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  • LHA/Universal Credit

    Universal Credit

    Hi,

    A happy New Year to everyone.

    As I'm sure you're already aware from various news reports and articles, DWP is pressing ahead with the expansion of Universal Credit's digital or, as it's better known, Full Service system. Between now and September 2018 it will be introduced to every Jobcentre area in Great Britain. If you don't know when your area is likely to be affected, find out by looking at my article in RLA news - "Universal Credit rollout exceptionally challenging for landlords".which has a link to the schedule.

    To assist landlords learn more about the new scheme, the RLA has organised a series of training events in different parts of the UK https://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/courses/...urse.shtml if you examine the document you'll find my next next course is in Manchester on the 15th of February, 2017. Most of the places have already been taken but there are still 2/3 left, if you're interested in attending, please contact the training unit (Helen/Katy) direct.

    As I've repeatedly stated, don't assume UC "housing costs" are similar to LHA - they're not! The the more you know about this, comparatively complex scheme, the better placed you'll be to mitigate some of the difficulties and potential losses you'll undoubtedly experience.

    Bill Irvine

    UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd

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    Bit scarey when you state not to assume UC costs etc are the same as LHA

    Most LL will be presuming that there won't be much difference in what they receive in HB which is the main concern of LL.

    It seems that you are suggesting this may not be the case..

    Are there any really big issues regarding HB receipts that you consider LL should be absolutely aware of as critical to know!

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    Paul,

    The Universal Credit and Housing Benefit schemes are significantly different. Far too many differences to list in a website post. That's why we spend nearly a full day explaining the structure and processes of the new scheme.

    The Full Service requires an online claim but, before payment can be put into place, the tenant(s) plus any partners, have to make a "claimant commitment". No commitment, no payment!

    Claimants have to fulfill the commitment agreed with their Jobcoach. Breach it, and their benefit is sanctioned, which, in turn, impacts n the likelihood of the landlord receiving direct payments, previously agreed.

    There are no "official error" overpayments when DWP is involved.

    Payment arrangements are different.

    The Benefits Cap is applied differently.

    Changes in Circumstances are different.

    When couples separate the process is both complex and very time consuming.

    Temporary absences from the home are different

    Assessing "maximum rent" in Joint tenancies is different.

    In many cases, the right of appeal for landlord or tenant doesn't exist.

    There's also a complicated process for making complaints both firstly to the DWP and thereafter to independent bodies.

    I could continue but will resist doing so. For anyone interested in hearing the whole story, contact the RLA about coming along to one of the scheduled events.

    Bill Irvine

    UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd

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    No much appreciated about the pointers

    And yes I can see that such is the complexity of the situation that it would be unwise not to attend courses such as yours.

    I fear that many LL will continue blindly as before, but will find themselves financially inconvenienced to an extent never seen before.

    I'd love to know what processes Castledene, the very well known LA are putting in place to manage this UC fiasco.

    I can see many HB LL coming a cropper because of this UC process.

    Personally I just refuse to take on HB tenants.

    But I can see your knowledge being of much value to the uninformed

     In fact so fundamental are your warnings about UC that any LL self managing UC tenants would be wise to attend such a course.

    Without such UC knowledge it isn't looking good for those who aren't prepared to educate themselves.

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    I moved away from benefit customers a few years ago and the more I see of UC the more I can see my reasons why

    Its a nightmare

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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.