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Thread: Universal Credit housing costs question

  1. #1

    Universal Credit housing costs question

    Hi all, not strictly disability related but she has limited capability for work so the claim is sort of

    My daughters bf has just moved in with her, they have done a joint claim.
    UC have sent a message on her journal stating she needs to get a new tenancy agreement with his name on before they will pay housing costs.
    2 problems with that, firstly, she doesn't want him on the tenancy, it's a fairly new relationship (about 10 months) and also, the landlord charges £350 to change a tenancy.

    I'm sure I've read somewhere previously in circumstances such as this you don't need both claimants on the tenancy, could anyone point me to something she can use in her reply please?

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    REVISED POST.

    You don't need to have a written TA at all, many renters have a verbal TA in which case a letter of confirmation from the landlord that they are renting from him is sufficient.

    But UC always say that a written TA is 'needed', simply because it makes their job easier if there is a written TA.
    (There are indications that the UC software the Work Coaches are using wrongly says that they need a written TA, and not all WC 's know that they can circumvent the software).

    There can be issues if someone is not on a TA, and/or can't show that they have a verbal tenancy, because in that case they can't show a legal liability to pay rent to the landlord.
    And normally you need to show that legal liability to claim HB or UC-HE.

    However I've just re-read the UC reguations again, and the DWP are wrong with what they are saying here, and the DWP should be OK with him not being on the TA.
    But see below about the landlord and the current TA.

    To get legal, they may need to argue these points to the DWP (the bolding is mine):

    UC regs 2013 (as revised), 'The housing costs element' 25(3)(a)(ii) https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/.../housing-costs
    (3) The circumstances of the liability to make the payments must be such that—

    (a)the claimant (or either joint claimant)—

    (i)has a liability to make the payments which is on a commercial basis, or

    (ii)is treated under Part 1 of Schedule 2 as having a liability to make the payments; and

    (b)none of the provisions in Part 2 of that Schedule applies to treat the claimant (or either joint claimant) as not being liable to make the payments.
    Then Part 1 of Schedule 2: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/376/schedule/2
    Certain other persons liable to make payments

    1.—(1) A claimant is to be treated as liable to make payments where the person who is liable to make the payments is—

    (a)any child or qualifying young person for whom the claimant (or if the claimant is a member of a couple, either member) is responsible; or

    (b)in the case of a claimant who is a member of a couple claiming as a single person, the other member of the couple.

    (2) Sub-paragraph (1)(b) does not apply to a person who is claiming as a single person by virtue of regulation 3(4).
    Her being named on the current TA and him being 'the other member of the couple' (which the DWP have already accepted by taking the joint claim) means that he is "treated as liable" to make the rent payments.

    So UC-HE should be payable without him being on the TA, because under those clauses he is "treated" as being liable for the rent.

    It sounds like they are going to need to argue that with UC though. (Pointing out those clauses from the legislation).
    TBH I'm guessing the note on the journal has been put there by a Work Coach who doesn't know the full rules (poor training again), and pointing out those clauses should change their mind (and teach then something new).

    Or it may be that the DWP have been in contact with the landlord who has brought this tenancy matter up. It's something she needs to check anyway.

    Her current TA may not allow others to live there, even as a partner.
    It's often/usually a clause in the landlords property insurance (or mortgage if he has one) that only tenants named on the TA can live in the property.
    If he lets sombody not named on the TA live there then his insurance, and/or mortgage, becomes invalid - and if a mortgage then the property could be repossessed.
    If that is the case then the TA is going to need to be changed anyway, if the landlord agrees to let him live there.
    Last edited by nukecad; 19-06-20 at 20:19.
    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.

  3. #3
    Thanks for that
    Yes, the landlord is aware, he's a family friend is is 100% ok him being there and not on the TA, so thats not a problem.

    Would you suggest ringing them or replying in the journal with notes that he isn't on the TA and she has no intention of adding him or calling them to explain?
    They've also removed this months housing element which is extremely annoying as the statement was only available today and the note about the TA put on today too, so they've stopped it without even giving her a chance to get what they are asking for, I doubt theres many people, especially at the moment, who could get a new TA done within a few hours!

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    They've also removed this months housing element
    Removed?
    Has a UC housing element been paid previously, either to your daugther or her boyfriend?

    As they have not paid the HE then I think I'd go straight for a MR of the decision not to pay it.

    (They will probably try to say that there hasn't been a decision yet, obviously there has been - someone made the decision not to pay).

    In the MR I'd say that they dispute the non-payment as there is no legal requirement for him to be named on the TA for UC-HE to be payable, and so the decision not to pay (or to stop previous payments) is unlawful.

    (Good catch-all word unlawful - "not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules.").

    I'm not on UC myself but I think I'd do it on the journal (the general advice is that because it affects payments then do it in the payments section, not the general section), and I'd also cite/quote the DWPs own guidance, which is:
    'Advice for Decision Makers', Chapter F2: Housing Costs Element, sections F2004 (1)(1.2) and F2087 (2).

    Those 2 ADM sections say the same as the legislation I quoted above, but the DWP is more likely to have their own guidance to hand (and more likely to read it).
    You can see/read it yourself here: https://assets.publishing.service.go...0312/admf2.pdf

    Then I think that I'd phone them as well, again requesting MR and pointing out that they have already cited the relevant ADM sections on the journal.
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-06-20 at 03:20.
    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.

  5. #5
    thank you very much, I'll give them a ring for her on Monday and pop a note on the journal today
    To the question, yes, she's only been on UC for 2 months and was paid it previously.

    Thinking about it they also asked for a letter from the landlord to confirm she was still resident at the address and that the tenancy dated 2014 was still valid. That was provided a couple of days ago, but if thats why it was removed, then I think thats wrong, firstly it was provided, and secondly she provided a tenancy agreement as they first requested, it took almost 2 months after making the claim to ask for the letter (which she provided within 24 hours) and as you say, she doesn't even need a TA. She was previously claiming housing benefit.

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