How to reference someone on Universal Credit

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    How to reference someone on Universal Credit

    I have a prospective tenant, who is a single mother and baby. She is currently living in a room. The baby will be one year old soon.

    I was n't keen on taking people on benefits, as I have no idea on assessing someone on benefits. Is there any help available?. What information should to provide as references. Her bank statement show her in receipt of UC. She is working part-time.

    She is already in receipt of Universal Credit.

    Will there be a delay in changing over UC from her current place to my one?

    Is UC too risky?




    #2
    Flashback1966 brings up an interesting issue that all landlords are going to have to consider in the next few years.

    Universal Credit is here; it's not going to go away.

    Universal Credit is something that means Landlords are going to have to revise their thinking about 'No Benefits' policys.

    UC is not just about out-of-work and disability benefits, many workers are/will be claiming UC.

    In particular existing claims for Working Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits, which most Landlords would not currently consider as 'benefits', will be migrated into UC in the coming years.
    You already can't make a new claim for either of those, you have to claim UC instead.

    Everybody who has a child and currently claims CTC will be claiming UC.
    Everybody on a lower wage who currently claims WTC will be claiming UC.

    Which means that many renters who landlords would not currently consider as claiming benefits will suddenly find themselves regarded as benefit claimants and having trouble renting a new place.

    It also means that landlords may be depriving themselves of a large portion of their potential market unless they change their thinking about 'benefits'.

    In essence it means that having a blanket 'no benefits' policy may/will become untenable - unless you want to restrict your market to higher earners, which of course many LLs will still be happy to do.

    It means that you will have to consider more carefully the income and circumstances of those millions who will claiming UC, which will in turn mean learning more about UC and just how it works.
    (Which is a problem because despite what the government trumpet it's not currently working as well as it should, and so things keep being changed/tweaked).

    Comment


      #3
      And don't forget to ask your mortgage lender what they think of the issue!

      Most but not all lenders have revised their policies

      Comment


        #4
        Indeed, a problem for landlords:. But a much bigger problem for the poor s#ds in receipt of UC.

        Artful, in receipt of 6 benefits.

        'sfunny how this "universal" system hasn't touched pensioners.:. Nothing to do with the impact on their votes, eh?
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          Well UC is supposed to be a 'Working Age' benefit that by law stops when you reach pension age, so shouldn't affect pensioners.

          The funny thing is that there is no system in the UC software to flag up when someone reaches pension age, - so it just keeps on being paid, in some cases even when the claimant has specifically told their UC Case Manager that they have reached pension age.

          This of course results in an overpayment of UC.

          There are various threads about it on rightsnet, the forum for professional advisors, heres just one example:
          https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/...d/14783/#71854

          I had a client with this problem earlier this year. He reached Pension age in October 2018, but continued to be paid UC (LCWRA) until March 2019. I too ran into a brick wall with the UC contact centres, who persisted with ever more ludicrous excuses as to why UC was still in payment after pension age, and refused to admit their mistake, until the matter was escalated through the MP and Partnership Manager, and by my actually having to send them a copy of the WRA 2012 with the relevant bits highlighted. Cue a reluctant climbdown, and £50 compensation payment.

          I was told in the response to my complaint, that the UC computer does not recognise when someone reaches retirement age, and does not communicate with the Pension Service computers. (More 21st Century IT wizardry from DWP. Exactly how much is this useless system costing us?).

          Disturbingly, despite our having repeatedly queried the continued payment of LCWRA from the date of retirement, Jobcentre Plus could not confirm that the UC systems would not raise an overpayment and seek to claw back every penny, even though the overpayment was caused by their own incompetence and inefficiency. So far this has not happened, but I fully expect to have to deal with it at some point.

          12 months down the line, we have only just managed to get the HB claim activated (which we submitted back in Oct 2018) and backdating applied-offset against UC housing costs already paid.

          Universal Credit. The gift that keeps on giving! (Even when it’s supposed to stop!)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
            'sfunny how this "universal" system hasn't touched pensioners.:. Nothing to do with the impact on their votes, eh?
            It has affected some pensioners since 15 May 2019. If you are of pension age and have a partner who is not, then you have to claim UC.

            https://www.gov.uk/government/public...om-15-may-2019

            But yes, I don't see them ever going full service with pensioners as that would massively impact votes.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Welshie View Post
              It has affected some pensioners since 15 May 2019. If you are of pension age and have a partner who is not, then you have to claim UC.
              Strictly speaking it's the partner below SPA who has to claim UC, with the older person included as their partner. - The partner above SPA is prevented by law from claiming UC.

              The change was/is that now with a Mixed Age Couple the partner above SPA can't claim Pension Credit and thus Housing Benefit as they used to do in the past, which just leaves the younger partner having to claim UC until both have reached SPA at which time they can then claim PC and HB.

              It's actually a change to Pension Credit rules and not to UC.

              Comment


                #8
                My tenant had an 11 week wait while transferring to UC, another had a 14 week wait. However, I believe these ridiculous waiting times have been reduced since then.

                I'd consider a part time worker on UC, but never again will I accept somebody who is totally unemployed due to the disgraceful state my now ex-tenant left her bungalow.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by nukecad View Post

                  Strictly speaking it's the partner below SPA who has to claim UC, with the older person included as their partner. - The partner above SPA is prevented by law from claiming UC.

                  The change was/is that now with a Mixed Age Couple the partner above SPA can't claim Pension Credit and thus Housing Benefit as they used to do in the past, which just leaves the younger partner having to claim UC until both have reached SPA at which time they can then claim PC and HB.

                  It's actually a change to Pension Credit rules and not to UC.
                  Acutally, in UC there isn't a claimant and partner, they are both claimants.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Welshie View Post
                    Acutally, in UC there isn't a claimant and partner, they are both claimants.
                    That's a good point,

                    It's one of the inconsitencies with the Mixed Age Couples rules.

                    UC is a working age benefit, so you can't claim UC after SPA, and it should stop being paid once your reach SPA.

                    I'd have to check if the UC legislation was ammended to reflect the Mixed Age changes.
                    It should have been but I suspect that the DWP may just be turning a blind eye. They can be good at turning a blind eye when it suits them.

                    As said, and quoted, above I do know of cases where UC has continued to be paid to single people after SPA simply because the UC computer can't/doesn't recognise when someone reaches SPA.
                    Which then calls for some DWP creativity deducting State Pension payments from UC payments, something that is never supposed to happen. (There's the blind eye again).

                    It's one of the wonders of the (crappy) UC computer system that has never been programmed to recognise one of the basic conditions for claiming UC.
                    It begs the question that if such a basic condition has been missed from the programming then what else is missing?

                    This is probably a topic more suited for a benefits forum, but can have an effect on housing.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Going back to my question. What proof should I have asked for?

                      I was shown an app on a phone, with various payments. Her bank statement had payments from UC.

                      She has got an appointment, she said she is going to take the tenancy to them, but have no idea, how long it will take after that....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        How long is a 'piece of string' question. But if she has UC housing element at her current flat then it's not going to take as long as setting it up in the first place.
                        It's just a change of address and rent amount.

                        Of couse the DWP will want to see her TA or other proof of rent.
                        You want to see what she will be getting off UC for housing, but they won't confirm that until they have the TA/proof.
                        Chicken and egg.

                        But if you want an APA (direct payment to landlord) expect that to take longer to set up.
                        And remember that UC is paid in arrears, so at least a month before there is any UC for rent.

                        Your best indication is to look up the LHA rate for a single mother in your area, she should get that but no more.

                        Comment

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