Universal Credit Refusing Direct Payments?

Universal Credit Refusing Direct Payments?

10:17 AM, 22nd January 2021, About 11 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

This email address cannot accept replies.



Comments

by Trapped Landlord

9:51 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Maybe once it gets to the point where all of these claimants are being denied tenancies, the penny might just drop and big state will HAVE to do something. Another thing has occurred to me, with all of these claimants sofa surfing and being denied tenancies, the governments housing bill drops !. In other words, for all we know, this could be the plan, make it so unattractive for landlords to house these people and in turn this cuts costs. Not such a bad tory game plan really, force landlords to house existing bad tenants indefinately by outlawing evictions completely and at the same time, make it unworkable to house new tenants by bringing in UC.

by Prakash Tanna

10:21 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Looks like a blanket response they often send out when the handler can not find the tenant on the system. Apply again using the online form (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-alternative-payment-arrangements/alternative-payment-arrangements) and make sure you provide as much information as possible to identify the tenant (full name, d.o.b, NI No., etc.).

It's often the case the tenant's UC Claim has their middle name as surname in error or a maiden name.

I have had the same emails from UC before but usually get the APA setup on the 2nd or 3rd attempt of completing the form. Also send your completed from and provide evidence of 2months+ rent arrears to ucfull.service@dwp.gov.uk.

Have you tried to contact the local HB department? It may be they are in receipt of HB and not UC. It's worth dropping them an email too.

Goodluck!

by Prakash Tanna

10:25 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Couple of other thoughts ....
1. Are you sure the tenant is still in the property or maybe they have abandoned it ?
2. Their claim may be suspended or cancelled if they have had a change of circumstances and not provided UC/HB with the required documents.

Need to really establish whats going on with the tenant?

by Trapped Landlord

11:07 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Prakash Tanna at 23/01/2021 - 10:25
They a definitely still living at the property. The tenancy is in both their names, but on the APA it only gave me the facility to enter one name in the box in that no commas were allowable , and one one box for the DOB. On the reply though, it was in relation to both of them.

by Prakash Tanna

11:23 AM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Trapped Landlord at 23/01/2021 - 11:07
Give them a call or re-submit the form in her name, his name and both names ( 3 forms). One of them will go through hopefully.

by treeman

12:40 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

One point consider is the amount of tenant info you provide on the form if they deem it too much info it will be deleted off-hand best to ring them as and re-ask and get in contact with there caseworker which is done by the area it's on the web site
I've had the same blanket letter what a cop-out but be thankful they have responded at all they don't bother sone times UC don't care and not fit for purpose but it saves the government a lot of money

by Robert Mellors

23:21 PM, 23rd January 2021, About 11 months ago

Applying via the online form will get you the standard response quicker, than paper or email application, but the response will still be the same vague rubbish.

If the tenant definitely has over two month's rent arrears then it may be that they are not claiming UC (they may be working??), or they are not receiving UC because they have been sanctioned.

UC will not tell you anything unless the tenant specifically asks them to do so, and even then any authorisation is time limited and one disclosure limited, as that is UC's bizarre interpretation of the data protection rules!

Keep applying (weekly) to UC for the housing element to be paid to you, plus a "third party deduction" for the rent arrears, as it may be that at some point the person does claim or does become entitled to UC (e.g. sanction period ends). However, don't expect to receive anything from UC, and take all alternative (legal) steps to recover the property a.s.a.p., plus any rent arrears (perhaps from the guarantors?).

by Trapped Landlord

13:00 PM, 29th January 2021, About 10 months ago

UPDATE

After 2 APA requests rejected, I have just got of the phone with universal credit who informed me that the decision has been made to reject my request and I have no way of appealing the decision. The lady explained that It boils down to UC needing the explicit permission of the tenant to pay the landlord direct, regardless of circumstances and they had no duty to discuss it any further. I then asked if she could feedback to her superior that, on this basis, we are unable to consider anymore UC applications going forward.

by Robert Mellors

13:12 PM, 29th January 2021, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Trapped Landlord at 29/01/2021 - 13:00
It is my understanding that if there are 2 months rent arrears then explicit consent from the tenant is not needed. I would suggest that the UC advisor may be incorrect. I would suggest that you may wish to contact Sherelle at Carridon, or Bill at UC Advice, who may be able to advise you more precisely in relation to your particular circumstances, and help you to overturn the UC decision not to pay you the housing element direct.

by Mick Roberts

14:01 PM, 29th January 2021, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 29/01/2021 - 13:12
I concur with Rob,
But getting it through to the UC staff who don't know their own rules or going on 4 year old rules is another thing. And they know nothing of keeping people safe in their homes. That's what me & Rob's good at. We'd reduce 50% of homeless in one foul swoop.
I'd bite the bullet, ring Sherrelle, I'm sure she'd do u no success no fee, your months rent will cover her first fee anyway. And hopefully rent in thereafter.


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