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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    APA losses caused by DWP maladministration

    Hi Tribes

    Earlier this evening, I tweeted about the fact, landlords are currently losing much needed rental income due to DWP not carrying forward APA agreements when tenants transfer to Full Service delivery.

    I've been pursuing a number of such cases with DWP hierarchy and its legal team. I've been arguing, with the support of the RLA, that where DWP fails to continue payment of the APA and mistakenly pays your tenant, it should make good any loses to the landlord, as the mistake was wholly avoidable.

    DWP's own senior staff have already admitted, that at the point of transition from "Live" to "Full Service" an entry is manually put on the IT system to alert Full Service staff an APA is in payment. However, the message is not always picked up by Full Service staff causing the APA to, as they put it -"drop off"! Invariably, the tenant gets the money and misuses it. Public purse misuse is something the Secretary of State Esther McVey is charged to stamp out.

    Neil Couling, Director General at DWP, backed this time by a senior colleague, has tried to undermine my contention by implying none of his senior staff are aware of the issue and that everything is "hunky dory"!.

    In fact, this is grossly misleading, as all of his key staff in Complaints, APA processing and Housing Strategy, plus DWP's legal team are well aware of this issue. Clearly, his objective is to brush the matter, like so many others, under the carpet, when the truth is what's happening to Private Landlords is nothing short of scandalous, plus any attempts to secure recompense are rebuffed by DWP as a landlord/tenant issue, and a Complaints Process which doesn't even recognise the right of landlords to complain. The first independent stage (Independent Case Examiner (ICE) involves a wait of 17 months before it investigates.

    You can read the Twitter thread here: 

    If you've experienced any wholly avoidable losses, related to the above, here's your chance to advise Mr Couling through Twitter @neilcouling and Esther McVey @EstherMcVey1  or email correspondence@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

    Bill Irvine

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    Hi Bill,

    Well done for drawing attention to this and its great to see Neil Couling responding to you on twitter.

    I would ask that all readers of this thread help spread the word on this issue by sharing the thread on their social media.

    Social media is a powerful way to get some engagement or have your voice heard and I believe that the landlord community should use it more to challenge policy and other things we see in the sector that cause us concern.

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    What's DM, as in "Bill can you let me have an example by DM"?
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    DPW UC want to start listening. They gonna' have egg on their faces in a few years when all we've been saying comes out more. 
    Is anyone in Nottm next week & wants to learn me Twitter ha ha. 

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    Some activity on this topic from twitter:



    ... And a tenant's point of view:



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