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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    Bill Irvine joins PT as sponsor: UC/HB advice



    Property Tribes is delighted to announce that Bill Irvine has taken on sponsorship of the Universal Credit/LHA tribe!

    Bill is widely regarded as the UK's foremost authority on this topic and works closely with the Residential Landlords Association on liaising with Government and also offering training for landlords.

    Bill Irvine started his career in accountancy in the private sector. He then moved into local government and studied Public Administration & Administrative Law, specialising in administrative tribunals. He quickly became known as a very effective Welfare Rights Advocate.

    Later he became Head of Revenues, Benefits & Advice services at one of the UK’s largest councils. He was COSLA's representative to the DWP HB Standing Committee, Westminster. He left local Government in 2001 moving back into the private sector as MD of a Credit Management company specialising in the social sector. He did some voluntary Board Membership at SFHA and Trust HA Ltd until in May 2012 he decided to start offering his consultancy services to private & social landlords on a commercial footing.

    Bill has been involved in most of the major social security changes since the early 80’s when Housing Benefit was first introduced. As well as offering advice and assistance to landlords, primarily in the RSL/PRS sectors, he also provides representation when disputes can’t be resolved through negotiation and where they have to be progressed through the formal tribunal process, initially to First Tier and, if necessary, through to Upper Tier level where some of his cases have proved to be of national importance to disadvataged groups.

    His features for Your Property Network, UK Landlord, Residentail Landlords Association, Property Investor News and SFHA, offer landlords practical advice and assistance and have enabled him to promote his specialist knowledge and advocacy skills to a much wider audience.

    The Residentail Landlords Association direct tenants and their members to seek advice from his website. Members of his website can also access his expertise directly through the discussion forum. Since August 2013 this has been on a commercial basis.

    Where mediation/representation (First + Upper-tier Tribunal) is required he normally operates on a No win, No fee, basis, charging between 15% to 25% of the value of any additional sum of HB/LHA awarded or in the amount of HB saved (e.g. overpayments). Otherwise. he will charge on an hourly/daily charge basis.

    You can find out more about Bill's support and advice work for landlords via this video:

    You can contact Bill via the banner above or call him on 01698 424301 or 07733 080 389.  You can also follow him on twitter @billirvine17.

    Although Bill is already a well-known contributor to Property Tribes, please join us in welcoming him as a sponsor.

    SEE ALSO  -       Systemic flaws in Universal Credit identified

    UP NEXT -            UC has not delivered value for money - NAO

    DON'T MISS -      Dear Mr Couling, DWP's Director General

    NOW WATCH:

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    This is great news

    Bill is the go to expert on HB matters

    Hang on to his every word

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Morning Vanessa

    I'm equally delighted to formalise my relationship with, in my opinion, UK's best Property Website. I've been a member, for quite a few years now and through that time I've enjoyed responding to other members' posts on both LHA and, more recently, UC. I hope, as sponsor of the LHA/UC thread to spend even more time doing so.

    The next few years are going to be very challenging for both tenants, relying on UC and landlords accommodating UC reliant tenants. Since the scheme was first introduced in April 2013 it's been a bit of a disaster, for all concerned, although, not if you believe the spin of DWP hierachy. Some landlords, especially those who specialise in this niche market, have experienced significant rental losses, partly because of delays in making the first payment, but mostly, because of the Government's insistence of making the default position -"pay the tenant" just as they did in April 2008 when LHA was first introduced. Many tenants have simply misused funds, designed to reduce or extinguish their rental obligations, and up until recently have got off Scot free. As the scheme claimant numbers increase from 1 million to 7 million over the next 4 years, Landlords can expect more financial pain, before eventually things calm down, just as they did in 2010/11 with LHA.

    Around 5 years ago, I also formalised my relationship with the RLA. Since then, I've been retained by the organisation to advise and assist its members, through training and supporting its excellent "advice line". Many of my most interesting and challenging cases have been through RLA referrals. As well as its advice team, it has a number of "stars", who operate, very quietly & effectively, behind the scenes to promote the interests of its members. I very much appreciate the very effective relationship I've developed with Richard Jones, solicitor. Classic case of "Good & Bad Cop". I'll leave you to ponder who plays the part of the Baddy!

    Most of my time is taken up, keeping my website up-to-date, producing updating bulletins, running courses and penning articles for the RLA, representing landlords and tenants in their disputes with councils and DWP in relation to Housing Benefit, LHA, Council Tax & Universal Credit. Most of my success is achieved without the need, in most cases, to involve tribunals, but, where necessary, I've represented successfully before First & Upper-tier tribunals. I've been at the forefront of securing success in relation to: "Two exclusive rooms" sometimes referred to as "2 x2"; the "common households" disputes, where landlords secured very significant returns; challenging council mindsets in relation to tenancies involving "close family members" where councils are inclined to simply refuse the HB claim and then wait and see what happens; saving landlords from having to repay large sums in HB overpayment demands, one such case involved £76K where the council reduced the debt by £66K after a couple of emails, the remainder was wiped out following appeal.

    I look forward to many more years of advising & assisting Tribes Members.

    Bill Irvine

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    Good news.

    I've been reading your stuff for years Bill and always found you very knowledgeable.

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