by Mick Roberts
9:46 AM, 10th November 2021, About 11 months ago 6
Universal Credit tenants, more bad news, I’m afraid. The MP for Welfare Delivery doesn’t know how your Benefit is paid. So I’m afraid more Landlords aren’t taking you.
I and many Landlords are pulling our hair out at the daftness and lack of communication from DWP Universal Credit, which is making many of you tenants homeless. Through my great Labour MP Alex Norris for North Nottinghamshire, he’s finally got DWP to reply after 6 years.
One aspect is Third-Party Deductions, a very important factor in stopping you from being homeless if you’ve got in arrears. However, to confuse things and not help you budget, this is paid to the Landlord 4 weekly on completely different days and dates to your normal Housing Element which is paid monthly at the same time as your UC. It’s very hard to work out and apportion which payment to which payment and date periods. Especially if your Landlord allows you to pay your rent the same day as your UC.
Below is the letter from David Rutley MP, Minister for Welfare Delivery letter to me dated 3 Nov 2021 and below are some extracts from him & some of my replies.
He says: It is unclear why Mr Roberts believes that rent arrears are paid four-weekly but I hope this will clarify the situation. Rent arrears are both calculated and subsequently paid monthly.
I say: David, please find enclosed PDF bank statements showing the ACTUAL payments going in to my bank EVERY 28 DAYS on a Thursday. Is this more clear for u?
So:Thurs 4 Nov 2021 £227.54
Thurs 7 Oct 2021 £350.61
Thurs 9 Sep 2021 £257.64 And so on.
David, these are paid EVERY 4 WEEKS (28 days) on a Thursday. Not every calendar month, as the Minister for Welfare Delivery wrongly assumes.
So, David, I know you are a very clever man having studied at the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School, so you yourself have not got this wrong, it’s what you have been told, having only just joined DWP, where I’ve been subject to its failings for 24 years. And this is what we need to change. It is toxic within the UC & DWP system.
You are correct in that they are deducted every calendar month from the tenant’s UC entitlement, however, deducted from one party monthly and paid to the important housing support party are two totally different things. Why they are not paid monthly is baffling. Even the Third-Party team cannot understand why UC would pay monthly and then the important direct arrears deductions to stop someone going homeless is paid out of sync, not doing anything to protect the tenant’s home and help them or the landlord budget.
If the powers at the top don’t know how UC is paid to stop tenants from being homeless, what hope is there for those on the Ground level?
David, it’s not unclear to me why you don’t understand this. I’ve been the biggest Private Provider to housing the homeless Benefit tenants in Nottingham for 24 years and subsequently UC tenants for the last 6 years. May I ask how long you have been a specialist in Benefit tenants?
I see this throughout DWP UC from top to bottom. No one knows how it works on ground level. No one comes and asks the Landlord or tenant how things can be improved. I can save the UK taxpayer and Govt dozens of billions of £’s every year with the most simple changes that also reduces your homeless bill massively. Why the Govt don’t act on this is baffling.
So there you go benefit tenants, if the Minister for Welfare delivery doesn’t even know how vulnerable tenants arrears are being paid to stop tenants from being evicted, then one can not be surprised at the shocking homeless this Universal Credit is causing.