X

Sign Up

or

By signing up I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Sign Up

Sign Up With Facebook, Twitter, or Google

or


By signing up, I agree to Property Tribes Terms and Conditions


Already a PT member? Log In

Log In

or


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Forgot Password

To reset your password just enter the email address you registered with and we'll send you a link to access a new password.


Already a PT member? Log In

Don't have an account? Sign Up

  • LHA/Universal Credit

    LHA tenant transferring to UC

    Who do I contact when a tenant is transferring over from LHA to UC (due to change in circumstances). I don't want to miss out on HB payment

    Change in circumstance (30/5/2019) reported to council a few days later. Council had paid up till 26/5/2019 (direct to me)

    UC claim has been successful I understand (from tenant) and UC will be payable on 12th July

    How are the dates joined up so I don't loose out in HB? Can I contact anyone to confirm the situation?

    0
    0
    we have a handfull of tenants who are in receipt of UC and our experience so far has been you can request the housing element is paid straight to the landlord if you have rent arrears of:

    • 2 months, or
    • 1 month and you’ve not paid rent on time in the past
    You will need to provide a full breakdown of how the rent and arrears have been calculated. When the arrears have been cleared, payment reverts back to the tenant 

    Of course the tenant can request that you are paid directly but they have to demonstrate a number of things for them to award direct payment of you.

    0
    0
    If you are receiving direct payments already under safeguarding regulations then you SHOULD continue to do so. Our experience of this is that it is frequently forgotten.

    Complete a form UC47, available online, and send it in to the UC admin center asp. UC payments are getting better, although that is from an appallingly low base line.
    0
    0

    Andrew McCausland

    Hamilton Square Estates Ltd

    Wirral Property Group Ltd

    Sourcing and renovating investment property since 1994

    Hi Raj

    As your tenant was receiving HA, paid direct to you at the point of transition, there should be no need for you to notify the Council.

    When your tenant claims Universal Credit, DWP sends a Stop Notice to the Council, bringing an end to HB. However, since April 2018, your council should also pay a further "2 weeks run-on payment" to you, quite separately. This designed is assist the tenant during the 5 weeks wait before his first UC payment.

    The day after HB ends (excluding the 2 week run-on) should be the first date of the UC award and from this point the "Housing Costs Element" is paid by DWP.. Both you and the tenant could ask DWP to pay the HCE to you, from the first Benefit Assessment Period (BAP) assuming the circumstances that led to direct payment of the LHA award still exist (more than 8 weeks rent arrears or one of the many "safeguarding" provisions).

    Bill


    0
    0

    Hi Bill

    This is perhaps workable in principle but in practice its not  I fear

    Its simply no ones job it seems to tell me its transitioning from LHA to UC

    The tenant cannot be relied upon to tell me in many cases

    By the time I hear of it  its  happened  behind my back so  its often too late.

    The uphill struggle then begins

    A tenant with the best will in the world  when they see the glitter of a months rent payable to them after years of it being paid to me forgets to mention salient facts on their application form

    The job centre has no remit to call me up to check the veracity of their application and so it doesn't

    I cant understand why that call to me isnt built in to the system as an obvious check

    How can that be changed ?

    The first time i get to hear of it shouldn't be 4 weeks by default   after the event

    0
    0

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


    Hi Jonathan

    Sorry for the delayed response.

    Councils, firstly, haven’t been relieved of their obligations to notify landlords when HB (LHA) is being ended. They Must still send you the termination letter. It would be better if that letter included the reason for ending - transition to UC, but there’s no requirement at the minute. However, the termination letter should serve as an alert for you to take some kind of action.

    In terms of the 2 week run-on that should be automatically paid to the LL if, at the point of transition, LHA is being paid direct to you.

    As far as getting DWP to pay you UC direct from the first BAP, many of my clients send applications, including statements from their tenant(s), confirming that’s their preference as receiving the housing costs themselves would, most likely, lead to misuse.

    I accept the current position is not ideal, but it’s considerably better than where we were 18 months ago, and things will definitely improve further when the Landlord Portal is extended to the PRS. 

    I also have a number of PRS landlord complaints which are currently being investigated by the Independent Case Examiners office which hopefully will bring further concessions before 2019 ends.

    The next, and most critical stage of UC Migration involves a further 5 million “legacy benefit” claims ending and claimants being forced over to UC. PRS landlords/agents who have an interest in LHA definitely need to be on alert and need to know how to react or, guaranteed, they will experience rental losses. 

    Bill Irvine
    0
    0

    Thanks Bill

    Yes the council sends me a termination letter but this is invariably very late in the day if at all

    It should come through I feel a day after the decision is made not 4 weeks later !

    As I am  paid in arrears  I am always 4 weeks behind before i get wind of it

    Then the 5 week wait and I`m 9 weeks behind and the money  goes to them

    Then if I am lucky after an immense amount of hassle i get it paid direct

    Then one day I find  just an obscure reference number on the bank credit when its sorted

    So I have to now work out which property it relates to .Ok with one or two but not with multiples

    The council would e mail me a lovely printed out schedule with address and name of tenant and amounts

    So I receive zero information / service from DWP .

    I cannot work with an organisation which ignores me

    So yes its far from ideal and 9 years on I am incredulous we still have these so basic problems

    Its like going back 9 years in service standards

    I am moving away from UC as a result and I cant help thinking this is what the Gov in fact want.

    I dont think they could have made it more complex and befuddling

    They set it up to fail in my eyes and its a disgrace

    Not your fault of course and glad it will keep you in business for years to come

    0
    0

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


    Hi Jonathan

    Pleased to hear you're receiving the Council's letter, albeit late. Some councils have forgotten this obligation.

    Council IT systems are usually set up so that the decision letter is issued automatically on the day the decision is made. If it's not, I'd be rattling the CEO's cage.

    The wait for the first payment is a real pain for everyone, including SRS landlords.

    The biggest problem of all is "communication"; the lack of or poor quality of actual response. These are things I've been highlighting with ICE (Independent Case Examiner).

    Overall, you're right, by handing the admin to DWP the government made major error of judgement. Its track record and down right lack of empathy for tenants and landlords' alike just beggars belief. If you read my article 8 ears ago "Hitting the DWP Brick Wall" I underestimated just how bad they's be!

    Bill


    0
    0

    Thanks Laura, there are no arrears.

    Andrew, I wasn't getting direct payments due to any safeguarding regulations - at the start of the tenancy 2y ago, I merely used a clause to advise the council that in order to secure and retain the tenancy, the HB needs to be paid direct to me and the council was OK with that.

    Thanks Bill, I'll keep those timelines in mind as she transitions - I wonder if our council knows about the "2 weeks run-on payment"?

    There were no "circumstances" that originally led to a direct payment - only the clause I mentioned, which was enough for the council. The direct payment policy of the council was discretionary but they agreed

    0
    0
    Hi Raj

    Councils do know and have been making payments in accordance for the past 14 months. If you were receiving payments at point of transition (no matter the reason) you should automatically receive payment.

    Bill Irvine
    0
    0