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Bill Irvine
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Bill Irvine
Jon, Firstly, there are no experts on UC at the minute. Even the DWP accept It's a work-in-progress, especially (my emphasis) in relation to the "housing element" or housing costs. You're right to point out "Alternative Payment Arrangements" (APA) do exist, amongst other things, permitting payment to the landlord, instead of the tenant. You can also recover rent arrears accrued by your tenant during their residency. Plus the numbers of redirections from tenant to landlord have increased dramatically in the past year or so, with some of my Housing Association clients securing 50-60% of tenants' "housing element". However, private landlords are not generally experiencing the same success. The APA process is seriously flawed. DWP staff are blinded by Data protection and "confidentiality" issues and often use the blanket of confidentiality to refuse PRS landlords and agents any information. On many occasions the DWP continue to make payments (after the APA has been made) despite having the ability to suspend that part of the award, resulting in tenant misuse of the "housing element. All of this could so easily be avoided. As a result, I receive regular referrals from RLA members who have already lost substantial rental income caused by DWP maladministration of the APA scheme, so much so, I write to DWP hierarchy almost every week pursuing their legitimate complaints and have already secured "compensation" for their loss. If you're a private landlord with a sizeable LHA caseload you really need to make the effort to establish just how different UC is to LHA. You'll be surprised, and more than a little concerned, when you discover UC's hidden complexities and associated risks. The RLA runs courses for PRS landlords and agents in different cities; you can find some details here: http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/courses/landlord_universal_credit_training_course.shtml The autumn/winter programme is just being finalised. For any landlord who encounters problems with LHA or Universal Credit you can contact me here: http://universalcreditadvice.com/private-landlords Bill Irvine

From: Bill Irvine 02 May 2016 12:26 PM

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