Universal Credit tenants – This is why you can’t get a house any more

by Mick Roberts

9:10 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Universal Credit tenants – This is why you can’t get a house any more

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Universal Credit tenants – This is why you can’t get a house any more

Universal credit UC Landlords and UC tenants, this is one reason why Landlords are refusing you.

The DWP has been found guilty of wrong-doings 2 years ago, apologise to me, say they won’t do it again, yet just this month they are doing EXACTLY the same thing.  We can solve the homeless. It’s easy. Work with Landlords. Exclude Landlord = problem: click here for landlordzone article “DWP apologises to landlord over service failures  but takes two years to investigate case”

This is what you have to look forward to when a tenant doesn’t pay. With the old system, you rang up, emailed your proof in, and got paid.
With this system, you cannot talk to anyone and you cannot email anyone.

There is a new online arrears system, but if something goes wrong, you cannot email a human being to tell them so. Please keep complaining, we have just got to keep humiliating them.

From DWP: Dear Mr Roberts,

I am writing in response to your complaint to the Independent Case Examiner and her reply to you dated 28 April 2020. I have considered the Independent Case Examiner’s findings and fully accept the errors identified in her report, regarding your complaint about the service you received from the Universal Credit team.

The report highlights the service failures which occurred when dealing with your correspondence. In particular, we provided contradictory information, failed to correctly deal with your complaints and delayed in implementing your request for an alternative payment arrangement regarding the housing costs for the above property.

It is clear after reading the report that you have not received the level of service you should expect from the UC team. Please accept our sincere apologies.

DWP take complaints very seriously and will use this experience to improve our service and ensure that similar failures are avoided in future.

Your complaint with the Independent Case Examiner is now closed and I trust that we have addressed your concerns. However, if for any reason you are not happy with the outcome of the investigation, paragraphs 39 and 40 of the Examiner’s report explain the options available to you.
Yours sincerely,
Complaint Review Manager

From Me: DWP admits to causing homeless & say Won’t do it again. But then does!

Dear ICE & UC Stage 2 complaints XXXXX, Complaint Review Manager,

I’ll copy in Frank Fields too & some influential people secretly.

Please find enclosed XXXX reply dated 4 May 2020.
Enclosed is XXXX XXXX letter dated 5.7.18 which EVERY SINGLE thing was incorrect & you’ve not mentioned this?

ICE, I haven’t received your report to this, nor have you contacted me before you closed your complaint. Why not?

Stage 2, you accept all errors.
You accept service failures.
You admit providing contradictory information.
You admit you failed to deal with complaint.
You admit you delayed the APA.
I told you all the above at the time. Why didn’t you listen?

You say you take complaint seriously. You don’t. Your letters a 5 year old girl with flowers on her T-shirt would reply more intelligently. How can you get stuff so wrong?

This was my first complaint sent to you over 2 years ago. I have another 350 to come to you over the next so many years.
I think ICE has got approximately 17 of mine. This can’t carry on. The mistakes you are making would ALL STOP IF YOU GAVE US EMAIL ACCESS. Millions saved in taxpayers money if you would just talk to us.

UC got 4 people in to meet me Feb 19, Tier 1 Complaints manager, UC service centre manager, JC manager & XXXX, UC area partnership manager. I gave example of one query that I’ve been underpaid EVERY MONTH for almost 4 years. You could never tell anyone there is a mistake. It’s now with ICE.

UC manager took query away. 1 day later she said Ooh system error Mick, I can pay you correctly now. 4 years I’d been waiting & she did it in 10 seconds. That’s the big problem, you can never tell anyone something wrong.

I say Look, don’t give me anything confidential if you want to hide behind data protection. Here is the name address. I am telling you something is wrong. Go away look at it & you may say Ooh yes he’s right, this is horrendous, we need to sort this. At the moment this is why so much homeless. So many are being kicked out cause UC won’t talk to Landlord. And Landlords no longer take UC any more.

Now Stage 2, you say: DWP take complaints very seriously and will use this experience to improve our service and ensure that similar failures are avoided in future.

You are doing EXACTLY THE SAME mistakes today 2 years later. So show me where you are improving & avoiding similar failures? Please show me now? Cause I can show you, you are doing SAME!

Ice, please send me your report & what we can do next.
I’m out of pocket. Not received the rent which quite easily could have been paid to me. Had XXXX I think his name was Complaint Manager had actually read my letter & not been to a party for the most unintelligent people on the planet the night before.
More importantly, ICE if you’re not taking this seriously, there may well be a point in the future where you get called in by some Govt committee.
What is the point in DWP having rules & legislation & regs if they aren’t going to work by them?

ICE, where is my missing rent?
Where is my compensation?
What is the point in you taking the complaint if nothing is done?
What is the point in the Govt Taxpayer funding you if you don’t get any recourse for tenant or Landlord or Taxpayer & you don’t get DWP to actually change their ways?
In fact ICE, what have you achieved here that a 10 year old boy in the playground couldn’t do?

I have none of my questions answered in the complaint I sent. NOT ONE!

I’m quickly looking at my letters to you & you haven’t mentioned all the managers that replied totally wrong.


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Comments

MasterG

10:28 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

My head hurts after reading that (and i stopped before i got to the end). You could have said the same, and got your point across, in about 10 lines. You also lose credibility when you start using insults '....& not been to a party for the most unintelligent people on the planet the night before.' I can well imagine some poor customer service officer thinking "Oh, Jeez, it's Mick again with one of his rambling tirades, i'll deal with that later" and continually cycling it back to the bottom of the 'to do' pile. I'm hardly surprised they wouldn't want to actually talk to you. Short, simple and civil tends to get results.

Alan Wong

10:32 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

The UC office staff appears to have a level of lawlessness administration. From my experience, they just just do what they like and do not answer to their actions. They definitely do not follow national UC guidance for sure. I've addressed this with their seniors time and time again and nothing is ever done to improve matters.

Neil Patterson

10:38 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by MasterG at 02/06/2020 - 10:28
I know Mick will have tried that first without result as he is a very helpful and professional person.

terry sullivan

11:15 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

dwp=nationalized industry--it needs privatizing--payment by results
also any contract has to be absolutely crystal clear--half the legislation coming out of hoc/hol/eu/un is unintelligible

terry sullivan

11:18 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Alan Wong at 02/06/2020 - 10:32
i think its more uselessness than lawlessness--my mp used to work for forerunner to dwp and is completely useless

Mick Roberts

11:28 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by MasterG at 02/06/2020 - 10:28
Aah well Master G,

We can't please u all can we. If u a slow reader, then I can't please u I'm afraid. Best to not look at any of my comments any more if that's how u feel.

Yes u right, I do rattle on, we all different, maybe u could write for me next time & find some way to keep the tenants in their homes of 23 years against all the odds we get chucked against us nowadays.
Ooh and I agree with u on the insults, my u r with the program aren't u. Have u any UC email top staff for me so I can stop these insults?
How many UC tenants do u house?

Just reading some of your past comments, it appears u quite negative quite often, that's a shame, I thought I was getting special attention.
But it's good we have people like u, to show how much good people like me can do.

Mick Roberts

11:29 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Alan Wong at 02/06/2020 - 10:32
Yes Alan, shocking isn't it. They have managers that just get about everything wrong u could possible think of-In fact, more than u could think of.
We just got to keep plugging away. I have email direct from Neil Couling, Director in charge of UC who agrees with me that we need Landlord Portal. Ooh no sorry I haven't cause Master G says I don't get results, I take that back.

Mick Roberts

11:30 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 02/06/2020 - 10:38
Yes Neil,
I have a saying 'I shall not call things I have no experienced'. Because I am a nice guy, I believe I'm the only Landlord in the UK with certain contacts in UC, that no one else has access to. But when things are out their hands or not their jurisdiction if that's the right word, I then have to resort to my torrent of abuse. Nicey Nicey don't cut it with UC, u don't get paid, tenant gets evicted. Good person wun't want that.

Mick Roberts

11:30 AM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 02/06/2020 - 11:15
Good idea Terry, payment by results.
They send some stuff & u just cannot understand it. I've had a few things changed that even UC top people has said shun't have even been put out there. Oooh no Sorry I han't, Master G said I don't get results.

Bill irvine

12:08 PM, 2nd June 2020
About 6 months ago

Morning

Mick is just one of many landlords, invested in providing accommodation to benefit reliant tenants, who are experiencing, on an all too regular basis, DWP staff who, through lack of proper training, direction & support, are making school boy errors, causing rental loss on a scale never experienced under Housing Benefit.

DWP "Complaints Process", including referral to the "Independent Case Examiner" is neither independent nor impartial. ICE's email address is ICE@ DWP.GOV.UK. It also takes 2.5 -3 years to secure an outcome, which, in itself is a ridiculous timescale. Even more ridicuous is the fact, DWP is repeatedly found guilty of maladministration but ICE refuses to accede to landlords' demands for compensation to cover their wholly avoidable rental loss.

In contrast, under Housing Benefit, landlords are at least recognised in the appellate process as "persons affected" with rights of appeal to truly independent First and Upper-tier Tribunals. Where appeals are not possible, they can pursue a Complaints Process administerd by, again, a truly independent, Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) service.

Over the past 9 years or so, I've pursued similar rental losses with the LGO and achieved significant success. In one case, £7,000 was paid to my client for his aoidable rental loss when payment of LHA was made by mistake to the tenant. Some of these I've reported in landlord magazines, through my own and the RLA's website.

In a recently reported case https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/benefits-and-tax/housing-benefit-and-council-tax-benefit/17-012-147#point2 on the LGO's website, the landlord was recompensed, in full, for her loss, caused by council maladministration. At the end of the report, the LGO author states:

"20. Where the Ombudsman finds fault causing injustice we seek to put the complainant back in the position they would have been if the Council had not been at fault. The Council should therefore pay Mrs X. I acknowledge that it cannot pay housing benefit twice for the same period. However, Mrs X should be recompensed for the money she did not receive due to Council fault."

In my experience, this has been the consistent approach of the LGO over many years, in relation to LHA "direct payment" complaints, where the landlord's complaint is upheld. This is an entirely reasonable approach to adopt and one which ICE should have applied to DWP's mishandling of its APA scheme.

As well as the LGO, in Housing Benefit cases, we have Upper-tier Judges like the eminent, Judge Jacob's decision R (H) 2/08, where he clearly is on the side of the landlord, where he/she experiences loss at the hands of the local authority. He acknowledges he can't make a duplicate HB payment, in terms of the HB regulations (Reg 98 offsetting provision), but urges the Council to pay "compensation". Many first-tier tribunals have since followed suit by urging councils to make ex gratia payments to recompense landlords in similar cases.

I'm now in the process of challenging ICE's proposed "apology" remedy, via the Parliamentary Ombudsman (PO). ICE believes landlords should pursue their rental losses with their ex-tenants through the courts. We believe such an approach would be a complete waste of time & money, and should have been completely unnecessary, had DWP properly administered its APA scheme. ICE's proposed remedy is also a classic case of the penalty not fitting the crime.

We'll, most probably, have to wait another 9-12 months for an outcome. But as we've really no other realistic options we'll just have to remain patient with our fingers crossed, hoping ICE's decision will be overruled.

Bill

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