UC47 rejected but tenant consistently in arrears?

by Readers Question

8:17 AM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

UC47 rejected but tenant consistently in arrears?

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UC47 rejected but tenant consistently in arrears?

I have just had a UC47 rejected as it states rent arrears are not in excess of two months rent. Does this mean the total tent of the property – or does this mean the total amount of rent due by the tenant towards her part of the rent – in other words her top ups? A distinct difference.

I want to challenge this as tenant is in arrears to the tune of over £1,000, but this has built up as a direct result of her negation of payment of the top ups to the rent which have been consistently underpaid since April 2019. If I have to wait till two months actual rent accrues first (that’s over £1700) then the period of arrears will span nearly 2 years!

Anyone had a similar issue – can I challenge on this basis as it is clearly unfair.

Many thanks

Reluctant Landlord

Editor’s Note:

.Gov Click here: If a tenant is having difficulty paying their rent, fill in the UC47 form to request payment of rent from a tenant’s Universal Credit.


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Comments

J CHAPMAN

10:24 AM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

You have to wait until she is in arrears amounting to 2 full months rent. UC is a nightmare!

SergeT

11:11 AM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Hi
I understand your frustration as I'm currently dealing with a similar issue
My tenant is exactly 2 months in arrears as he hasn't paid rent for 2 months, I have just applied for a managed payment today
However, my understanding that if the tenant has a history of arrears you don't have to wait until the total amount is 2months
How long have you been waiting for the answer from DWP since you applied?

Blueskies

12:16 PM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by J CHAPMAN at 24/04/2020 - 10:24
So does this mean if last rent was paid on 25th February, two months arrears is 25th April, or 25th May?

Bill irvine

12:22 PM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Hi J Chapman
DWP will normally only agree to a Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL) where the landlord can prove 2 months or more rent arrears. However, its own guidance encourages its staff to look beyond this.
DWP refers to this guidance as Tier 1 factors: Rent Arrears is paragraph 1.8 of the guidance - "Currently in rent arrears/threat of eviction/repossession" -
#Claimant is currently in arrears with their rent for an amount equal to or more than 2 months of their rent; or
#Claimant has continually underpaid their rent over more than 2 months, or they have accrued arrears of an amount equal to or more than one month’s rent
#Claimant has been evicted for rent arrears within the last 12 months
#Claimant is subject to/threatened with eviction and/or repossession"
As Serge suggests, its own guidance suggests it may also redirect payment where the sum involved is more than 1 months' arrears or where there is proof of the tenant's persistent failure to pay or late payments causing a threat to their tenancy.
Other than waiting until the debt is more than 2 months, and submitting a new form, you could lodge a "Stage 1 Complaint" to its local Practice or District Manager pointing to its own guidance and its staffs' failure to see the merit in your earlier application.
Bill

WP

12:56 PM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SergeT at 24/04/2020 - 11:11
I filled in the UC47 at start of week - got a rejected reply today 🙁

WP

12:59 PM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Thanks Bill - I'm going to send of a Complaint now, referring to the info you have kindly posted. Only question I have now is how the heck do you find out details of the local Practice or District Manager?

WP

13:15 PM, 24th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 24/04/2020 - 13:09
Thanks very much Bill 🙂

Prakash Tanna

9:41 AM, 25th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Is the tenant paying you all of her HB element of her UC claim at present, as you mention it's the 'top up' you're not getting? If so, you will still only get amount if paid directly, not any more.

Also, is tenant still in the fixed term of the contract? As mentioned by others, the threat of evicting can sometimes trigger direct payments.

One presumes contractually she is meant to pay rent for the month in advance, but is he/she paying it that way or in arrears when UC pays it. Contractually tenant may be in arrears to the value of 2 months+ and if you can prove that they will pay you directly.

Have you trie to talk to the tenant and advised that if they do not agree to direct payments or request it themselves you are unlikely to renew their contract and pursue them through MCOL for the arrears?

Clint

18:31 PM, 26th April 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bill irvine at 24/04/2020 - 12:22
UC just ignore everything, and I have in fact followed the complaints procedure where I raised complaints following their stage 1 & stage 2 procedures however, this got me nowhere as UC just ignore everything or give standard stupid excuses where it appears that nothing more can be done.
I have several such cases however one in particular where I followed the above procedures was in August 2018, the tenant kept most of the rent deliberately and paid a very small amount. I took legal action and got her a CCJ.
I applied to UC with a UC47 form completed and included the CCJ letter in the correspondence. I did not even get a reply so had phoned them after a while, and I was informed that the payment was not made to me as the tenant was not two months in arrears.
Following that, I sent another UC47 form where the Tenant was well over 2 months in arrears, and following that, I was phoned up by an UC agent and was informed that a payment would be made to me on 27th December 2018 and this was also confirmed by the tenant. To no surprise it was once again paid to the tenant and it was only the next month in January I go a payment.
More recently the payments had stopped along with another tenant on 27th January 2020 which effectively means I have not been paid for February and March 2020 of this year.
On phoning UC, the agent told me to send new UC47 forms and stated that she would definitely call me by the following Friday (which was about a week later) although, I had explained that I had already completed these in the past as both tenants were more than two months in arrears along time back. Surprise, surprise, she did not call me by the Friday.
So far, I have made three calls with an average of around two hour wait times for each call and have filled and sent in the two UC47 forms which were requested.
I received an email for one tenant saying that following my email, a payment has now been set up which to me implies, that I am expected to lose rent for Feb, March and April of this year and possibly May knowing the delays in UC making payment.
I believe the complaints procedure is a total waste of time and having spoken to you before and have done everything you have said Bill but have had no luck.
I believe the only way is to go to the courts. Do you or anyone else know if there is a legal procedure for doing this and if this has been done before and if there was any success?
I am also in touch with Sherrelle Cole from Carridon and will be corresponding with her regarding these and many other previous cases.
Has anyone else had such a bad time with UC or am I just exceptionally unlucky?

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