The truth about Managed Payment Requests (Full Service)

by CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

9:38 AM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

The truth about Managed Payment Requests (Full Service)

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The truth about Managed Payment Requests (Full Service)

The DWP guidance states:

8. Support and Alternative Payment Arrangements

8.1 Alternative Payment Arrangements and managing rent arrears

If a tenant gets into difficulty paying their rent, the landlord can apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL) which will be considered on a case by case basis.

8.2 Tenant in rent arrears

Information from third parties such as family members, support workers and the claimant’s landlord, can be considered when assessing a claimant’s ability to manage their finances.
Personal Budgeting Support and/or an Alternative Payment Arrangement may be deemed appropriate, for those claimants who are not yet in arrears with their rent but who may benefit from advice around managing their Universal Credit award or money management.

DWP can refer the claimant to Personal Budgeting Support and/or consider an Alternative Payment Arrangement.

Personal Budgeting Support and Alternative Payment Arrangements Guidance follows up by stating on Pg. 5 When can an Alternative Payment Arrangement be considered?

They may be identified at the outset by the Job Centre Plus work coach Interview alongside Personal Budgeting Support, or during the claim e.g. because the claimant is struggling with the single monthly payment.

They can be triggered by information received from the claimant , their representative, their caseworker or their landlord, advising of a build-up of arrears. To safeguard the claimants home, a landlord can notify Universal Credit of a build-up of rent arrears and ask for the Universal Credit housing element to be paid direct to them where a rent arrears trigger has been reached.

Reading the Government guidelines makes the process seem so simple, you have a tenant they fall into rent arrears you apply for a managed payment and third party deductions so that you can recover against some of the arrears by completing a UC47 and submit the documents by post or via email using the non-secure email address.

A week goes past and you call DWP to see how they getting on with the APA request that you have made, your either told that they cannot speak with you as you have no explicit consent to discuss the request, or they cannot find the APA request.

You explain to the call handler that your tenant is in rent arrears and owes you money and are told that the tenant has refused for the APA request to be paid direct to you therefore the APA has been rejected.

This exact situation is a daily occurrence, many landlords believe that if there tenant is in rent arrears there APA request is guaranteed, this is in fact not true, the tenant can reject the APA request which blocks any payment made to the landlord.

Many of you must be thinking but how does this happen, if DWP have a section on rent arrears in there guidelines.

Under full service when a landlord submits a request for direct payments the claimants case manager notifies the claimant via their online journal, the tenant can then message back the case manager and advise them whether or not to pay the landlord.

DWP have to follow the direction of the tenant as they are the claimant and it is their claim therefore the tenant is in control, its apparent that DWP are more worried about breaching the tenants rights as oppose to preventing the misuse of payments and protecting the public purse.

I am sure that there are loads of landlords that have been through this exact situation and just do not know what to do, we at Caridon Landlord Solutions want to hear from you and your experiences as we would like to present the cases to DWP officials.

If a tenant is in rent arrears just like the LHA system all payments should be suspended while the landlord and tenant provide representations to the Local Authority giving the Local Authority all facts to base their decision on who they should pay!

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

13:35 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Are these DWP people just absolutely thick?
It is in the tenants best interests to tell DWP 'Oh no I'm not in arrears, please keep paying me'.
Gees, the amount of times I used to get this in LHA.
It got to one stage where HB would ring me & say the Tenants says he's not in arrears, I'd say Well pay him then if u think he's not in arrears. I've told u he's in arrears, he's telling u he's not, we can either pay me & be safe knowing the HB has been spent on the correct rent & the Landlord, or we can take a risk & pay tenant to keep tenant happy.
The dimwit paid the tenant again. Der...
I did this several times, knowing that I'd win at Ombudsman complaint stage & I think I got about £2700 compensation in the end from the Council having to pay the 'lost' LHA.
It's took the councils 9 years to learn LHA & so SO much easier to get them to pay Landlord direct as no one moans, no one complains, rent is being paid.
Why don't DWP just learn from HB who have been doing it years? I'm not even gonna' say Not Rocket science, this is 5 year old kid stuff. The 5 year olds say why keep paying Mummy when she keeps spending it & putting in debt?

tony tony

16:32 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 03/10/2017 - 13:35
to true it makes you wonder who comes up with these ideas , they dont live in the real world, give tennants more resonsibility , let them pay there own rent ( my arse ! complete joke ) ive been renting to L H A for 20 years never at to take anyone to court or throw them out , nxt month will be my first eviction ( section 8 ) due to universal credit , that says it all

Mick Roberts

17:40 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Same here Tony, no court evictions in 20 years.
last 4 years, I think I've done 4 'cause of benefit cap.
And I can see with UC, being loads more.
I'm getting out the LHA benefit market as my houses come up, gonna' have to bite the bullet, do 'em up, paint & carpet & Letting agent better quality tenants.
Saying that, I do have a lot of good tenants at the moment, but the UC will make 'em non payers & turn out to be bad.
And also saying that, probably need to ask others on here, I used to get a house come empty every few months, not had one for about a year, & it's got to be 'cause Landlords selling 'cause of clause 24, Landlords not taking the benefit people off me, scared of benefit cap, & forthcoming UC.

tony tony

18:23 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 03/10/2017 - 17:40
ditto mick ,couldnt agree more

Clint

18:59 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

I have been renting to housing benefit tenants since 2004 and have always had the rent paid directly to myself. This worked extremely well. Problems generally arose in most cases when the housing benefit tenant started work and had to start paying out of his or her wages. I would say about ninety percent of these tenants fell into arrears within no time so it is absolute stupidity to pay the rental element to the tenant.
I recall in one case the council paid the tenant the rent from the start of the tenancy although, it was a condition of the tenancy that the landlord should be paid directly and the tenant had signed a letter saying that he wanted the rent paid directly to the landlord. The council ignored the letter although evidence was later produced that they had possession of the letter and they continued paying the Tenant for about 5 months although, they were first informed of rent arrears when the tenant had fallen 2 months in arrears with his rent. The tenant was evicted using a section 8 and following this I raised a complaint against the council for paying the tenant when they should have paid it directly to me and also threatened to refer the matter to the Ombudsman and they eventually paid me the full rent so in fact lost out by paying the rent twice. The tenant unfortunately, did not pay any of the rent from the start of the tenancy as he was helping his family who had financial problems in Africa.
With respect to Universal Credit, this is a totally different ball game. This is basically allowing public funds to be stolen with no redress at all and no appeals procedure. I find it hard to believe that the government after so many complaints allows this scheme to continue as it is. I as a landlord have lost thousands of pounds since UC has been in place and even tenants that I have had for years on Housing Benefit are now in arrears after switching from HB to UC.
Besides having a regular loss of rent more recently I had a tenant (Sherrelle is aware of this case as I use Caridon Solutions services) who was well in arrears and when she found out that there was an APA put in, she informed UC not to pay me due to disrepair although, she never allowed me to carry out any repairs although, several emails, text messages and voice mails were sent to her. The council had also tried to arrange dates for me to carry out repairs but she ignored the emails letters. When an official letter was written to her saying that workman would go in to carry out repairs on a specific date, she specifically wrote back stating that she is not giving permission to enter the property. The tenant has now left leaving me with rent arrears of around £6000 where she was paid by UC. I presume the council will have helped her to find another property where possibly the same thing will recur. It costs me less than £200 to carry out repairs which was a faulty night storage heater. All else was working and there was little mould caused by drying a lot of clothes regularly which cleaned off easily.

tony tony

19:13 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

everything is on the tenants side , thats the problem

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

20:38 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Clint at 03/10/2017 - 18:59
Clint is very familiar with this situation, it is ridiculous that a tenant has the right to refuse for the APA to be put into place when they are clearly in rent arrears.
I have brought this scenario to DWP and the issue is that it is the tenants claim, I think DWP are more worried about breeching data protection rather then protecting the public purse.
I do think they are currently looking into this situation and hopefully it will be resolved.
We have to be patient it is a new service and there will be a few problems-lets hope they are resolved rapidly, preventing any further financial loss to landlords that are providing property to those in need in the current housing crisis.

tony tony

21:00 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Sherrelle Collman at 03/10/2017 - 20:38
have to be patient ! while they learn how to do there job thats a joke really , they should have people working who know what they are doing instead of working off a script, there was no reason why they coudnt of adopted the same rule as the L H A system for dealing with rent and rent arrears its a complete joke that wasnt planned out properly in the first place , they are changing the rules as they go , they shou;d of put more thought into it in the first place

Clint

21:44 PM, 3rd October 2017
About A year ago

Just to add. I said in my earlier comment “allowing public funds to be stolen”. To be more correct I should have said “allowing theft from landlords”.
Following on from Tony Tony, these people employed by the DWP are so absolutely brainless (or more so trained to be so) that on several occasions I have had tenants being told to get a letter from their landlord with evidence that a deposit has been paid and evidence that they are renting the property. I really cannot understand how anyone in their right mind would require further proof than a tenancy agreement signed by landlord and tenant showing the start date, property address, etc along with a deposit certificate. I know, reading this you probably don’t believe me but it is absolutely true. This is what I have been asked for on several occasions.
I even had one tenant phone me whilst with an officer at the DWP me stating that they require a letter of evidence from me whilst she presented a new tenancy agreement and deposit certificate as evidence of the rent and deposit. I spoke to the officer and informed the person that the tenancy agreement and deposit certificate was the evidence only to be informed that it was normal procedure to have a letter from the landlord. It was only after I asked for the manager and asked for the manager’s name that they eventually accepted that the evidence was sufficient.
I also don’t understand why the DWP require evidence of the deposit paid when it has nothing to do with the rent or perhaps I am missing something.
More recently, in fact on Friday one of my tenants who was on a statutory periodic tenancy informed me that the DWP officer would not accept that the rent had been reviewed although she had a letter in respect of this showing the new rate which was in fact the new LHA rate which came into effect on 1st April 2017. They wanted a new tenancy agreement which I informed the tenant was not required and a letter would suffice. I am yet to hear the outcome.
It makes me think! Is it the job of the DWP to make life as difficult as possible or this is one of the schemes against landlords?
What next?

Mick Roberts

7:12 AM, 4th October 2017
About A year ago

Yes Tony, I get sick of 'em asking for new tenancy agreement 'cause current 2 year old one has lower rent than what is now, or over 6 months etc.
And they want us to write new one out with perhaps not great tenant who now has new tenancy with 6 months, & all newer current rules to abide by.

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