UC email to Landlords is causing THOUSANDS to be HOMELESS!

by Mick Roberts

2 weeks ago

UC email to Landlords is causing THOUSANDS to be HOMELESS!

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UC email to Landlords is causing THOUSANDS to be HOMELESS!

Firstly, if there are any Newspapers, Media outlets, TV program’s readings this and you are soon doing a story on Universal Credit, then I give you full permission to use all this post of mine.

Below is the email that UC are now sending to Landlords when we report that the tenants are in arrears. I think and have also been told by Bill Irvine (Master of putting up with the crap of UC) that I have sent the correct arrears form to the correct email address:

“Thank you for your enquiry.

This email address is only for Landlords to use when requesting a Managed Payment of housing costs or rent arrears or both from Universal Credit.

For all other housing enquires please use the Housing email address UC.SERVICECENTREHOUSING@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK

In order to process your enquiry we require a fully completed ÏSecure or Ð Non Secure UC47 request form.

If you have sent a ÏSecure UC47 form to this email box from a Ð Non Secure email address we will not process it as it does not comply with Data Protection legislation and your email and form will be deleted. A secure email address is one that includes GSI, GCSX, GSX, CJX, CJSM, GOV.UK, GOV.SCOT or GSE. This is to minimise the risk of sensitive information being intercepted and misused. If you do not have a secure email address and have completed a ÏSecure UC47 request form then please complete the Ð Non Secure UC47 form and resend.

Alternatively you can send the completed ÏSecure UC47 form to: FREEPOST DWP UNIVERSAL CREDIT LIVE SERVICE.

Once the completed form is received a decision will be made whether or not to make a Managed Payment of housing costs, arrears deductions or both. We endeavour to action your request prior to the end of the assessment period.”

Now I’m not thick, but I reckon you have got to have a degree in English, Physics, Algebra and Computer Science to understand what that email means.

Just this one email sent to all Landlords who are trying to report arrears i.e. that the rent isn’t coming in to pay the mortgage, WILL BE CONTRIBUTING to a few percent of homelessness i.e. many thousands.

If is is DWP’s & Govt’s INTENTION to make it hard for Landlords, then once again, when they make it harder for us, they make it harder for tenants. They really are a load of imbeciles.

Why don’t DWP, put links in this email (well not this email because no one can understand it), to say here is the form you need & here is the email address you need to send it to. Simple! They could save MANY people from being homeless. A 5 year old that plays on computer could think of that. But with their millions of overspend they can’t. Why not? They need to make the email more understandable so that a 10 year old receiving can understand it.

One of my tenants has now been paid TWICE – two months, 2 x £395 since I reported his arrears. Plus the 2 months previous we had to wait before reporting arrears. So he has now had £1,580 of FREE MONEY. He hasn’t paid his rent despite having received the benefits! UC have gave her Taxpayers money (which the News programmes never say) to do as he likes.

Now I like this tenant, he’s been with me for 14 years. I purchased his previous house from him in 2004 when he was a week away from being repossessed. His previous wife still lives in that house. So I’m not going to evict him (yet), as I am going to keep emailing and writing to UC. When they finally wake up, they should be paying me compensation for the missing rent, as they aren’t allowed to pay benefit for the same period twice, so it has to be paid as compensation (more taxpayers money). I can let this go a year. The more Landlords that do this and start complaining, eventually one day when millions of pounds of Taxpayers money has been wasted, UC & the Govt might finally wake up.

We had a similar problem in 2008 when LHA came in and local Housing Benefit departments were adamant to keep paying tenants ‘the rent’ to keep Govt happy. By around 2012 they woke up, realised it wasn’t working and made it much easier for Landlords to report arrears and get paid direct in a 33.5 second phone call. Why aren’t UC coming to talk to us and tap HB staff for the answers? Proper thick this Govt & DWP!

Life and business and sport are about percentages and marginal gains. The more you get right, the better you become, the better things are. This few percent thousands homeless is EASY TO SOLVE!!!!

GOVERNMENT, UC, DWP, WAKE UP! You are in denial. We on the ground know what is happening and what the necessary fixes are. Publish the figures that the cost in homelessness this is causing!

Mick Roberts



Comments

Robert Mellors

2 weeks ago

At least you are getting the acknowledgement that they have received your email, even if it seems to indicate that they are going to ignore it or delete it because you've done something wrong (even though you have done it right). I have repeatedly sent in UC47 requests, almost all of which are ignored by the UC Team. I've even sent in a formal complaint about this, and guess what, the complaint has not even been acknowledged.

The UC Teams are causing people to be evicted and made homeless, and they do not seem to care at all, they (with a just a very few exceptions) will not talk to landlords and will not accept information from landlords, their cruelty is astounding, they are causing such massive hardship to thousands of tenants and ruining people's lives!
- Where is the "welfare" in the Welfare Benefits system???

Bill Irvine

2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 12/05/2018 - 20:12
Hi Robert

As Universal Credit moves to Full Service (digital) delivery the scale of complaints, like yours, is certain to rise.

I recently sent a Freedom of Information request to DWP on the exact same topic, the details of which can be found below:

“1. Where a Private Sector Landlord submits an application for an Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) and provides evidence of Tier 1 compliance, and there is no objection from their tenant, within the 7 days now prescribed, at which point in the process and how long after the request is made, can the landlord expect to be notified and which format does the notification take?

"2. In the event the landlord hasn't received word by the end of the tenant's Benefit Assessment Period (BAP) and submits a complaint (stage 1) how long can he/she expect to wait?”

DWP Response - With regards your 1st question, “….how long after the request is made, can the landlord expect to be notified and which format does the notification take?”, we expect that a case manager will notify the landlord about their APA request by the end of the assessment period that follows on from the end of the seven days. This notification will be by email.

With regards your question related to complaints, DWP aims to reply to complaints in full within 15 working days. In circumstances where this is not possible, owing to case complexity for example, we discuss a resolution plan with the customer explaining how long we anticipate our investigation will take and agree a future date for response.

DWP's response is exactly what I expected and completely at odds with what PRS landlords should expect. At the very least, your APA should be acknowledged; an anticipated timescale for response should be offered; by no later than the end of the BAP, a letter should be issued to the applicant landlord confirming acceptance or explaining the grounds for refusal and ability to pursue this through the complaints process (unlike LHA, there is no appeal process to a tribunal).

Based on DWP's comments, the PRS landlord can expect to hear 9 weeks after the APA request by e-mail. Not, at all, satisfactory, but many landlords, like you, would view that commitment as progress to what currently exists - no info at all!

As I don't accept DWP's position as tenable, I advise my clients, to wait no more than 15 working days, after they've submitted their APA request and, if they haven't heard anything, submit a stage 1 complaint. If that's not answered, within a further 15 working days, they should then send Stage 2 and, if need be, write directly to the DWP's Director General if that doesn't produce a result.

Complaining in this formal way does often produce the desired effect, albeit not as quickly as you'd have liked.

In my most recent bulletin, I elaborate on some of these tactics and how best to tackle some of the other challenges posed by DWP's administration. You might be able to pick up some tips from the narrative http://universalcreditadvice.com/private-landlords/2018/05/universal-credit---tips-on-how-to-progress-a-query-challenge-decisions-complain

Full Service will be operational in every part of the UK by December this year, so, it's important landlords, involved with LHA/UC tenants, get themselves educated just as you did between 2008-11 in relation to LHA and the "safeguarding rules".

In the past few weeks I've been in Durham, Darlington, Doncaster & Manchester speaking to groups of landlords about Universal Credit. Most are surprised by the extent of differences between LHA & UC and just how many changes DWP has introduced since it was first introduced in Manchester in 2013. Four years later 820,000 people are claiming UC. Within the next 4, another 6 million claimants will be added. Most of these cases will be much more complicated and troublesome than the single person claims which have predominated so far. Can DWP deliver in the proposed timescale?

Methinks and hope not, as I believe in their attempts to meet these ambitious deadlines they will create nothing short of absolute chaos for landlords!

Meantime, my advice is, invest some time, to fully understand how this new system is supposed to work; start pursuing DWP systematically, through the "complaints process"; highlight your experiences in the various landlord blogs, including 118; and start writing to Landlord organisations, like RLA, NLA etc. with case examples and provide copies to your MP's and Ministers highlighting any rental losses being experienced. Doing so, will certainly help the prospects of achieving some more beneficial changes.

Bill Irvine

IDIOCY OF THIS GOVERNMENT in relation to PRS seems to be limitless... I am steering far far away from UC. No way I can now start studying computer science in order to understand what DWP wants from me.. and I am fairly computer literate.

john henderson

2 weeks ago

I have 4 family units on HB but they haven’t gone over to UC yet. They all have some component of disability benefit as well.

They have been tenants from 4 years down to 2. So all long term good tenants.

When are these types of renters going to come under the UC umbrella? I am in Leeds / Bradford

Ian Narbeth

2 weeks ago

Mick
I share your exasperation with the bureaucrats. The key bit of their gobbledigook is:
"If you do not have a secure email address and have completed a ÏSecure UC47 request form then please complete the Ð Non Secure UC47 form and resend.
Alternatively you can send the completed ÏSecure UC47 form to: FREEPOST DWP UNIVERSAL CREDIT LIVE SERVICE."
As very few PRS landlords will have a secure email address they/we must either email in the Non Secure form or post in the Secure form. I would do the latter.
Hope that's clear.

Bill Irvine

A week ago

Reply to the comment left by john henderson at 14/05/2018 - 15:34
Hi John
If you examine the roll-out timetable https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/693928/universal-credit-transition-rollout-schedule.pdf you'll find Leeds moves to "Full Service" in October 2018.

Initially, new claims will be taken from those who become employed; those who submit a sick note from their GP; those who move from another local authority area; single parents, where their youngest child becomes 5 and requires the SP, to make a claimant commitment (sign up to seek for work). Around 3-6 months later existing UC "live " service claimants will be invited to make their digital or Full Service claim and from that date everything should be done online.

Starting from 2019, all remaining legacy benefit claimants (e.g. Income Support, JSA (income based), ESA (income based), Housing Benefit & Tax Credits) will be invited to make their UC Full Service claim. The exercise involves potentially 6 million additional claims and will take 4 years to complete.

Can DWP deliver?

Highly doubtful!

Bill Irvine

Worthy of Sir Humphrey Appleby.

It was abundantly clear when UC was being 'designed' it was not going to work out of the box; if at all. This is because it has different design requirements than would 'fit' into existing systems. The existing systems cannot change without major cost and upheaval and so UC is 'bent' and 'formed' against a backdrop of austerity. It is therefore ceiling wax and string and relies on staff to develop processes on the fly. As they become more competent then the wax will set and things will settle down a bit making the whole benefits system even more impenetrable to future architects and reliant on key staff.

Trying to create new systems leads to 'cliff edge' policies e.g. Child benefit. The taxation system is simply not designed to cope with anything new.

It would be interesting to see what the Guardian make of this. (who still haven't responded to my complaint about my complaint not being responded to).

Anyway, I think it was Bernard who said...

'The fact that you needed to know was not known at the time that the now known need to know was known, and therefore those that needed to advise and inform the Home Secretary perhaps felt that the information that he needed as to whether to inform the highest authority of the known information was not yet known, and therefore there was no authority for the authority to be informed because the need to know was not, at that time, known or needed'.

ttfn

Hamish

Alan Wong

A week ago

When I email them, I get the same response. But they never email back from my emails.

I have about 3 tenants on UC and payments are being paid direct to me. On the remittance they send out to confirm payment details, there is no address for them, no contact number or email address. Basically it only says UC team, end off.

What kind of civilisation is this, to deliberately correspond with a dead end piece of communication allowing no further contact whatsoever or almost no way to communicate with them effectively.

And if you call them, put me on music for 50 minutes, then tells me to call other numbers that are dead. Call the same number back, told that is the number for tenants only and they only know the landlord number with the line dead.

Shameful behaviour of the Dwp (government).

Bill Irvine

A week ago

Reply to the comment left by Alan Wong at 16/05/2018 - 22:57
DWP currently don't recognise PRS landlords as customers, even when they're pursuing APA requests, using a scheme designed by DWP to ensure landlords can secure redirection of the "housing costs" where tenants are either vulnerable or have misused public funds.

That's why it's important Landlords pursue complaints through the published "Complaints Process" and where that doesn't work, revert to Neil.Couling@dwp.gsi.gov.uk (Director General of UC) and, at stage 3, the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) when the internal process doesn't produce the desired outcome.

Those landlords that have already pursued complaints helped to produce beneficial changes, like, the withdrawal of "explicit consent" on 20th December 2017 i.e. tenants can no longer prevent redirection as their consent is no longer required. It shouldn't have been in the first instance!

DWP should also be suspending payment of the "housing costs" when an APA application is received. Its Director general agreed to that in August 2015 but has since reneged on that promise. Suspending the housing costs element would prevent the current misuse, which is costing landlords a fortune in lost rental income.

Bill Irvine

Mick Roberts

6 days ago

My apologies for not replying people on such an important post, I've been embroiled in this Selective Licensing Tenants tax.

Ha ha yes Rob, they are still going to ignore it or delete it.

Yes, my two complaints so far haven't been acknowledged, I think I've sent to stage 2 now.

Yes Rob, it is no longer Welfare to look after them, it is Welfare to at all costs not pay anything unless we really have to.

I've saw your email Bill about ringing u the other day, just that far behind at the moment, I'm gonna' try to get some emails cleared up today.

Wow Bill, 9 NINE weeks after the APA, they talk to us, do they? Who's paying mortgage do they think?

Bill, I've just read your informative complaints contacts text. ICE say they won't accept complaint without signed by DWP director to Stage 2 complaint. What if that is why we are going to ICE, 'cause no previous stages before have even replied?

Yes Bill, if they can't even get the single persons easy claim right, what they gonna' do when they get families claiming with kids & extra benefits etc. I have 3 single people on UC so far & it's a 100% failure rate from DWP UC on them.

My problem is, I have no time to study UC as Licensing is consuming that time. I'm not one for chucking tenants out, especially the ones that's been there up to 20 years. But also my tenants ain't leaving me, but I can't carry on with this UC as I get older. And will have approx 90% UC tenants soon.

Yes when I have rang up the higher Tier 2 complaints who u would think would have more common sense, they just cannot recognise u r a Landlord & they take your YOUR NI Number & say Ooh we can't find u. I got one woman to admit their complaints service is not geared up to take complaints from Landlords, nothing on her computer to progress forward with MY NI number.

Here is some more silly things some of u know, which I have asked UC complaint so far with no reply:

I’ve been asking these since Nov 17 & years before, but now keeping log, as still can’t believe you haven’t solved these simple things.

If Housing Benefit have got it right for last 10 years, why can’t you? I and YOU could solve maybe 20% of homeless problem with this one SWIFT move. Give us phone number to report arrears, you suspend, you pay us the Landlord instantly the Housing Element HE Job done. How hard is that? Simples. My 3 year old DOG could sort it out. Why can’t you?

What’s the worst that could happen if you pay the Landlord the ‘RENT’ which pays the mortgage that keeps roof over the UC tenants head?

What could happen if you did that? Tsunami? Earthquake? House fall down?

And now what could & what does & what will happen if you keep paying tenant the HE that he spends & don’t give the Landlord? You couldn’t make it up, could you. Please don’t tell me you are that unintelligent?

Right then, past unanswered unsolved problems you have:

UC are already paying me for 2 tenants, why can't they find me from there & use my bank details to speed things up?

Why don't they ask for my bank details on the UC47 form? We're asking to pay us, so get it on the ruddy letter.

Why are we getting money in bank & not having a clue who's it from?
Why are we getting UC letter 5 days after it's gone in bank? When HB send email 2 days before?

Why are UC asking for this creditor reference number saying it's on your payslip when we filling the UC47 form in cause we not ruddy being paid?
If you say on existing tenants, well there is nothing on there.

I've got 70+ house in Nottingham soon going on Universal credit in Octoberish.
Why don't UC do what HB do & pay 10 20 30 people at same time?
HB pay for 20 tenants in one bank payment-One simple transaction. Cheaper for u too. Plus we get the schedule 3 days before payment goes in, so we know what is going in & what isn’t. Why aren’t UC doing this?
Can you imagine how long UC is going to make my bank statement?

Why won’t or don’t you confirm to me as soon as you have received the UC47 form to say you have it, don’t worry, you ain’t paying it to tenant any more, so we can relax a bit?

Why isn’t this standard automatic procedure?

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