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    #16
    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

    So me, in receipt of 6 benefits (old) you'd say reject?
    Yep Artful - you'd get lumped in with everyone else on benefits and rejected whist its still legal!!

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      #17
      Hi, my tenants are claiming universal credit from Feb 2020. They claim they ran into a lot of problems and had to claim UC. However they didn’t disclose this to me and all of sudden stopped paying rent jan 2020. I served them section 21, as it was coming to the end of fixed term, and then we hit Covid 19. The tenants were claiming over £1000 in housing benefit element in their universal credit as it was 4 bed room and he had his wife and 2 children in the house. I only came to know this in their defence paper for the possession claim which I had to initiate in July 2020. Although it was section 21, the tenant believed he had to submit their defence for the rent owed! Anyway, I received the possession order beginning Dec ,and then wrote an email to housing benefit team with all the details and evidence of non payments. They have acknowledged my email and replied they are processing my query. They have all the details that they need and they said I am right in coming to them as the tenants are more than 8 weeks in arrears. The tenants actually owe me more than 6 months rent! I was quite naive and should have written to them earlier. So people, please write to the housing benefit with evidence if your benefit tenant doesn’t pay your rent. These are tax payer money and should only be used for its purpose. Just imagine this money could have gone to another deserving tenant who may pay his rent on time!!!!! The housing benefit team cannot demand the tenants To use their housing uc to pay rent, but they can certainly stop this element of uc If it is not going towards rent. I shall update once I hear from housing benefit team.

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        #18
        The DWP will not stop the housing element of Universal Credit because it isn't being used to pay rent.
        That's not how the system works.

        They might agree to pay the housing element of the benefit to you directly.

        If you choose to use s21 to retake possession of your property, you will have to try and recover the debt separately.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #19
          Yes jpkeates, they may not cover the existing rent arrears (and this needs to be sorted separately), but at the very least they know that rent arrears are there because rent wasn't paid, even when the tenants were claiming it in benefits. I read the leaflet that the housing benefit team sent - and it said they can stop it temporarily until it can be established future rent will be paid (actions can be put in place- managed payments etc....) or tenant agrees to pay it and show evidence it being paid. Payment will re-established and any housing benefits arrears will be paid once the matters are resolved. The tenant can also appeal if they are not happy with managed payment- and this will delay their housing benefit payment. So all in all, housing benefit element of UC must be seen (at the very least ) to be utilized for rental. Perhaps it is different for different areas.

          The current arrears may not be covered under this protocol, but at least until I get possession of the property, the arrears won't increase.

          Comment


            #20
            The tenants were claiming over £1000 in housing benefit element in their universal credit
            That is possible if they were entitled to the 4 bed LHA rate in some London boroughs.
            Benefit towards housing costs in rivate rentals are capped at the LHA rate for a particular area.

            The housing benefit team cannot demand the tenants To use their housing uc to pay rent, but they can certainly stop this element of uc If it is not going towards rent.
            That is totally incorrect, it the claimant has a liability to pay rent then the claimant is entitled to the benefit towards that rent which is set out in legislation (law).
            If the tenant doesn't pass it on to the landlord that is their choice, but it does not affect their entitlement to the benefit.

            The fact that they haven't paid their rent is no different from a working tenant not paying their rent, it's a civil matter and nothing whatsoever to do with their entitlement to benefit.

            Yes, you can make things awkward for them, but in the end it is their benefit entitlement and they will get it.

            The most that you can do as a landlord is to apply to have their future UC Housing Element paid directly to yourself, with a small amount towards arrears.
            Any benefit payments that you manage to get suspended by being awkward will eventually be backpaid to the claimants as a lump sum, it will not be given to you.

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              #21
              I agree that benefits will not stop, due to the complaint, and any back arrears will be paid via housing benefits to tenants at some point. my tenant is getting just over £1000 for 4 bed detached house and 2 dependent children. I am not so sure how it is worked out. however it is made up housing benefit and discretionary housing benefit. the leaflet i received did say housing benefit will continue once dispute is resolved and tenant can show he is managing payments or direct payment to landlord is accepted. all back arrears of benefits will paid to tenant

              Comment


                #22
                Originally posted by OS7 View Post
                I am not so sure how it is worked out. however it is made up housing benefit and discretionary housing benefit
                It's actually not Housing Benefit (paid by the council) - It's Universal Credit Housing Element (paid by the DWP).
                Although they are both benefits towards rent they are very different things.

                UC-HE is a benefit entitlement set out in law, and capped at certain rates for a private rental. If the Income Related Benefit claimant is legally liable to pay rent then he is entitled to it by law.

                Plus, in this case there is a seperate Discretionary Housing Payment (paid by the council) to top-up the UC-HE to the actual rent amount.

                DHP is as the name says discretionary. It is not a legal entitlement and can be refused or withdrawn at any time.
                (If you like then think of it as a charitable grant from the council).

                TBH if what you do results in the withdrawal of your tenants DHP then that could be seen as shooting yourself in the foot.
                If they are not getting the DHP from the council then they don't have it to pay their rent.
                (OK they weren't paying it anyway, but you see the point).

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by nukecad View Post

                  TBH if what you do results in the withdrawal of your tenants DHP then that could be seen as shooting yourself in the foot.
                  If they are not getting the DHP from the council then they don't have it to pay their rent.
                  (OK they weren't paying it anyway, but you see the point).
                  Yes, I agree, however I rather it stops and tenants realise their responsibility. I am already out of pocket, and tenants are not paying anyway!

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                    #24
                    "If you can't take responsibility for the payment of rent, then the council can make payments direct to your landlord if there is a good reason to do so. If you're worried about taking this responsibility then you should talk to us about your concerns. Your benefit is for you to pay your rent with. If you don't use your benefit to pay your rent, your landlord may take you to court, or try to evict you and you may lose your home. We won't talk to your landlord about your claim unless you've given written permission. However, if you're more than eight weeks in arrears your landlord has the right to ask for direct payments, and in those circumstances we'll confirm the amount of benefit to which you are entitled to your landlord."

                    This is the exact wordings from the leaflet

                    Comment


                      #25
                      That leaflet is for Housing Benefit - paid by the council.

                      You tenant's benefit is UC Housing Element - paid by the DWP.

                      As said above although they are both benefits to help towards rent they are very different, not least who pays them and so who you have to deal with.
                      They also have different rules about when, and how, you can request direct payments.

                      Currently nobody can make a new claim for Housing Benefit from the council, - unless it is emergency accommodation (arranged by the council), supported accomodation (with nursing care), or the claimant has the Severe Disability Premium in another income related benefit.
                      The 'SDP gateway' ends on 27th Jan 2021 and after that date the severely disabled will also not be able to make a new claim for Housing Benefit and will have to claim UC instead.

                      Any Legacy (existing) Housing Benefit (council) claims will continue to be Housing Benefit until the claimant has a change of circumstances (ie. moves to a different Local Authority or has a first child), or until 'Managed Migration' to UC finally begins, it's already five years late starting.

                      Did you actually believe them when they said Universal Credit would simplfy things?

                      It might do eventually, in about ten years time, but for now it's made things about 7 times more complicated for benefits advisors and confuses everyone else who has to deal with benefits.

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Hi Still no notification at all from universal credits after the application sent in for direct payments not even to say it has been received . Is this the usual from them or should they have sent out a notification . Just wanted anyone elses experience of dealing with a direct payment claim Thanks

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Have you sent your evidence in. Try emailing - tpp.enquiries@dwp.gov.uk

                          write on the very beginning of the email that you have already completed the online form and you sending evidence in and explain your case to them.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Hi Still no response from universal credits . have phoned only to be told to email it through now on numerous times. they say there is nothing they can do over the phone and now 4 Months in arrears. They say to fill out a form to include a creditor reference number of which i dont have one . I ask how to get one and they dont reply . Feel like im banging my head against the wall here . Is this the usual experience of trying to get a direct payment set up . They wonder why tenants on benefits are excluded from private landlords ?. Is there anyone here that can advise on best way forward who has experienced of this Thanks

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by lavy View Post
                              Feel like im banging my head against the wall here . Is this the usual experience of trying to get a direct payment set up .
                              This can be the experience when dealing with any aspect of UC.

                              At least it gives you an insight into what your tenants may be going through when they say they are having problems with getting their benefits sorted out.

                              One thing Covid has done is give a lot more people experience of the dysfunctional UC system.

                              Next time you are talking to a (poorly trained) UC phone jockey ask to be transferred to a supervisor, may work may not.

                              PS. I assume that you are ringing the landlords support number:
                              Universal Credit service centre

                              For support with:
                              • setting up a creditor reference number
                              • alternative payment arrangement (APA) queries regarding managed payment to landlord – this includes: the start date of payments, when a first payment will be received, the amount of the next payment of Universal Credit housing costs towards rent, and to confirm changes to the amount of housing costs
                              • social landlord rent arrears deduction queries, or to stop a deduction
                              • overpayments made to landlords
                              Landlords can contact the Universal Credit service centre:

                              Telephone: 0800 328 5644
                              Textphone: 0800 328 1344
                              Welsh language: 0800 328 1744

                              Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

                              Comment


                                #30
                                As has been said the problem is the tenant can request back any UC that went directly to LL.

                                not only can they stop payments up the council also gives the tenants back their UC and sends the LL the bill

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