Universal Credit Refusing Direct Payments?

Universal Credit Refusing Direct Payments?

10:17 AM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago 24

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Hi, I have been having difficulties with one of my tenants who are in receipt of UC. All rental payments have stopped, and they are not accepting my phone calls. The rent account now shows arrears in excess of 2 months.

Earlier in the week, I applied UC under the online application to have the rent directed to myself and the arrears to be chipped away at until the rent account is clear to which I received the reply below this morning. Being a member of the NRLA, I reached out to them, but they were of no real help. Has anyone had this reply before or know of any advice on how to get direct payments. After all, my understanding is that it is mandatory to make payments to the landlord once the arrears are in excess of 2 months?

Thanks in advance.

Trapped Landlord

We are unable to set up direct rent payments to you.

Direct rent payments could not be set up for one or more of the following reasons:
• your tenants do not get Universal Credit
• your tenants do not claim housing support for the address you supplied
• your tenants must be in at least one month’s worth of arrears, accrued over two or more months
• One of the tier 1 or 2 conditions haven’t been met

We cannot give you specific details because of data-sharing regulations.

You should speak to your tenants to make sure the correct information has been supplied to Universal Credit.

If you think you gave us the wrong information, such as the wrong house number you can request direct rent payments again with the correct information.

Your tenants need to pay their rent, and any rent they owe, directly to you.

You can make another request for direct rent payments if your tenants’ circumstances change.

For more information, search for “universal credit and landlords” on GOV.UK

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Comments

by DSR

12:22 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

Direct payments are not necessarily mandatory if the tenant is in 2 months arrears I am afraid.

Sounds more to it than meets the eye. If they have no UC record of the tenant they wont set up anything or talk to you about it.

is the tenant still in the property?

I had this - the tenant just left my property set up elsewhere, cancelled his rent to me then moving payment to his new claim address. I had no idea until the rent that months wasn't paid directly to me as it always was. DWP did nothing to help. All tenant led and if he did it then any rent owing then I have to chase him direct. They complied with all their requirements and that's all they care about. Didn't care at all that he was a drink and drug addict and a vulnerable adult who met the Tier 1 & 2 criteria for direct payments! DP's were set up with his AND DWP's agreement as a result.
You can't request arrears when a UC claim has been cancelled.
Others may have more advice.

by J CHAPMAN

19:28 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

I have the same circumstances as you and received the exact same response, word for word.
I have no idea what to make of it either, I can only assume they have contacted the tenant who has denied being 2 months in arrears. I will try again next month.
I paid for Christmas for 3 of my tenants last year, well the rent did! December is always a bad month.

by terry sullivan

19:36 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

contact mp?

by Trapped Landlord

20:08 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

I can confirm that the tenants are still living there. I have also spoken with NRLA specialist UC consultant who has advised me to lodge a stage 1 complaint with my local job centre plus service leader ( link below ) who must now look into this. He explained that the first thing UC do upon recieving at APA is to check with the claimant that it is in fact the case that they are 2 months in arrears. I strongly suspect they have done this and the tenants have simply lied.
I cannot help but notice that the situation in my area for unemployed sofa surfers is getting worse and worse due to enormous demand from working tenants. Just this week we have had 30 + applications for a flat in the town centre. 20 of which were desperate UC claimants below 35 years old. Given this experience I strongly suspect that these applications will be finding their way into the waste paper bin.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-partnership-opportunities-with-jobcentre-plus/jobcentre-plus-district-managers-contacts-for-partnership-opportunities

by Trapped Landlord

20:17 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 22/01/2021 - 19:36
The tenants beat me to it !. They contacted our local MP months ago asking for help obtaining a council property, who, being renowned for his views on these types of people, showed little interest. After that didn't work, wouldn't you know it, they had environmental health visit with myself present. During this visit they openly admitted that they only booked the visit in an attempt to get a council flat !. Once the environmental health officer explained the situation to them and told them she felt that she had been used and time wasted, we were all shown the door and a complaint lodged with the council that myself and the officer were conspiring against them !!. You could not make this stuff up

by terry sullivan

21:50 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

in boris's britain--no need to make it up

is boris mad or bad?

ps i am a natural Conservative ie i vote for none of mainstream parties

by Nathan

22:34 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

To OP - I'm afraid that reply is a generic standard reply when contacting UC. They are a nightmare to deal with.
If you go onto the Gov.Uk Universal Credit website they include a list of UC Partnership Managers, you will be better placed emailing one of them local to your area explaining your situation. However in the meantime there is also an online form on tge website in which you can complete to apply directly to UC for direct payments. You can fill out the details on the form and attach the AST and a rent statement.
You should receive confirmation that theyve receivedthe form...then just keep chasing. Let us now how you get on. Good luck.

by Nathan

22:42 PM, 22nd January 2021, About 5 months ago

To Terry Sullivan - there are many incompetences that can be thrown at the current Boris government but UC is not one of them. This was Cameron's balls up and then cut the funds with Osbourne for rolling it out properly. It was his great idea of empowering people with there own finances but forgot that there were addicts on benefits aswell as people incapable of managing their own finances, especially when handed out to them! What an idiotic idea that was. It then took a lot of campaigning to implement rental payments to be made direct to the landlord for the cases with vulnerable people/tenants.
The power all lies with the claimant now.

by David Price

0:23 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Nathan at 22/01/2021 - 22:42
But the power lies with the landlords if we all refuse to let to benefit tenants - Male and Female Shelter please note - not that I would ever do such a thing.
All tenants welcome with five weeks deposit, a month's rent in advance and a property owning and working guarantor. Payment by standing order from the tenant's personal bank account is mandatory,

by Mick Roberts

9:30 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 5 months ago

Unbelievable in't it, UC won't tell us anything. If they just said not claiming UC, we could at least not go down that path.
I put this on a similar post:

As u probably know, this is online link for arrears.
https://directpayment.universal-credit.service.gov.uk/questions/type-of-payment

If u been refused once, do again. It's a shambles how they have no one to talk to Landlords, no contact for us.
I'd take your notices into the Job Centre, ask what they can do. It's getting worse too.

We need to be making this more public cause it's cases exactly like yours that's contributing massively to the homeless problem.

Try Sherrelle at Caridon Solutions, she may be able to get it for u on No win no fee.
https://www.caridonlandlordsolutions.co.uk/ Tel: 020 3728 9937

And Bill Irvine's site https://universalcreditadvice.com/

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