What we will cover:
- How Universal Credit differs from Housing Benefit
- Which of your tenants will be expected to claim UC first
- How to make and maintain an online claim – defective claims, verification, changes in circumstances, back-dating
- How the “Housing Costs element” (HCE) is calculated
- Accessing direct payment of the Housing Costs
- Challenging DWP decisions – seeking a revision, “late revision” Mandatory Reconsideration and Appeal
- UC Overpayments – how to challenge DWP poor practice – standard letters etc.
- Making a complaint to DWP and Independent Case Examiner – case examples, standard letters used to illustrate
- Properly advise your tenants on how and when to claim Universal Credit
- Accessing Direct Payments, nowadays called APAs (Alternative Payment Arrangements)
- Implement effective processes to ensure any gap in payment is actioned immediately, minimising rent arrears and the need for legal action
- Successful communication with frontline DWP and hierarchy
Job Centres across the UK are now delivering Universal Credit ‘Full Service’. Tenants who experience certain changes in circumstances and secure a tenancy will naturally migrate to Universal Credit. Most of those that do, will have to make an online claim for UC and make a ‘claimant commitment’, and manage their claim online, in order to receive their housing costs as part of their monthly UC payment. Currently, at least 2.5M people in the UK are claiming Universal Credit, with another 100,000 new claims being added monthly. Later this year, tenants who currently claim benefits such as ESA, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credits will also migrate over to Universal Credit under what’s referred to as Managed Migration. By its completion in September 2024, 7M will be claiming Universal Credit and those that have “housing costs” will receive this via UC, rather than Housing Benefit or LHA. During the Managed Migration stage, it’s anticipated 40% will be worse off under Universal Credit. However, there’s a “Transitional Protection” (TP) scheme that should kick in to safeguard tenants from such losses. However, many commentators believe DWP will be so overwhelmed by the increased volume and pace of claims that TP may often be missed or underpaid. If that happens, it will pose an increased risk to landlords’ cash flows. We would advise all members with tenants who are reliant, partially or wholly on claiming state benefits, to come along to this course to find out how you can prepare yourself to effectively navigate the new system and prevent rental loss.
This training course qualifies for 3 continuous professional development (CPD) points which can help towards or maintain your accreditation with the NRLA. If you are interested in becoming an accredited landlord with the NRLA, CPD points are necessary to achieve that status.
NRLA Accreditation recognises landlords who have agreed to maintain professional standards in the management and maintenance of their rented property and deal fairly and professionally with their tenants. Accredited members demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities and obligations and strive to maintain, increase and improve their knowledge of the market through training and development. CPD points are awarded for all activities which improve those attributes and are a requisite of membership of the NRLA Accreditation Scheme.
For more details visit the accreditation section on the website.
- Any landlord or agent who accommodates tenants, reliant to some extent on claiming assistance from LHA/Universal Credit schemes, to help reduce or extinguish their rent liabilities
- Landlords and agents who have not previously accepted tenants in receipt of benefit payments but discover through redundancy, sickness or accident that one of their tenants has become a claimant
- New landlords and agents considering accepting tenants in receipt of benefit payments.