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Universal Credit: New system allows landlords to request direct rent payments

A new online system to allow rent payments, from tenants in receipt of Universal Credit, to be paid directly to private landlords has been launched by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). 

The new system for arranging these Alternative Payment Arrangements replaces the two existing UC47 forms cutting the processing time down from in excess of three weeks to just two hours in some cases.

Sherrelle Collman, managing director of Caridon Landlord Solutions, which provides specialist advice on Universal Credit and Housing Benefit to private landlords, letting agencies and housing association, has worked alongside DWP to pilot the new system. 


Collman said: “This is excellent news for landlords and tenants, as well as all those new claimants who have recently been forced to sign up to Universal Credit due to Covid-19. 

“For those struggling to manage their finances, it provides a much simpler route for tenants and landlords to request that the housing element of Universal Credit is paid directly to their landlord.

“The old paper forms, which required landlords to fill out, scan and email or post back, were not only time consuming but also took weeks process, sometimes getting lost along the way with rent arrears simultaneously mounting up.  

“Given how stretched DWP’s resources are as a result of the pandemic, it is fantastic that they have managed to launch this important improvement to the system which will help those struggling to manage their finances.”


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    ...but will the tenants be able to change it back to being paid directly to them when it suits them? If not, then it’s not secure for the landlord.

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    • 14 May 2020 11:14 AM

    As I understand it, tenants can legitimately ask/force their housing department to change the rent be given direct to them and not direct to the landlord.

    And even worse, neither the authority nor your tenants are not obliged to tell you, the landlord, that it has changed. So you could happily be expecting your rent to be paid to you account, and suddenly and unknown to you, it does not appear in your account.

    And then of course, the tenants will head on down to the Bingo Hall, The Pub, Weatherspoon's and Starbucks and then will go to the local bookie and onward to the baccky shop to buy their daily 60 Silk Cut and all before you can blink.

    It is just so wrong that the housing authorities allow this to happen, and for sure you will never see that lost rent again..


    Colin Taylor

    You are a narrow minded bigot. You must be pleased to align yourself with Hoogstraten or Hanratty. I bet their is a beaming smile of pride on your face you steaming pile of excrement.

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    there is no "a" in wetherspoon

    Bill Wood

    Unfortunately, there's no beer either.

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    • 14 May 2020 13:56 PM

    Oh dear....A spelling mistake! Shock horror.
    I think I need to go and kill myself before the world collapses and comes to an untimely and gruesome end.

    And usually, in my little uneducated world, a sentence has a habit of beginning with a capital letter and a business the same, is traditionally started with a capital letter. To add to your diatribe, a sentence also normally requires a full-stop at the end.

    Well done.

    Did you not take time to properly proof read and carefully review your response?


    you need to--noone else

    Colin Taylor

    Please follow your first suggestion...

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    But is there protection for the landlord if the claimant is making a fraudulent claim - or can the DWP still claw back from the landlord even though it's the claimant that's the fraud? I don't see any mention of clawback being directed to the tenant and not the landlord in these cases? Until there's a cast iron guarantee that the landlord cannot be subjected to clawback then I'm not interested in any tenants on UC!


    Agreed Laura, that's why few of us will touch anyone on benefits, just not worth the risk.


    Agreed. To avoid the ban on NO DSS, I always state No Smokers. It's almost the same thing and is quite legal and justifiable, although Shelter are probably on the case!

    Matthew Payne

    Clawback exists yes for agents as well, which is why I wouldnt allow my business to entertain DSS tenants, it cost me about £20k one year about 10 years ago or so when I was oblivious to it exisitng. It isnt just fraudulent claims either. A tenant's circumstances may innocently change or change marginally and they may not be aware that this could affect what they are claiming. DWP know its a waste of time going after the tenants as they couldn't afford the rent in the first place, so they go after the deep pockets who are more likely to have the cash.


    @Robert Brown... DSS = smoker

    You brought a smile (thank you) to my face. Having never been either DSS or a smoker, I'd never taken the time to make the connection.

    Having said that, when I'm in Cyprus I do like a cigar or three - the Mediterranean countries are so much more relaxed in this regards.

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    No UC, no single mums, no daily curry eaters, no smokers, no pets all this equals no problems no arrears no evictions. After some 35 years it works, keep it simple and regular property inspections and any issues deal with within 24 hours.

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    • 15 May 2020 23:51 PM

    In light of this CV19 thing hasn't the dynamic of the DSS tenant changed!?
    OK where the private market rent is substantially more than the LHA rate then usually not worth bothering with HB tenants.
    But where the LHA rate is about the same as local market rates DOESN'T it make a bit more sense to take on the feckless DSS tenant!?

    They are effectively Govt workers in receipt of a Govt wage.
    So rent should be paid irrespective of any pandemic or any other situation which cause hundreds of thousands of private tenants not to pay their rent.
    I suppose a bit of an issue is due to the OBC in the event of direct payment the LL might only receive £0.50pcw.
    As far as I am aware direct payment can only be for the HB element of UC.
    Not much use if the tenant doesn't bother working and is subject to the OBC potentially resulting in all other benefits using up the OBC limit leaving very little of the HB element to pass on.
    What happens if a DSS tenant receives an increase in other benefits reducing even further the amount of HB element!?
    If direct payment was required the LL could find a far reduced amount of HB element.

    But even taking into account the potential of the Govt welfare wages being paid it still wouldn't make me take on DSS tenants.
    Still far too many downsides to DSS tenants.

    I can't see anything changing with DSS tenants to make LL wanting to take them on.

    Of course this situation isn't the fault of the DSS tenant it is just the system they and the LL are subject to.

    It is the dysfunctional UC and eviction system which causes LL to decline tenants.

    Believe me the full contractual rent was paid directly to LL; with no clawback possibility and tenants could be evicted 14 days after 1st rent default LL would be taking on DSS tenants.

    As this will bever hapoen even mire LL will refuse to take on DSS tenants.
    Rather than use the term DSS tenants.
    Just use the term

    Subject to status

    For tenant suitability.
    The DSS tenants will soon cotton on that STS means no DSS.
    No way could the likes of Shelter accuse LL of being discriminatory as lots of financial marketing material quotes

    Subject to Status.

    LA and LL alike may use this phrase as a very handy replacement for No DSS.

    But irrespective the ways things are in the PRS can only mean fewer LL wishing to take on tenants who don't have sufficient status as far as the LL is concerned.


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