment left by SimonF at 20/10/2020 - 12:57
Hi Simon

Your tenant is challenging the new rental charge, presumably on the basis, it's been pitched too high. If that's the case, you need to explain to the tribunal how you reached your determination and convince it, the charge is reasonable in all the circumstances.

Normally you'd do so by comparing your charge with rents for similar studio properties or suitable alternatives in the same area. I'd be wary about relying on the LHA rate for a 1 bedroom property, even though the figure is assessed by the Rent Officer on the lower 3/10ths of rental charges for similar 1 bed properties in the BRMA.

Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

19:27 PM, 18th September 2020
About 2 months ago

DWP Pensions Minister has not got a clue how Universal Credit works

Hi Mick
The Minister is simply repeating parrot fashion what Neil Couling claimed when Housing Associations demonstrated their rent arrears were going through the roof 3/4 years ago.
He maintained the way RSLs assessed actual rent arrears was flawed when, in fact, the methodology, unlike Mr Couling’s, accorded with the law.
This note was partly prompted by a call I received earlier from a lady landlord who has 1 property. Her tenant lied to her agent claiming he was employed, but at lockdown she discovered, he was self-employed And forced to claim UC from March.

Since then he’s received more than £7000 in housing costs, with not one penny seen by the landlord.
When confronted he became aggressive & threatening and when he discovered she had applied for an APA he objected and convinced DWP not to pay her. Instead she received a reference request from another letting agent.

Clearly, his plan is to move on at some point preventing the recovery of the ever increasing debt.

Sadly, this story is now pretty typical of the calls & emails I receive daily. What’s happening is nothing short of scandalous. DWP’s response just beggars belief, as it’s directorate is well acquainted with what’s happening and doing little, from what I can see, to stem landlords’ losses.

PRS Landlords need to take the fight to their MPs and bombard them with their horror stories, just as they did between 2008-10 with LHA issues.

Bill... Read More

Bill irvine

10:08 AM, 10th September 2020
About 3 months ago

Is the DWP fully complicit in ensuring evictions?


I regret to say I’m seeing similar scenarios being played out GB wide with landlords & agents losing £000’s unnecessarily.

The cause of the problem is the tenant misrepresenting their circumstances, by either lying about having changed their landlord or moved to another address. The ploy works because DWP doesn’t respond as they should.

When a UC tenant moves into a property both DWP and councils rightly ask for evidence of a rent liability. Without this, no housing costs are allowed.

Once HB or UC housing costs have been awarded, tenants have a responsibility to notify the authorities of any change that could affect the level or duration of an award.

So, if a tenant reports they’ve changed landlord/agent, DWP should follow council’s practice of suspending payment of the housing costs, pending further investigation into the tenant’s “new” circumstances. What they shouldn’t do is simply pay the Housing Costs to the tenant.

However, in UC cases, the process which is entirely sensible, is being Completely overlooked. Delinquent tenants have quickly picked up on this, especially after the landlord has just secured an APA. Unhappy that an AP HAS BEEN AGREED, they record on their journal or phone the service centre, suggesting they’ve moved out or have changed landlord. Instead of suspending payment, DWP Simply revert payment back to the tenant, only to be misused.

I have highlighted this issue to DWP’s hierarchy in recent months, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of changes being made to correct the process.

Ironically, the APA scheme was designed to avoid these situations to protect both tenants & landlords. In instances like this, landlords/agents pursuing rent arrears related repossessions, should make abundantly clear to the Court, the cause of the arrears is partly, at least, due to a combination of fraudulent action by the tenant and gross maladministration by DWP.

All it needs is one Judge or Sheriff to realise what’s happening and demand DWP to attend court to explain itself and changes will be made.

Landlords & agents should also be making representations to NRLA, ARLA etc to alert them to the scale of the problem & allow them to lobby for change.

Bill... Read More