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

by CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

10:40 AM, 7th June 2019
About 3 weeks 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

13:56 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 10/06/2019 - 13:26
I don't do DHP any more as the time to get latest form, print, travel to tenants, fill in, get proofs, get back to office, scan save, email, chase up etc. I'm trying to slow down, not create more work.
Used to get maybe 1% at a time.

BUT some of my tenants are & when they ring me & say I've heard of this DHP, I go Aah, as they automatically ask me to help with form etc. And that's why I stopped doing 'em, although if someone struggling & I think they may get, I tell 'em about it.
Plus we have one Council Gedling, that only do it for 3 months, by time they've processed it, u asking for the next form.

So currently have about 7% getting DHP, but councils are needing the proof if tenants put somea't down, but pretty successful apart from those that too lazy to reply to queries. As we know councils were given more money for it in light of Benefit Cap, Austerity etc.
Yes Govt don't tell the voting people that, do they that they sneakily gave the councils the money back for the benefit cuts that working people like to hear.

Mick Roberts

14:12 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

I've got more developments which has happened today.
1st is UC email to me who was sent to clear some things up, but now I suspect she's got bee in her bonnet cause we've done complaint. And could be solved if they gave us human being number to ring.
She's thinking I'm going on me tenants journal as previous staff as said we should go on the journal while we with the tenants:
Mick,
I don’t appreciate the sarcasm.
It is the correct link to recover arrears from your tenants, it’s on page 2 of the form.
I can tell that you have been into her account by the way her last journal message has worded.
As discussed this is illegal and I have reported you for this.
I am not getting into any further discussion with you regarding any your tenants.
It is classed as intimidation of your tenants.
Tenant made no mention that she wanted to complain, this is coming from you.
You know the procedure to complain, so if you are unhappy then please complete the complaint.
We have told your tenant what we need from you, please supply this or complete the UC47.
UC staff member
My reply:
UC staff XXXX,
I am a humorous joking person as one has to be in this job or we'd go nuts, which can sometimes be taken as sarcasm, but on this occasion, I was asking for the link & 3rd time lucky comment.
I say this, as XXXX from Bulwell Job centre sent me a phone number wrong twice & when she sent it again, she said something along the line 3rd time lucky. But if u at UC have no sense of humour at all, we can see why u not understanding tenants needs either.
When u mentioned this portal, I thought u mean't some special portal that I hadn't seen yet, the one u are sending me is just the normal UC47 online link where we scan the UC form & print it, that to me is not a portal which the Social housing people have got.
And I AM NOT doing the direct arrears for Tenant at all, the direct arrears is for another tenant. I never said I was doing it for this Tenant. Verbal communication would solve this misunderstanding.
UC area manager has said we can use tenants journal while we are with them. So I think I'm glad u have reported me, cause this needs bringing out in the open what can & can't be done. I'm only trying to house the homeless & if all I and other Landlords keep getting is a battle just to get the rent, we can see why UC & homeless is always on the News.
Some Landlords now are putting on tenancies, UC must be paid to Landlord. Some are putting on Tenant must give Landlord access to Journal. As they know this is they only way they know what is happening when no rent comes in. Cause it's hard to believe what the tenant tells u when they say UC not paying for this or that reason. I don’t insist on going on tenants Journal, nor have the time to, but when tenants who’s been with me 10 years ASK ME to look on their journal cause they can’t understand it, are you now suggesting I can’t help my tenant avoid homeless?
You will also find out that Tenant has complained independently direct from her own email. I have now had to put these standard notes on my phone which I whatsapp to their phone, so they can copy & paste. As u know, tenants don't complain if it's too hard for them as UC DWP walk all over them. This is wrong & they need help.
I think u misunderstand how well I DO GET ON WITH MY TENANTS. And to implicate intimidation is very serious indeed.
I don't want to fall out with u UC Staff XXXX, I had refrained from falling out & complaining against UC since our positive meeting, but if that's they way UC wish to take it, so be it. UC make too many mistakes which I was letting go.
And I can't believe u don't wish to explain why UC has decided to pay Tenant direct, when she'd specifically asked not to. That should be the real issue here, u asking what went wrong with Tenants claim & also asking about the direct arrears info I want.
And here's the clanger where UC are gonna' be found at fault. She met Gedling HB at Bulwell JC to do DHP form for arrears, yet UC STILL WISH TO PAY HER-Nuts!
You would think u would be contacting me to say Mick, we made a mistake, we shun't have paid Tenant after Bulwell JC ticked the Tier 1 & arrears form, we will correct it now. But no, u wish to fight this, so UC now get another complaint. All avoidable preventable.
And here’s another clanger for u. U wasn’t paying Tenant ANY UC on Fri 7 June, her due date. You walked all over her, all payments were stopped & the only appointment u could get her was the Monday AFTER the Friday. 6 SIX I repeat SIX weeks after she last had any money. Why are u lot not understanding to claimants needs at all?
It was only after my intervention & Bulwell Job centre Managers compassionate understanding, that they got Tenant in before her due date & arranged payment to be sent to her on the Friday as it should have been, before UC had stopped it.
You really should start working with us Landlords & tenants, not fighting us. You have no idea at all about Housing People & you can learn from us that has done it for 22 years. Benefits is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from Housing Benefit & Housing Element.
I’m on phone to Tenant now & here is what u NEED TO KNOW that u don’t cause you’d rather report for being illegal than communicate.
She says She wasn’t being paid by UC (& went to JC week before) cause she wasn’t having a Commitments meeting even though no one told her or nothing on her journal to say a Commitments meeting was needed. And when she went to Bulwell JC, if she wanted HE to come to Landlord, she wasn’t being paid by Friday. If that’s not blackmail or intimidation, then what is?
She had to say Pay me then I need the money. Tenants own words ‘I had no choice’
UC staff XXXX, u should start communicating verbally more. I thank u for your help so far, but u have seriously not helped UC now, nor tenants & homeless going forward. If the Media got hold of this debacle, they’d have a field day.
You are stuck in the stone age, a Landlord helping a tenant is classed as Intimidation is it. Aah right, we’ll see how this goes then.

Jonathan Clarke

14:16 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 10/06/2019 - 13:26Yes they froze LHA and used DHP to top up to plug that gap so that kind of defeated the object and shows it was just a political exercise.
I probably got about 30% on DHP now . Some 12 weeks long some 6 months some 12 mths. They also have a separate Homeless Prevention Fund which they brought in with the Homelessness Reduction Act in April 2018 so that`s worth tapping into. Social Services also have their own fund which can be useful and then some charities chip in with funding for white goods as well . Its all geared up to slow down the sec 21 rate which is accelerating and will do so even more when the next round of S24 kicks in and more beleaguered LL`s throw in the towel

Luke P

14:41 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 10/06/2019 - 14:16
We're making good use of the HPF too. In a town like ours, it's either play ball with LLs or have a massive crisis on their hands. Currently they're plugging the gap with money.

Old Mrs Landlord

16:44 PM, 10th June 2019
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 10/06/2019 - 10:28
You have my sympathies and admiration Mick. We have only one property with tenants on HB and I am dreading rollout of UC in our area.

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