10:10 AM, 19th July 2021, About 2 months ago 22
A tenant moved into a flat in August 2020. Universal Credit set up direct payments to Landlord as agreed (also requested by tenant as history with gambling etc).
It transpires in April UC asked the tenant for a copy of the tenancy agreement as evidence of tenancy etc, but he didn’t act. Direct rent payments stopped in late May as a result. I ask the tenant to show UC the TA. Nothing happens, direct payments are still stopped. I contact District Partnership Managers attaching a copy of the TA myself and fill in (two) UC47’s over a period of the month.
I then get an email from UC:
‘I have forwarded your email to the case manager to see if we can backdate the housing costs.
The reason we have been unable to implement the direct payment to you is that despite several attempts, we were unable to get verification of rent from the claimant. We will now need to request backdating. Are you aware of any reasons as to why the claimant was unable to supply verification of his rent, does he have any designated support workers or any additional support with his tenancy?
I explained that there is no reason at all why he hasn’t bothered and clearly as he is getting his other benefits it’s a case of ‘I’m all right Jack’ and tell them to accept the TA as attached. I remind them they agreed to pay me directly from the start (and as written in the TA that direct payment is part of the contract) so they HAVE to pay the backdate (not just request it!) and need to re-establish rent payments going forward again.
Question – is this a matter for an ICE (independent case examiner) complaint now? or is there another level in the DWP I have to address this to first?
Month four no rent and no indication either that they are looking to re-establish direct payments going forward either. As they pay ALL his housing costs they should be liable to pay all the backdates in one payment back to me surely? They agreed to a contract to pay me on behalf of their client direct, and they are the ones that have failed irrespective of what their client did or didn’t do – after all it was part of the reason why the direct payment was agreed in the first place – to ensure the landlord was paid and tenancy secured because he was ‘a high risk’! AUGH!
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