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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    APA stopped ?

    I have a tenant on UC and i have been receiving a managed payment. The payment has now stopped and after calling the fob off call center am told that a case manager will call back within 48hrs. This was 4 days a go and still no call. I was told by them that from what they know there is no reason why payment has stopped and i should be patient and wait for a call...

    Is this normal with a managed payment to just stop for no real reason and what do other landlords do here ? I am tempted to just carry on with eviction that was put on hold but at this rate see no other option.

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    Pound Behind

    Once the APA is put in place, it should remain so as long as your tenant receives sufficient Universal Credit. If he/she is working, their level of earnings can affect the level of award, sometimes resulting in nothing being due. That aside, most missing payments are caused by "DWP error".

    Given your earlier contact with the Service Centre and promise of a call back I'd email your District Manager. Examine the list of contacts and identify your local manager. In the subject matter put "1st Stage Complaint" and in the narrative, provide your tenant's details and  explain what's happened so far. In the event a mistake has been made and payment has simply been overlooked, that can be easily corrected by an immediate payment.

    However, if payment has been made by mistake to your tenant and he/she has been paid the housing costs, only to misuse them, then you'll need to pursue "compensation" through DWP's Complaints Process, with the likelihood of at least a 2 year wait, before an outcome is known. Or sue the DWP in the County Court using the Online Money Claim procedure 

    I've already helped one of my landlord clients do this in Greenock Sheriff Court and have another case, in London, with a hearing date next month. The process is relatively straightforward. The difficult part is providing the court with sufficient information to justify its intervention. In the Scottish case, DWP employed one of Scotland's biggest legal firms who tried to intimidate us by suggesting our claim would need to be pursued through Judicial Review, knowing, full well, the costs would be prohibitive. I made a submission, on behalf of my client, explaining why the lower court had jurisdiction and on the morning of the hearing DWP conceded. I'm expecting a similar result in the London case.

    Bill Irvine

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    Well done Bill as this ‘We can afford bigger Lawyers than you ‘ scare tactic sometimes needs facing down and best of luck in your London case .
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