Universal Credit Advice For Landlords

by Mark Alexander

15:44 PM, 10th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Universal Credit Advice For Landlords

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Universal Credit Advice For Landlords
Universal Credit Advice For Landlords

Universal Credit Advice for Landlords

We are delighted to welcome Sherrelle Collman from Caridon Landlord Solutions as our expert source of Universal Credit and Housing Benefit  Advice and Information.

Over the coming weeks and months, Sherrelle will be sharing case studies which I am sure will strike a cord with landlords involved with benefit reliant clients.

The first of these cases relates to the often too familiar issues of direct payments to landlords. What should be a straightforward process can become tortuously complex when LHA staff fail to adhere to regulations, DWP guidance and Upper-tier Tribunal judgements, binding on council’s and tribunals alike. Landlords have rights and Sherrelle guarantees to help you to make sure they’re exercised.

Example provided by Sherrelle

“Our PRS client approached us as their tenant was paid the Housing Benefit 3 times despite a request for direct payment to the landlord being submitted to the Local Authority, due to the tenant’s vulnerabilities and high risk of the tenant misusing the payment.

The tenant failed to forward the payments to the Landlord and fell into arrears.

The landlord contacted the Local Authority Housing benefit department to check the progress of the claim, He was advised that the claim was being assessed and advised to call back within 10 working days.

When the landlord called back he was advised that 3 payments were sent to the tenant and would continue to be sent to the tenant as they are unable to suspend the payments.

He contacted CLS for assistance as he did not know what to do next, we immediately contacted the Housing Benefit Department to request for the claim to be urgently suspended.

After liaising and making a series of complaints to the Housing Benefit Department we managed not only to get the payments redirected to the landlord but also secured Landlord compensation for the missing 3 payments.

He was awarded £1065.34 in compensation and now has the guarantee of future payments being made direct, removing the risk of rental loss.”

If you’ve encountered similar issues Sherrelle would really be interested in hearing about them, either via the comments section at the foot of this page or the contact form below if you would prefer to consult Sherrelle offline.

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

Gary Dully

20:38 PM, 11th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Wow, that is a good example, I'm so excited about LHA and Universal Credit Tenants, it's untrue.

It's sounds so easy, to make a good living from them.

Here is another example of the joys of UC and LHA.

I have had about 28 tenants on LHA, that decided to use their allowance on everything but the rent.

I was amazed at how helpful the local councils were at the time, you know what I mean, telling the tenants to dig in, wait for a bailiff etc etc.

Obviously,I asked for direct payment and bar a couple of cases, got it, after the tenants qualified for a mandatory eviction as well as their benefits.

When the tenants eventually left, I later received various clawback notices and had to pay the council back on about 3.

I asked the councils not to be ridiculous, but no, they were absolutely right and I had to pay back a few thousand pounds.

My wife said that she could not put up with the stress anymore and said to sell off those particular properties.

But I had a better idea.......

I have since told all council staff that ring me to house people on LHA and universal credit, that I don't want to house anymore potential criminals and fraudsters, as it would be a bit stupid to cut my toes off with their shovel.

Instead, I use letting agents that don't accept benefit claimants and for the HMO vacancies, my adverts state that I don't accept LHA or UC.

Life is a lot easier now, and I don't go on courses that teach me that I'm a Terry Fuckwit for trying to help people with no assets, no income, don't know how to work and I have to pay back when they also dupe their paymasters.

There is also another little problem just around the corner,called Section 24, you may have heard about it, apparently it will only affect 1 in 5 landlords.

However, strangly enough, it will mean that unless my remaining LHA tenants get a job or win the lotto tonight or in the next few weeks, they won't be able to afford my rents that I will have to raise on their current benefit rate.

We now have a great bunch of foreign tenants, that don't qualify for UC or LHA and surprisingly pay their rent on time.

I've heard that a bloke called Fergus Wilson has done similar.

I will probably be spending my half day, that I would have done the course on, interviewing foreign tenants, carrying out their Right to Rent checks or showing them around my latest conversion, before they ask me to go on a mandatory licensing course that the government is about to dream up.

i can afford the course, but I can't afford the stress.

Please feel free to pass this on.

Mark Alexander

22:24 PM, 11th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Gary Dully" at "11/02/2017 - 20:38":

Hi Gary

That's quite a rant but not a very polite way to greet a new sponsor who is available those landlords with properties that might be in negative equity and/or in areas where they cannot find quality working tenants is it?

None of the points you have raised are Sherrelle's fault but your rant appears to blame her for them all.

Sherrelle is here at my invitation to help those who want/need it. I referred Mick Roberts to her a few weeks ago. Check out his member profile if you don't know him. Mick specialises in providing homes to housing benefits tenants and was previously an expert in that market. However, he was struggling with the new system, sought help from Sherrelle and thanked me for the intro. Needless to say, she helped him By ateeeing him in the right direction.

Regards

Mark
.

Gary Dully

23:57 PM, 11th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "11/02/2017 - 22:24":

It's okay Mark, point taken.

I wasn't actually welcoming anybody in my post, but in regards to Sherrelle, may I welcome you and your service to the forum.

Sherelle,

Welcome to the forum.

Some of us have a forthright way of putting things, I appear to fall into that category, but I'm a big softy really, honest, no it's true!

My so called rant, isn't an actual rant, in fact I would probably guess that Sherrelle has heard it all before anyway.

If she hasn't, now she knows what to expect from certain quarters.

It was actually a fairly shocking example of real life as an individual landlord as it stands at the moment, for those that seek to deal with UC or LHA or otherwise.

For many of us to survive, shortly, we will have to do things that are very unpalatable and that will include the removal of LHA and UC tenants from our portfolios and we didn't expect or vote for it.

So welcome to the PRS and all its opportunities and all it's current circumstances, where it would appear that we are the enemy of those that messed up the housing market in the first place.

Old Mrs Landlord

0:24 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Gary's final sentence echoes my reaction on reading the title of last week's white paper, to whit "Well, who broke it?"

CARIDON LANDLORD SOLUTIONS

0:40 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Gary,

I understand your frustrations as a landlord,hence why I strive to help landlords daily.

Mick Roberts

6:48 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

I'm just about to leave me experience of Sherrelle on here & hey ho, I'm already on here.
Yes Gary, I can see you're ranting about the system, & what a system this UC is.

So anyway, back to what I was about to say.

I’ve just used Sherrelle & Caridon, & my complicated case has been solved. Mental health issues tenant claimed Universal Credit (UC), as long as he was getting his money, he forgot to tell UC that he had to pay rent!
I started the phone calls, but due to my earlier experience with UC 11 months earlier, I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere.
I even rang UC while I was with the tenant, you can quite clearly tell he is not all there on the phone & UC still wouldn’t talk to me. Aaahhhh..
If anyone knows, UC won’t take emails either (yes in 2017).

On my first case Feb/March 2016. I gave up in the end. UC wouldn’t talk to me, wasn’t replying to any of my letters. I heard (at that time), the complaints process was virtually non existent.
Fortunately my tenant was honest & good & sorted the claim out & pays etc. If she hadn’t, I’d have probably then spent dozens of dozens of man hours getting nowhere.

So last month, I had my second UC tenant (In Nottingham, it’s just single people with break in their claim or new claimants that have to go onto UC). Aaahhh, I asked some Landlord mates, what do I do? Mark Alexander duly replied saying give these a shout: http://www.caridonlandlordsolutions.co.uk

For those that know me, you’ll know that I’m an expert at Housing Benefit (HB). Along with Jonathan Clarke & Robert Mellors & Bill Irvine & a few others, I am very VERY experienced in Housing Benefit.
Over the past 20 years or so, I have learnt it inside out, got access to some top people inside the HB authorities.
Normally solve most problems, with an email & a phone call.
When mates come to me to help sort their HB problem, they think I’m a magician, what they cannot do, is easy to me. I know the process.
So if someone like me, is using Sherrelle at Cardion, that has got to be good recommendation for you less than experienced HB landlords. Sherrelle is my UC magician!

As Bill Irvine will tell u, this UC is NOTHING like HB. It’s like dealing with a load of 15 year old robots from another planet that has been sent here to give as much money as possible to tenants to spend on wasteful things, & at all costs my dear little robots, do not pay the landlord, let’s make his life torturous, so he will never want a UC tenant again.

My mate says to me, but why are you paying, what are you getting for your money? Good question.
I wasn’t getting ANY rent in, could have took me months & maybe 40 hours. How much is your 40 hours worth?
If it takes you longer, you could end up working for 50p an hour, or even no pay if you don’t solve the claim.
Even if we was paying admin staff, I know we’d have paid out much more in man hours than Caridon charge for their expertise. Sherrelle has instant contacts in one phone call. People that will listen to her. It’s took me years to get these contacts in Housing Benefit, I don’t want to spend another 20 years getting high up contacts in UC.
With Caridon, your headache is gone. Yes it does cost, but it costs more to pay your mortgage with no rent in.

When my claim was done, UC still cocked up, I let Sherrelle know & she sorted it within 24 hours.

I’m also going to put a post up to let any other Landlords know that’s banging their head against a brick wall with Universal Credit (UC). I’ll now more or less copy/paste this, if Mark thinks that’s acceptable.
I want to help struggling UC Landlords not get walked all over by UC.

Jonathan Clarke

9:29 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mick Roberts" at "12/02/2017 - 06:48":

Nice one Mick .
Nice one Mark
Nice one CLS

I`ve had a brief look at the website and with Bill Irvine on board it definitely has my ear. I see they are part of a wider group of services doing also lettings management etc so they are not a one trick pony . The background ethos looks good as well. I see they are Croydon based. Hope in time they expand up into MK so when UC hits us and I start to get tired I can offload my life to them in about 5 years time.

Mark Alexander

10:01 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "12/02/2017 - 09:29":

If I were you Jonathan I'd be jumping in my car on March 23rd and heading to this event in Croydon >>> https://www.property118.com/universal-credit-benefit-cap-training/94589/
.

Mark Alexander

10:04 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

Just to lighten the mood a bit, here's a link to a MUST READ story of a Croydon landlord which is certain to stir up many emotions >>> https://www.property118.com/my-favourite-readers-letter-so-far/44333/
.

Mick Roberts

10:12 AM, 12th February 2017
About 2 years ago

That's exactly it Jonathon, getting tired. As we know, 20 years of HB can sometimes tire u when a difficult case comes along or a new processor cocks something up that you corrected them from doing wrong 20 years ago.
This ruddy UC tires u in 10 minutes.

Yes be nice if they or a full HB/UC letting agent opened up Nottingham too.

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