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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    Universal Credit-A TOTAL DISGRACE

    He's not the only one!  The Federation of Small Businesses tweeted this today:


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    The Government must urgently reconsider the rollout of Universal Credit (UC) and heed the growing warnings about the damage the policy has caused, IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has today said.

    Imogen Farhan, IPSE’s Policy and External Affairs Officer, commented: “The widespread condemnation of Universal Credit is clear and damning evidence of how damaging the policy has been. IPSE urges the Government to urgently halt the reform’s rollout and address its flaws before its damage can be manifested further. 

    “Nowhere is Universal Credit’s damaging impact felt more clearly than on the self-employed. The self-employed lose out due to monthly reporting because it does not take into account of the fact the income of the self-employed varies hugely from month to month. 

    “This means a self-employed person can end up £3,000 worse off each year under UC compared with an employee earning the same amount. That is a significant amount of money.

    “Why, for example, should a farmer who sells or produce crops only at a particular time of year, be penalised? The Government must address the problem of monthly reporting by considering self-employed earnings over a more reflective annual basis.

    “The latest criticisms come just three months after a particularly disparaging report by the National Audit Office (NAO) which clearly highlighted the ballooning costs of the scheme, as well as the “difficulties and hardship” individuals are experiencing as UC is rolled out.

    “The growing warnings of not just the NAO but the many other independent bodies must be heeded. The reforms damage entrepreneurship and cost self-employed people thousands of pounds a year. The Government cannot bury its head in the sand about Universal Credit’s failures any longer. It must urgently rectify the problems rather than pretending they do not exist.”

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    Ahead of today's Autumn Budget, Vince Cable, the former Business Secretary, has called on the government to immediately pause its rollout of Universal Credit for the good of people in most need of support.

    In an article he wrote for the Mirror, he said: “While the current government’s handling of UC [Universal Credit] has left it on life support, Liberal Democrats argue that with a pause followed by some major reforms, the system could yet be salvaged.”

    Full/source article

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    Panorama doc last night confirmed again what a total disgrace the roll out of  UC is


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

    A cross-party group of MPs has called for the next phase of universal credit to be put on hold until ministers can show that disabled claimants will be properly protected from the potentially disastrous consequences of moving to the new system.

    The Commons work and pensions committee says there are insufficient safeguards for claimants who will be worse off financially when approximately a million disabled people on employment and support allowance (ESA) move on to universal credit over three years from 2020.

    This would potentially leave some of the social security system’s most vulnerable claimants isolated, destitute and in some cases relying on their dependent children for care, the committee says in a report.

    Full/source article

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    I have just had two of my customers move from LHA to UC

    its a nightmare for them one had no money for  five weeks. Then was paid

    the second one has not had a penny since Oct

    he has an interview on Thursday face to face again he has had no n

    money

    I think once a customer is on the system it works ok

    but it’s the gap which is the problem

    I know one thing as a Landlord I don't want the hassle of any benefits customer for Three  reasons

    1 LHA doesn't cover market rent

    2 Why should I be paid in arrears

    3 My Lenders don't permit me to house UC customers

    NOT MY PROBLEM GOV

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.


    Does anyone have a simple step by step guide for renting to UC tenants. ?

    Thanks

    Gary

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    Responding to comments by the Prime Minister today that the Government is looking at ways to address the problems faced by benefit claimants accessing private rented housing, Chris Town, Vice Chair of the Residential Landlords Association said:

    “With ever growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector for a place to live we need to do much more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

    ​“This means a package of measures that should include giving all tenants the right to decide what is best for them by enabling them to choose to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord as well as working with bank lenders to address the problem of mortgage terms that prevent landlords renting to benefit claimants.”

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    For a long time I have put as a condition of a tenancy on the AST that my LHA or UC payments MUST be paid to me direct.

    Its in bold on page 1 so you cant miss it . Its designed for the council and DWP to see at a glance that if i dont get payment direct the tenant is in breach from day 1 and therefore liable to eviction. It gives me ammunition to say the council/ dwp / court that they are  setting the tenant up to fail . They always ask the tenant for a copy of the tenancy before they process the claim so by actively ignoring this clause they are guilty of  instigating that breach in my view from day 1 . That is unacceptable. They want the tenant to manage their lives and part of that management is them making the decision to sign my tenancy knowing the T&C`s therein and positively deciding themselves they want the housing element part of payment to go to me . The council/ dwp by ignoring such a bona fide clause staring them in the face is guilty of neglect of duty and process

    With LHA it hasnt been a problem as all mine are paid direct but with UC being implemented behind my back on some tenancies this clause in my AST has been routinely  ignored .

    However I have just done 2  tenancies to existing tenants which are on UC where payment goes to them

    But both tenants have stated that their work coaches said i would be now paid direct because of this clause.

    It hasn`t had time to come through yet so I may be being too optimistic but I am hoping RUDD has had an impact already and issued instructions to pay direct where possible if they can find a reasonable  reason to do so - an AST with such a clause could be one such reason I suggest

    I will wait and see whether there is a real change of direction in Gov policy to allow UC to work effectively

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