UC sending letters for landlord to non-existent address

by Mick Roberts

10:38 AM, 14th October 2019
About a month ago

UC sending letters for landlord to non-existent address

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UC sending letters for landlord to non-existent address

Dear Universal Credit Stage two,

This complaint is about you sending letters to me/for me, to someone else in Nottingham where I do not live. Breaking data protection rules and not correcting your mistake quickly. So simple to solve, 10 second phone call, you have my address wrong, job done. Why is it 4 weeks later now and still no communication?

I’m copying a few of you in this is about the most simple complaint/query you could ever receive. So why hasn’t Stage one replied?

S****,

I’m copying you in because you are very successful at getting complaints to reply. The complaint below is so simple, you could take it to your local nursery and the 4 year olds could solve it.

I have to say, even though you do get complaints to sometimes reply, they have not solved ONE query. ZERO! You should really be following these up as it is making a mockery of you being their boss. I also have to say those in complaints are the most stupendous people you could ever meet in the UK, and the managers, how could they be worse? But they are!

N***,

When are u going to get involved to stop people being evicted for not paying rent? When we as Landlords know what the solution is, but no one at UC will listen to us. Go talk to my local Job Centre and ask them to see some of the VERY SIMPLE things they have solved only because they would talk to me. Whereas eviction was imminent being left to the UC route.

I am also copying in Frank Field MP who chairs the work and pensions committee, who as you know is constantly investigating DWP failings. He wants to hear of my stories ‘On the Street’ so he has an idea of what’s happening.

I am also copying in secretly some UC staff who have said they might look at this simple complaint if they get time.

S****, what I don’t get is, why you have not rang me ONCE to try and solve this going forward.

In 2 years or so, I am going to have about 100 complaints with ICE. All Avoidable Preventable. So easy.

S****, here is an example of what you did on 21 Sep 19:

Sat 21 Sep 19 I receive letter from UC Stage 2. Saying I sent email to S****, & Mr C**** Correspondence manager has asked to reply. He says it will take until 30 Sep to reply. No phone number on it.

I expect no phone call unlike other complaint places where they ring you to understand the situation. And no details on this letter what complaint was about.

S****, no one has replied to me. What are you doing about this?

S****, your complaints people are a disgrace. They are contributing massively to homeless. Where do you employ these people from? In our lowest classes at school, they wouldn’t have acted like this.

You are safe at the moment as ICE with no teeth cannot apparently currently make you award us compensation. But that may change. And if when it does, boy are you lot in trouble. And when the Media finally pick up and how much your complaints department are contributing to the homeless and ignoring the vulnerable tenants, again more ridiculing publicity will follow.

I got awarded dozens of thousands every year with HB years ago. You know what they did to stop the complaints JUST LIKE THAT?
They gave me one person with common sense and their email and phone number and it saved Nottingham Council Housing Benefit department and taxpayers hundreds of thousands. No complaints against the HB department from me for about 8 years or so.
You give me one person’s email, we’re sorted.

If Landlord knows there is something wrong with tenant/claimants claim, he should be able to ring UC, say look, don’t tell me any thing confidential, there is something wrong with this claim, please go way and check it.

I had this exact scenario last 4 months. Payment HE coming short. I rang UC, UC said tenant knows why it is short, tenant has to ring and look on journal.  I looked on journal, could see nothing.  Tenant rang UC, they said they could see nothing. Aahh what do we do?

It was only after my meeting with D*** from your service centre, she said tell claimant to go on journal to put note on there to ring Landlord about it. D*** picked this up, emailed me & said it was UC system error: The was a system error regarding the correct payment of rent the short fall of £3.73 for 3 assessment periods, a payment has been made to your company of £11.19 which will clear on the 15th of April. The system has now been corrected so the next assessment period the rent will be £395.00.

UC created a complaint over this that has gone to ICE. If we had common sense people like D*** allowing us to email them, YOU SOLVE HOMELESSNESS. SO SO SIMPLE. Only Muppets couldn’t understand this.

I knew that payment was short for something me or claimant had no control over, nor knew. Only UC could solve it. Email access would solve this. This does work as has worked with HB.

I am not saying tell me, I will give you search the info, and you go away and check and Ooh yes he is right, this is stupid whoever made that decision.

I again ask for compensation. Now £600 for 4 hours. And I shall keep putting this in. As at some point, there will be a ruling.

Enclosed is a log which shows to get electronic notification (to avoid these envelopes full stop), you send us the below instructions. I’ve took these to the University of Nottingham, gave them to a Maths Professor. He smirked. He said surely they are not expecting normal run of the Mill Landlords without computer degrees to understand how to do this, are they? I said It seems so. He laughed. He said It looks like Section 3, No wonder Landlords are exiting & homeless is rocketing.

Option 1 – EDI Transfer Your File

 Transfer Your File is a secure, online file repository system which allows users to log in, access a folder where their file is kept, and download the file at any time.  Files will be available for up to 30 days after the schedule has been created.  Transfer your file will initially be available only to Local Authorities.

 No testing is performed as you will already have an established connection for Housing Benefit data. LA’s going ‘electronic’ will need to ensure they have liaised with their current Transfer Your File users and arrange who will download the TPP schedule files and place them with the appropriate team within the LA every 4 weeks.

 See Appendix 1, 1a & 1b for further details.

 Option 2 – EDI PGP Secure Email This is available for Creditors/Suppliers (excluding Local authorities).

DWP will require your organisation’s secure email address for receipt of Secure Email (S/MIME) and a copy of your public key from your server which needs to be sent securely and will be used to encrypt the electronic transaction.

Estimated set up time scales are around one month.

See Appendix 2 & 2a for further details.

Option 3 – EDI Generic File Transfer Service This is available for Creditors/Suppliers (excluding Local authorities).

Your FTPS file transfer system needs to comply with the GFTS Code of Connection (GFTS CoCo). Please review the GFTS CoCo as it explains the things you will need to agree to in order to set up a secure file transfer route.

DWP will need: Username, Password, Server IP address, Server Public Certificate bound to the user, FTPS Control Port Number (for connection setup and firewall), recommended port is 21, FTPS dynamic data port range (for firewall), recommended port range are 8050-8249. Folder path where file will be sent to

Estimated set up time scales are around two – three months.

See Appendix 3 & 3a for further details.



Comments

James Mann

11:57 AM, 14th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Just not fit for purpose. A complete disgrace from this government who appear to not care about these vulnerable tenants!

Mick Roberts

12:58 PM, 14th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by James Mann at 14/10/2019 - 11:57
They don't care one bit. The solutions are so easy. But u can't talk to anyone with common sense to get problems solved. Except the Job Centre managers, but they have other stuff to do.

Luke P

15:34 PM, 14th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I regularly receive mis-sent DWP UC correspondence.

I had one only today, in fact...it was addressed to a surname only (of a tenant) to my offices, even though it was a letter meant for me to inform me of the situation. The best on was:

MR "LUKE P"
NOT SURE
GRIMSBY
NOT SURE

Yes, it literally said 'NOT SURE'. Luckily the postman knew where to send it, but they are beyond useless.

Darlington Landlord

17:45 PM, 14th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

According to the latest news the whole system is being automated to be run by algorithms and "robots" https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/14/fears-rise-in-benefits-system-automation-could-plunge-claimants-deeper-into-poverty.
Looks like they've already made great strides in automating ignoring compliants!

Robert Mellors

23:37 PM, 14th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I've got examples of them writing to my tenants AT MY HOME ADDRESS, instead of at the tenant's address!

Just two weeks ago I received post from them that was mailed in April 2019, as they addressed it to my old address from 8 years ago, and it then took 5 months to get re-directed to me!

Mick Roberts

7:18 AM, 15th October 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Ha ha Luke, Yes I regularly get the same, I get one every month that's addressed to HMP which we know is Her Majesty's Prison, then my address. And it's for a tenant when I open envelope.
Not sure, these are proper Numptees.
Yes Darlington, the arrears deductions are outsourced, that's who send out the text I have sent above. I ddin't think it was possible to get anyone thicker than UC, I suppose UC must have put advert out for the thickest people not on Planet Earth, but in the Universe. They had to be thicker than UC to make UC not look as bad.
It's shocking in't it Rob. The only way to solve this is to give us what they did with HB, a common sense human who we can build up a rapport with & onwards & upwards. Would save them a fortune in staff & mistakes & repeated work.

Smithy @hotmail

10:24 AM, 20th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

My problem seems trivial by comparison - except that it has delayed my tenant receiving her UC payment this month and she had no money.
I took a lady on from the LA homeless unit. She wanted me to receive the rent directly so I completed the appropriate form (UC47) and posted it off on 20 August. (For anyone unfamiliar with the form, I had to put her details plus my address, email , phone number and bank details.)
On 20 September, I recieved a phone call (so they had my phone number) from a nice gentleman from UC asking for my bank details. I gave these to him over the phone.
On 18 October I received a panic phone call from my tenant - the Jobcentre have been on to her - her UC payment has been held up because they need my bank details. She had no money.
They told her that they have been trying to contact me.
They have my phone number, my email and my postal address - and they most certainly have not been trying to contact me.
They agreed to pay her the full amount this month and she will pay me herself. (And even that is inconvenient because she can only draw £250 per day from the cash machine.) I am seeing her today and will give her copies of all the paperwork so she can take it to the Jobcentre and they can scan it in to her claim.
I know this is just one small example - but we did everything correctly and she has had to borrow money when her UC did not come through.

Mick Roberts

17:16 PM, 20th October 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Smithy @hotmail at 20/10/2019 - 10:24
Yes,

I've had same. Why oh why should their money be held up when they haven't got our bank details. It's crackers. You will find sometimes at this stage regardless of the UC47, if she says to them I need my money, UC can & will & do & have done, pay the tenants their UC along with your 'rent' Housing Element too. Even though guidelines say they can't.

I shall again put the Guidelines down here, for those that don't know, please copy 'em, use 'em put 'em on your rent proof letters, email the managers at your job centre, print out & tell tenant to take to Job Centre JC when doing claim. We need to educate these JC staff as they know ZERO RULES when it comes to anything about rent. All of a sudden, they now responsible for peoples' homes, not just their food & bills money & they getting it wrong.

Ha Ha I read on, & this has happened to u too. It is disgraceful, it shun't be happening.

All the stuff below is also on Bill Irvine's website:

https://universalcreditadvice.com/bulletins/universal-credit-tips-on-how-to-progress-a-query-challenge-decisions-complain/

DWP guidance on MUST pay Landlord if LHA HB is already being paid direct to Landlord.

Direct payment to Landlords when switched from LHA where LHA is being paid direct to Landlords, UC HE HAS TO BE PAID DIRECT to Landlords:

The DWP link can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletters/february-2019-universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletter

The bit you’re looking for is below, highlighted for you.

2.4 When can a Managed Payment to a landlord be requested?

A Managed Payment to a landlord can be made when either:

· a claimant is in arrears with their rent for an amount equal to, or more than, two months of their rent

· a claimant has continually underpaid their rent over a period of time, and they have accrued arrears of an amount equal to or more than one month’s rent

· any of the other Tier 1 and Tier 2 APA factors apply

Or for private sector tenants:

· a claimant was previously in receipt of Housing Benefit and it was paid to their private landlord, a Managed payment to landlord can be considered providing the claimant continues to meet the Tier 1 or Tier 2 APA factors

This is part of the conversation Universal Credit staff will have with the claimant at the start of the claim.

Also:

Direct payment to Landlords doesn’t need explicit consent. UC HE HAS TO BE PAID DIRECT to Landlords.

You cannot under any circumstances ask the tenant & then take their word for it that they aren’t in arrears & then pay them putting their shelter at risk

“Explicit Consent” was removed in December 2017 supposedly putting a stop to tenant’s misusing the “housing costs element”. (HCE)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-detailed-information-for-claimants/universal-credit-consent-and-disclosure-of-information

2.2 Disclosure of information to private landlords

Private landlords are landlords who usually own the property they are renting out.

Private landlords can be:

a company that owns a lot of properties

a person or family that owns one or more properties

Private landlords can ask for their tenant’s Universal Credit housing costs to be paid directly to them without the need for explicit consent.

You will be informed that the private landlord has requested that the Universal Credit housing costs be paid directly to them.

If you are happy for your Universal Credit housing costs to be paid directly to the landlord, you do not need to reply to give your consent.

The Universal Credit housing costs will then automatically be paid to the landlord each month. If you do not want the rent to be paid directly to the landlord, you can dispute this.

You will need to provide evidence that you are not in rent arrears in order to dispute the alternative payment arrangement.


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