Tenants on Benefits – The Conservatives are making you homeless!

by Mick Roberts

14:53 PM, 3rd September 2020
About 2 months ago

Tenants on Benefits – The Conservatives are making you homeless!

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Tenants on Benefits – The Conservatives are making you homeless!

The biggest Housing Benefits Landlord in Nottingham here. So I know what is happening and I want to take you, but I can’t.

Another reason here why landlords won’t accept you.

The house that you want, the Universal Credit (UC) tenant has just left on the 6th September. UC operates a Benefit assessment period BAP, from one part of the month to the next.

The house that you want, for example, the tenant’s BAP was 17th to 16th and the tenant’s payment date was the 23rd. So the landlord got the rent on the 23rd (for the period 17 July to 16 August).

So you would think in all common sense, UC would pay the old Landlord up the 6th September, the date the tenant left. Oh no, UC and the government don’t have common sense. They stop ALL PAYMENTS to the landlord from the 22nd August. Even though they acknowledge tenant lived there from 23rd to the 6th of next month.

Guess what else, the new landlord gets the rent from the 23rd August onwards. Even IF TENANT WASN’T LIVING AT HIS HOUSE!

Shocking, the new greedy landlord gets taxpayers money for something he hasn’t provided. Meanwhile, the old Landlord is out of pocket, and now he thinks “I ain’t taking any more benefit tenants if this is how the UC Tory system treats me” so you UC tenants lose out.

You may wonder why UC operates in this bizarre way which eventually leads to you being homeless? It’s because their BAP Is nice and automatic, no manual human intervention is needed. The computer can decide who gets paid and who doesn’t and UC’s top man, director Neil Couling can’t see anything wrong with this. UC says it’s up to the old tenant to pay. I say No it’s not when Landlord is already being paid directly, UC is paying me then, not the tenant, stop passing the buck.

So UC tenants, you may wonder why you are really struggling to find accommodation. There you go. Please pass this story to your MP, Councillors, your case manager, work coach etc.

And you landlords please share and forward to people of authority too. Eventually, UC will see common sense, but not before thousands more UC tenants become homeless.


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Comments

Bill irvine

16:24 PM, 4th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 04/09/2020 - 14:40Hi Robert
You'll notice I said, "try and factor it in". I acknowledge that's not always possible, but it can be, when determining the period of notice, before vacation.
Many of my housing associations clients do exactly that, to avoid losing a month's rent. When you have 50% + of your tenant's reliant on UC, it's an important issue.
It's also in the tenant's interests, in many cases. If he/she knows that by delaying their move by a few days they'll avoid a week/fortnight/month's rent, they'd be silly not to engage is such a discussion.
Similarly, if you, as a landlord or agent, receive an enquiry, about a property you've advertised today (4th September) and are aware, the potential tenant has a BAP 10th September to 9th October would you not be inclined to sign him up before the 9th? Again, whether you agree or disagree, that's now part of many HAs strategy.
I agree partially with your sentiments re: "The same applies to any other changes that could affect the UC entitlement, e.g. they are not going to delay starting a job, or taking a pay rise, or more hours, or having a baby, etc, etc, etc, in order for it to coincide with the BAP. - Life just isn't like that." and you'll acknowledge I never suggested you could in fact manipulate any of the above.
My example of the baby being born was simply to explain how the "whole month rule" worked. What I didn't say was, that when a beneficial change occurs, like a baby being born, it's important you report the change, within the BAP, to guarantee the additional £235.83 is paid. Using the dates in the example above, if the couple delay reporting the baby's birth to the 17th of September or later they then have to have to request the Decision Maker to exercise his/her discretion to ensure payment is made for the earlier month. Otherwise, the change will NOT take effect until the later month i.e. 17th September to 16th October causing the loss of the £235.83.
Another consideration, which is especially important in the current claimate is, the timing of the UC claim. In the next few months, it's expected that many people will be laid off or have their hours reduced by their employers, causing them to claim Universal Credit. Where someone is made redundant, let's say on 30th September 2020 and are expecting to receive a settlement, including wages in lieu of notice etc. on 9th October - when should they apply?
Historically, people in this situation would be advised to claim UC as soon as possible. That's exactly what happened when lockdown was announced on 23rd March. Millions claimed UC in the following week; most never received a penny in that first month because they received wages or redundancy payments around the end of March. Read my bulletin explaining what happened https://universalcreditadvice.com/articles/many-confused-families-will-be-dissappointed-by-universal-credits-1st-payment/
So, in the case of the person being made redundant, delaying their claim for a week or more is probably a better strategy. Whereas, in the case of someone having their hours cut, it may be better to claim straight away.
Hopefully, you'll recognise from the examples above, that the "whole month rule" does still provide some degree of scope for landlords and tenants to engage before taking the plunge when making UC claims and during changes in their circumstances.
Bill

Robert Mellors

17:55 PM, 4th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 04/09/2020 - 16:24
I fully accept what you are saying Bill, I'm just going by my experiences of tenants on UC and I can't see any of them delaying a move out (or any other change) in order to coincide with their BAP. Perhaps that is specific to my niche type of tenants, who are particularly vulnerable, so it may well be that other landlords have more success in managing to co-ordinate changes to coincide with the tenant's BAP. This may perhaps be easier in relation to tenancy start dates, rather than tenancy end dates, as start dates are more within the control of the landlord.

reader

20:36 PM, 4th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Yep mega problems.
Hence they have to pay their rent in advance and have a guarantor. Ñot a situation that was necessary in the old days of Housing Benefit or LHA.

Anne Nixon

20:49 PM, 4th September 2020
About 2 months ago

As someone who has only ever had one UC tenant and didn't get one penny in rent for his 10 week stay in my house I felt like someone playing a complicated board game where everyone but me knew the rules and I was playing blind. I knew nothing about BAP dates etc - I was ripped off, the tenant had a windfall and went on a spending spree with my rent.
It is unrealistic for landlords to accept a UC tenant on the basis that they either may or may not receive rent - why would anyone accept a tenant on that basis, the idea is preposterous. I would definitely never accept another UC tenant with the system as it is now. I learned the hard way and it was stressful and upsetting.

Mick Roberts

6:35 AM, 5th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 04/09/2020 - 16:24
It's a shame in't it Bill when even big responsible housing associations have to structure their tenant's leaving to work with DWP's flawed computer system-That says it all.

And I've had plenty of that Bill, where tenants claimed UC and cause got wages a WHOLE month ago, but just within the BAP, no UC a month later, whereas all us common sense people know the wages a month ago was to pay for the month previous to that.

Mick Roberts

6:37 AM, 5th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by at 04/09/2020 - 20:36
Yes Reader, years ago, yes u can have the house. Now it's I need 2 months in front, full deposit, Guarantor, Ooh u not perfect, sorry new rules making u too risky now.

Mick Roberts

6:44 AM, 5th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Anne Nixon at 04/09/2020 - 20:49
Ha ha yes, I have many mates and Landlords ask me for advice on UC to what some of us is normal behaviour, it then becomes apparent how hard the UC system is, as me novice mates just han't got a clue and think I'm some magician for knowing some of the scandals and tricks that UC make us landlords jump through hoops to navigate. Shunt be like this for vulnerable UC tenant that's lost their job and novice landlord who's got no incomes in as it is and then has to now deal with UC where the system won't even talk to very important Landlord that provides the shelter that the Govt and Councils aren't doing.

U ought to send your words to Shelter Anne:
It is unrealistic for landlords to accept a UC tenant on the basis that they either may or may not receive rent - why would anyone accept a tenant on that basis

Paul Cummings

9:21 AM, 5th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Mick

Really, stop complaining. How dare you complain about UC tenants.

You don’t run a business according to the Goverment, Shelter etc. You run a public service.

You should be grateful that you’ve been given the privilege of saving up your hard earned to provide a lovely home to a family and why should you expect payment.

If they trash the place you have the joy of spending a fortune to return it back to its former state. Of course, you’ll have to give them a nice 12 month period rent free whilst the 6 month notice period and court procedure takes place you selfish horrible little landlord.

Not to worry, Shelter have a list of poor unfortunates ready for you to go through the process again.

What! You are bankrupt as the lack of rent and court costs meant you couldn’t pay your mortgage. Never mind, call Shelter. You can spend their donations going through a court case against a Landlord who won’t touch you as you are deemed too high risk whilst sleeping rough and selling the big issue.

What! You thought Shelter would offer Shelter.

More fool you.

I used to specialise in LHA. I have a few historic left. I wouldn’t touch that market for any amount of rent anymore. You can thank the government and Shelter for that.

I’m just wondering why all those affected or not affected by Covid as the case may be, can’t help themselves to Tesco’s goods free of charge for 12 months.

Oh yes, that would be silly!!!!!!

Mick Roberts

18:50 PM, 5th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Cummings at 05/09/2020 - 09:21
Yes, I get that off the Labour trolls. I had one last week on Twitter saying all my houses are free if the tenants had lived there 20 years and paid the rent which pays the mortgage.
I asked him What about the years where I lost £200pm?
I asked what about the initial cost and the 25k deposit and 15k refurbishment a lot of landlords lay out at the beginning.
And I finished off by asking Brilliant, if these are FREE, can he get me 500 of them then, as I'm having about 60 calls a week now for tenants wanting houses and about 500 on my list desperate. They'd love a FREE house. I'll have em all please. No reply.

Yes Shelter aren't making it better. Their solicitor emails me sometimes showing stuff they've attacked on UC and Benefits. But still no voice contact to solve things for long term.

And I've said same Can't walk in shop and walk out with a Mars Bar without paying every day for 6 months. There would be no shops left. But that's exactly what Shelter and Govt think is ok for tenants not paying Landlords. It's acceptable now. And we will eventually have very few landlords left. NOT renting to Benefit tenants.

Saeed T

10:41 AM, 8th September 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 04/09/2020 - 14:45
If you develop a system on the cheap, this is what you get. No flexibility!

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