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Thread: UC managed rent payments to landlord

  1. #1
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    UC managed rent payments to landlord

    Hi I wonder if I could please have some advice?
    I had 2 weeks rent arrears when I started a claim for UC in September then had to wait the 5 weeks until my first payment on the 19th October which included a rent element. Just days before the housing element was due to me my housing association emailed me as said as getting arrear letters was causing me distress (I suffer with mental health) they had requested managed payments directly to them so it would reduce my anxiety and worry and wanted to reassure me that it was not because they didnt think I would pay them.
    However because they asked for payment directly to them UC held the housing element for another 4 weeks because they did not have time to arrange it for the October payment.
    My HA are now holding me responsible for the arrears I already had but also the arrears their actions caused! I have a email were they admit that they were told it would cause a delay. So if the HA had not asked for direct payments when they did they would of been paid three payments of housing element from me but because of their actions they have only been paid two.
    Ive spoken to UC and they have said that if the HA cancel the direct payment to them that they will pay the HA the money they are holding and have confirmed the HA caused the extra delay.
    Ive asked the HA to cancel the direct payments then a large chunk of my arrears will be paid off and then im left with a amount that I can manage to pay off but they are now saying "its procedure" and that at a point they will seek possession because of the level of my arrears!!! over half they caused!!
    Could anyone please advise on if I can challenge the direct payments to UC and request they cancel it? or is there anything else I can do please? Ive been paying what I can afford every month towards the arrears.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TimeLord's Avatar
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    Hi, do you want control over the housing element ? Your housing association has control of currently ? You could offer to pay off the outstanding balance in partial or full payment, then your account would be in credit. But the outstanding amount is owed by whoever signed the housing association contract and agreed tenancy terms. It's an interesting situation have you spoken to the housing association housing officer in person to make that clear you want control of the rent ? You could speak with citezens advice to see where you stand. But if the housing association see's future problems with getting their payments they will probably stick with the direct payment option. The only other way would be to end the housing universal credit element and if you gained employment pay it directly yourself. But don't put your home at risk if that isn't an option.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It's a situation that is happening currently, and there are changes planned to stop it.

    If I was you I would leave things as they stand with the direct payments and they will get sorted out, and the arrears paid, it just takes a bit of time.

    at a point they will seek possession
    You are nowhere near that point, and won't be.
    The LA will not be able to evict you in these circumstances, they won't even try as long as the direct payments are being set up.
    If you try to cancel the Direct Payments (which you can't see below) and still didn't pay rent then they may seek possession.

    At this stage they won't even try to get a possession order, they are well aware of the delays in setting up UC Alternative Payments.
    (If they did try to get a posession order they have to go to court for that, and once you explain it's a UC delay no judge is going to give them a possession order so they would just be wasting their time.)

    You cannot cancel an Alternative Payment Arrangement, but you can ask for it to be reviewed.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...t-arrangements
    4.4 Can a claimant appeal against an Alternative Payment Arrangement?

    The decision to award an APA is discretionary and made by a Universal Credit Agent, a decision maker, work coach, or case manager acting on behalf of the Secretary of State.

    There is no right of appeal against the decision, however the decision can be reviewed by the same or another Universal Credit agent if further information is provided.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  4. #4
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    i had paid direct with universal credit ,and ended up £266 in arrears ,which i have to pay back £20 a month uc missed payments, nothing to do with me but i have to pay it back, so now i have a direct debit for my rent coming out the day the universal credit is paid.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    That's one of the things that has/is beeing changed.

    They used to pay the housing AP four weekly and later than your UC payment.
    This would average out over a year to pay the full rent, but for most of the year it left you in arrears.

    It's been/being changed so that, for social rentals at least, it will be paid as a full month on the same day as your UC payment is made.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  6. #6
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    Your HA know that from the day they requested direct payments it would cause delay, but that's Not the point, the point is you are no longer responsible for the rent so let your HA and UC sort it out..
    If you cancel an agreement that your HA has set up not only will it anoy them but it will also mean you have made yourself responsible AGAIN for the arrears..
    At some point your HA may need you to pay towards any arrears you had prior to direct payments but the reason they have switched to direct payments is to protect you from eviction and even more arrears so as nukecad said you need to give it time so your HA can see what is still outstanding once they are receiving regular rent payments from UC, paying the rent has been taken out of your hands so just concentrate on any money you may owe prior to the direct payments ????

  7. #7
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    hi everybody , just tacking on another reply to push some of the anoying "spam" that has arrived on the site further down the list

  8. #8
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    Thank you everyone for the replies. I knew when I claimed UC that there is the delay in payment and as I did not ask for the advance I knew that I would still be in arrears when UC paid me the first housing element so I take full responsibility for that even though its not my fault how UC pay BUT my issue with the HA is that they then caused another 4 weeks arrears on top of the normal delay and arrears that you get because they asked for direct payments too late, it was only days before I was due the first housing element so UC didnt have time to set it up to go to the HA so they held the money for ANOTHER 4 weeks until paying them so because the HA asked for direct payments THEY created another 4 weeks of arrears when if they had not asked for direct payments they would of been paid within 4 days!
    Thats my issue with the HA. If they had not asked for direct payments I would be in arrears of 7 weeks when I got my first housing element but because of what the HA did they caused me to be in 11 weeks arrears.

  9. #9
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    Even in the old days when housing benefit used to cover full rent, it was in arrears, I feel as if the benefit system has been out of touch with private renting for eternity.

    LHA for my area is £85 a week.
    Cheapest one bed flat advertised on rightmove is £460 a month.

    Not only the differential in rent and LHA but also that one is arrears other is in advance, and also the deposit requirement which benefits doesn't cater for as well.

    My local council will act as a guarantor for people though which is good.

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