New online system for landlords to receive direct payments from UC tenants

by CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

10:40 AM, 7th June 2019
About 4 months ago

New online system for landlords to receive direct payments from UC tenants

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New online system for landlords to receive direct payments from UC tenants

Since 3rd October 2018, working alongside The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Caridon Landlord Solutions has been piloting a new online system to allow rent payments, from tenants in receipt of Universal Credit, to be paid directly to Private Rented Sector (PRS) landlords.  The pilot of the new system, which will replace the two existing UC47 forms, has been successful, cutting the processing time down from in excess of three weeks to just two hours in some cases.  DWP aims to launch the online system before the end of the year, although a date has not yet been confirmed.

Using the current system, PRS landlords who wish to apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to them, have to download and fill out the UC47 form from GOV.UK. According to Caridon Landlord Solutions, which provides specialist advice on Universal Credit and Housing Benefit to private landlords, letting agencies and housing associations, the existing UC47 has caused a whole host of problems, subsequently discouraging landlords from letting to tenants in receipt of Universal Credit and similarly making it difficult for tenants to keep hold of homes they wish to stay in.

This current system can be complicated as there are two types of UC47 forms. The first is the secure form, which can only be submitted by post or via email. However, to submit by email, landlords must have a secure email address recognised by DWP, including gsi or gov.uk owing to the fact the form requests personal details such as a tenants’ National Insurance number and the landlord’s bank details. This helps to ensure that all parties comply with data sharing regulations as set out under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The none secure form can still be submitted via email, however, the process can sometimes be slower as the claimant’s case manager has to contact the landlord to request bank details, because due to the non-secure data certain types of personal information cannot be submitted in this way .

Caridon believes that the paper forms are taking weeks to be processed, sometimes getting lost along the way and all the while rent arrears are mounting up. We have been working closely with DWP, not only to get payments made directly to landlords where necessary, but also to speed up the process so that landlords have greater confidence in the system

As well as supporting landlords in cases of non-payment of rent, the UC47 is also used for historical debt collection where a tenant has fallen into eight weeks or more of arrears and the landlord wishes to apply for third party deductions. In cases such as these, DWP takes a small percentage of the claimant’s personal allowance and gives it to the landlord towards the rent arrears. We have been working with DWP to develop an agile online system, making suggestions for adjustments to ensure it is as user friendly and efficient as possible.  Landlords are now receiving confirmation of direct payments within 48 hours which is such an incredible improvement.

Contact Sherrelle for offline Universal Credit advice

Sherrelle is an independent consultant and is recommended by Property118 for landlords who require professional advice and assistance in regards to dealing with Universal credit related matters


Comments

Mick Roberts

15:57 PM, 7th June 2019
About 4 months ago

The existing UC47 is the worst piece of paperwork ever invented by some Boffin who is the Creator of All Homelessness.
And why u can't put your bank details on it is beyond me, just extends the arrears & the homelessness.
Yet they can ring us for bank details? Beggars belief giving our bank details to someone who just cold called us.
I had UC lose 47 of them last year for one tenant.
Keep up the good work Sherrelle & let us know when we can start using this arrears portal thing. It may work if you've had input.

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

22:19 PM, 7th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 07/06/2019 - 15:57
Hi Mick,
Honestly the new system that we have been piloting has so far proven to be faster and more efficient capturing all the landlord information from the start.
Hopefully DWP will release soon.

Mick Roberts

9:26 AM, 8th June 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS at 07/06/2019 - 22:19
Brilliant, I wish they'd release now, as I've just done me first APA rent arrears deduction from tenants benefit cause she making no effort to pay arrears nor top up.
What I am thinking which u may know, if the APA let's say is £120 pm & the top up alone is £120 pm, all this APA will be paying is the top up. No arrears will ever be paid off. Unless tenant volunteers of course, just as I will volunteer to fly to moon in a Cabriolet.
So all DWP UC will be paying is the current ongoing top up. So UC can never ask if arrears are cleared up, so they can stop the deductions. As a junior school kid could work that out, but I suspect, in fact know, UC won't be able to & they will want to revert payment back to tenant after a year will they?

And also Sherrelle, we know u brilliant at getting Landlords paid when they've tried everything with UC & arrears building up, if this portal is brilliant WHICH U HAVE HELPED BUILD, then surely that is gonna' be taking future work away from u is it?

Jonathan Clarke

2:43 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Mick you are right the UC47 is impossible to fill out . They ask for ref numbers and stuff that i just dont know because no one bothers to even tell me they have gone on UC as its all done behind my back. They suddenly gave an alcoholic tenant of mine £650 cash and unsurprisingly put her in rehab . She was quite happy for a year on direct LHA until DWP came in to mess her life up and mine . 3 lots they paid her before she had to go.
Then I had an unknown number ring up on another and said they were from UC and asked me for my bank details . Who trains these people !! Then they e mail me telling me i will get payment direct. I e mail back and say that`s great can you just tell me 2 things . 1) how much and 2) when . Basic questions you would of thought . Reply was no we cant you have to ring in to find that out . Why !! Is it that hard to reply £750 on 22nd of each month . Why do i have to ring in and wait 40 mins on a phone for someone never to answer it . How can anyone design a system which seems to delight in making LL`s angry from the outset .
Anyway all is not lost . I have on page 1 of my AST in bold for a long time now that any LHA/ UC payments have to be paid direct to me or else they are in breach of the tenancy. I say to them show that to your work coach. Had 2 UC payments now coming direct to me and i havent lifted a finger . The feedback from tenants is it was because of that statement . No Tier 1 or Tier 2 hassles. Result.
They don`t pay the arrears though . So I slip in a sec 21 they run it up the council and i get DHP for the arrears and any top ups . Mind you they tried to reject my Sec 21 saying it wasn`t valid as in didn`t end on the last day of the the tenancy . I said no the law change some time ago . They said . No I was still wrong and cut and pasted me the legislation - but these were the old rules. I said no you are still wrong , keep up, and I pasted them the new rules . They finally apologised and said i was right . Who trains these people !!

Mick Roberts

6:21 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 10/06/2019 - 02:43
Ha ha yes me too Jonathan,

I've been shouting out loud for 3 years WHAT IS THAT LANDLORDS CREDITOR'S NUMBER U KEEP ASKING ME FOR? They don't reply as usual. However, after my recent meeting with 4 high up UC people, I now find out it is If u have done direct arrears deductions before (Not just the direct payment), u then get given a Landlords Creditor number which apparently makes it easier to do one next time. I had one & din't even know it.

On this APA form, it is also asking for tenants dob or they can't administer the deductions. I have sent in saying Hang on, so we never have the tenants dob which means you can now never do the deductions? So the tenant will be doing everything in their power to never give us their dob or wrong dob, u really are nuts UC.

That's it Jonathan, we are kept out the loop when switching from HB to UC which does nothing, but worsen the homeless.
I have some legislation which shows that if being paid direct on LHA, UC have to pay us direct. I shall copy at the bottom of here, please save & spread.

Ha ha yes the ringing us for bank details. It's crackers. WHY CAN'T THEY PUT IT ON THE FORM that has worked successfully for HB for 20 years.......

Yes your comments saying they paying us but no amounts or dates cause they say that's unsecure telling us that. What's unsecure about telling us the amount or date? And they say UC is supposed to mirror work to help the tenant out. How is that mirroring work when the tenant hasn't got a clue how much they getting or when? When u start work, u know amount & date, overtime apart.

And the phone I don't even ring any more, 90 mins my last call to find wrong department.

Brilliant on your tenancy. I have 13 out of 14 being paid direct to me so far, only cause I'm doing some'at special with local job centre.

Yes the council's rejecting the Sec 21's, Nottingham's are putting out instructions to staff, to look out for when Landlords han't done their Selective Licenses, so they can reject the Sec 21's. Why not find out why the Sec 21 to see if can be solved or prevented next time.

Here's my links, please spread. Sherrelle may correct me if anything wrong:

DWP guidance on MUST pay Landlord if LHA HB is already being paid direct to Landlord.

Direct payment to Landlords when switched from LHA where LHA is being paid direct to Landlords, UC HE HAS TO BE PAID DIRECT to Landlords:

The DWP link can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletters/february-2019-universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletter

The bit you’re looking for is below, highlighted for you.

2.4 When can a Managed Payment to a landlord be requested?

A Managed Payment to a landlord can be made when either:

· a claimant is in arrears with their rent for an amount equal to, or more than, two months of their rent

· a claimant has continually underpaid their rent over a period of time, and they have accrued arrears of an amount equal to or more than one month’s rent

· any of the other Tier 1 and Tier 2 APA factors apply

Or for private sector tenants:

· a claimant was previously in receipt of Housing Benefit and it was paid to their private landlord, a Managed payment to landlord can be considered providing the claimant continues to meet the Tier 1 or Tier 2 APA factors

This is part of the conversation Universal Credit staff will have with the claimant at the start of the claim.

Also:

Direct payment to Landlords doesn’t need explicit consent. UC HE HAS TO BE PAID DIRECT to Landlords.

You cannot under any circumstances ask the tenant & then take their word for it that they aren’t in arrears & then pay them putting their shelter at risk

“Explicit Consent” was removed in December 2017 supposedly putting a stop to tenant’s misusing the “housing costs element”. (HCE)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-detailed-information-for-claimants/universal-credit-consent-and-disclosure-of-information

2.2 Disclosure of information to private landlords

Private landlords are landlords who usually own the property they are renting out.

Private landlords can be:

a company that owns a lot of properties

a person or family that owns one or more properties

Private landlords can ask for their tenant’s Universal Credit housing costs to be paid directly to them without the need for explicit consent.

You will be informed that the private landlord has requested that the Universal Credit housing costs be paid directly to them.

If you are happy for your Universal Credit housing costs to be paid directly to the landlord, you do not need to reply to give your consent.

The Universal Credit housing costs will then automatically be paid to the landlord each month. If you do not want the rent to be paid directly to the landlord, you can dispute this.

You will need to provide evidence that you are not in rent arrears in order to dispute the alternative payment arrangement.

And from Bill Irvine:

https://universalcreditadvice.com/bulletins/universal-credit-tips-on-how-to-progress-a-query-challenge-decisions-complain/

Write to DWP’s District Manager pointing out “Explicit Consent” was removed in December 2017 supposedly putting a stop to tenant’s misusing the “housing costs element”. (HCE)

I would also include in the letter/email that on receipt of the UC 47 the Decision Maker should have suspended payment of the HCE pending a decision on the merits of the landlord’s application and that he/she now seeks compensation for the wholly avoidable loss.

When e-mailing DWP, put in the subject matter, words like: “APA progress update”; Award Query” or “Formal Complaint” but nothing else. 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 and the issues still to be addressed.

Old Mrs Landlord

8:22 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2019 - 06:21
Wow, with landlords expected to operate their business under a system like that is it any wonder homelessness is increasing in concert with the roll-out of UC? And Shelter can't understand why private landlords in areas where tenant demand exceeds supply are reluctant to even consider taking on tenants who claim benefits, labelling us "morally bankrupt".

Jonathan Clarke

9:02 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2019 - 06:21
Thanks Mick good info there I will tap into it. I heard through the grapevine this was on the cards . Only took them 5 years to suss paying direct from day 1 was the way to go . Bill does a great job and Caridon does also . Trouble is I`m getting lazy in me ol age to fill out more forms and read up on it all . I live in a world where i still expect the local rep to come round have a cup of tea and service my needs as far as LHA and UC are concerned . They should be saying .....we want to keep your business how can we help. But the doorbell never rings. They lost my e mail so i didnt get an invite to the LL`s forum . Ive just received a batch of service charges . One has no address on . One is for a property i dont own and never heard of and one is for a property I sold over 2 months ago and has been assigned to the new owner . I`ve slogged my guts out for 20 years housing their homeless and filing their forms out.. I want someone to ask me what I want for a change and what would work for me
The council has 1500 Sec 21 `s on their desk and 12 more being added daily i hear . They could stop that but they cant even do the basics right

Ive complained so much to my council they have now put me on restrictive communications. They feel I am too challenging. It took 44 days for them to answer my last e mail . They owe me a grand in compensation for some other random matter . Their turnaround time to reply is set at 10 days . No wonder I`m challenging !They then give me a single point of contact ( spoc ) and that worked for about a week . And then without even having the courtesy to tell me they changed my spoc . So me, the one person who you think would have wanted to know that my spoc had been changed was not told . Who operates in a world like that. Crazy people . Anyway time for breakfast then snooker

Mick Roberts

10:28 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 10/06/2019 - 08:22
Old Mrs,

This is probably 20% of what we have to put up with UC. We are only trying to house the homeless & eventually make some money out of it. It's turning out now, we get extreme hassle, stress, trying to tell the Govt UC DWP, Look u made these mistakes with HB in 2008, we & they now have the answers, they are your sister department, go ask them, but they don't as they don't talk to each other, can u believe that? But now as well as the hassle stress, we actually lose money-For trying to house people that would otherwise be homeless that the Govt or Council's can't house.

Mick Roberts

10:29 AM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 10/06/2019 - 09:02Ha Ha Yes JC, Only took them 5 years, they not got a clue. We knew from day one a Recipe for Disaster, even the tenants 9 year old kids say What Mummy they gonna' give u £500 for rent in your bank? Ooh baby we can go to Skegness next week & some new trainers.
Yes same here, I can't be bothered to fill out totally unnecessary forms any more. I wun't say we're lazy, we've had 22 years of it, & we know the alternative solution is much easier, quicker, cheaper for Me, tenant, taxpayer, Govt, DWP, UC, Councils etc. But UC their motto is 'How can we do this the most expensive longest way possible. How can we delay this rent as long as we can, even if in 2 years time, we're gonna' get found guilty in some complaint.
Ha ha and yes the Council Landlords forum to find out how to prevent homeless. They asked a good lady who helps Landlords in other areas who knows nothing of housing people, if she'd like to be the one person to come acting as the Landlords representative. She said And how could I help u, I think u should be asking Mick Roberts who's at the coal face. They didn't.
I've heard Nottingham's homeless Sec 21's on their desk has quadrupled since last August when http://www.selectivelicensingtruth.co.uk came in. 2 months before UC came to Nottingham. What bright spark among the Nottingham Labour Councillors thought of that?
Who would bring in such a catastrophic measure that is gonna' put loads at homeless 2 TWO months before another catastrophic measure comes in?

They know nothing about the people at the bottom.
Ha ha u make me laugh, I am on restrictive communications with Licensing Council staff too, even though I get on with top people in Housing Benefit, managers at the homeless, & the head of Environmental Health.
I'm waiting for queries 2 months & they said I'm expecting answers too quick. I'm trying to tell myself This is why they work for the council, cause they ain't smart enough to be self employed. Although that's a touch harsh on the good workers there.
U doing better than me snooker on a working day, office office office for me.

Luke P

13:26 PM, 10th June 2019
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2019 - 10:29
What's your DHP like, Mick? I used to have maybe 1 or 2% in receipt of DHP, but now almost all (literally hundreds of tenants) are getting DHP. It's almost part of the standard procedure now to apply. They MUST have noticed it's astronomical rise...but then again, I think Government 'found' the extra money to keep the whole UC thing on-track as bet they can.

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