Universal Credit – Do I really need a new AST?Make Text Bigger
I’m looking for advice from my fellow Housing Benefit accepting landlords.
As more tenants are beginning to migrate to Universal Credit (UC) I am finding that I am being asked by the tenant (after being told by DWP) for an up to date/new tenancy agreement in order for their UC claim to be processed.
Previously I have let this go as the individuals were long standing clients looking for top-ups firstly by HB and subsequently via UC.
However the latest client could be politely termed ‘at risk/vulnerable’ (weed/alcohol) but of course does not see herself within this category. Currently her HB is paid direct to me. I am reluctant to issue a new tenancy agreement putting me at risk for the next 6 months whilst the DWP happily put £400 a month into her account. And they will not consider a Managed Payment direct to me until she is 2 months in arrears. The only other option is to get the tenant to provide documentary evidence that they are ‘at risk’ – difficult when they don’t agree.
As I see it, my tenancy agreements are standard ASTs and therefore are periodic rolling tenancies once the initial 6 months is up. Why do I need to issue a new one?
Has anyone experienced this before? Should I just provide an up to date rent statement showing rent due and frequency and a covering letter stating why I will not issue a new tenancy?
(As an aside I’ve found it is very important to obtain National Insurance numbers from tenants if you want to deal with the DWP.)
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