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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletters/october-2018-landlord-engagement-newsletter
This Universal Credit newsletter is aimed to provide up to date information to social and private landlords about Universal Credit.
We regularly update our information for landlords, read the up-to-date version of the Universal Credit & Rented Sector Housing Guide and use the latest UC47 form to request payment of rent from tenant’s Universal credit.
1. Email alerts on GOV.UK
Email alerts are a really good way to receive information that has been updated on GOV.UK for updates about Universal Credit.
To sign up for email alerts go to the bottom of any GOV.UK page, and click on publications on bottom right. On the next page, down the left hand side you can select the appropriate filters to identify what you want to receive updates about, then select email and complete email details.
If you do this for the link above this will ensure you receive future versions of this newsletter when published.
2. General updates
2.1 Universal Credit: 2018 Budget
Following the Budget on 29 October 2018, HM Treasury published a policy paper called Universal Credit: Budget 2018 brief. This announced a £1,000 increase in work allowances in Universal Credit, and additional support for individuals moving onto the new benefit.
Read the Universal Credit: Budget 2018 brief
2.2 About the Universal Credit and rented housing guide for landlords
The Universal Credit (UC) and rented housing guide for landlords is a document that provides private and social sector landlords with information about Universal Credit to help them understand what they can do to help their tenants prepare for:
- their move to the single UC monthly benefit payment
- making direct payments of their housing costs (rent) direct to their landlord themselves
It also explains what budgeting and payment support is available for tenants who may need help moving to the new system.
This includes alternative payment arrangements if claimants are finding it hard to manage their UC payment and pay their landlord themselves.
It contains information for landlords including:
- paying rent
- evidence requirements & checking claims
- paying for 2 homes
- service charges
- support and Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA)
- recovering rent arrears from a UC claim
- Budgeting Support
- discretionary housing payment
- specialist accommodation needs
More information about Universal Credit and landlords.
3. Universal Credit full service escalation route for third parties
If you have an issue in UC full service relating to a specific tenant, claim or payment then in the first instance you should attempt to resolve this with your tenant who may be able to resolve it using the online journal facility.
If this is not possible or the issue is still unresolved then you can contact the service centre.
3.1 Service centre
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
For UC full service we usually need explicit consent from the claimant to talk to a provider/partner organisation. They can provide this via the journal in their digital account or verbally to the Service Centre. They need to include the point of contact and name of organisation they give permission for us to speak to and brief details of the issue.
If the issue remains unresolved after taking the steps above, then the third party can escalate with either the Partnership Manager or Work Coach team leader at the local jobcentre.
Partnership Managers will deal with general queries or questions only. Work Coach team leaders will deal with claimant specific issues. This escalation route must only be used for urgent issues which you have been unable to resolve via the Service Centre. Your local Partnership Manager is sharing contact details for the escalation route.
If you have not heard from them then please do get in touch with your local Jobcentre or Partnership Manager.
3.2 DWP partnerships
How to contact DWP partnership teams for England, Scotland and Wales has been updated on GOV.UK to include new partnership manager contact names.
Find out more about DWP partnerships.
3.3 Repeat claims
A query was received from a landlord about the process for making repeat claims when a claimant has received a nil award. Claimants are notified through their journal that they have a nil award and informs them of the option to make a new claim.
The journal will display a new screen that tells the claimant their claim is closed and includes a button to make a new claim.
When a claimant clicks the button to make a new claim it will play back their circumstances so that they do not need to enter details unless there is a change of circumstances. A claimant is unlikely to need to come into the jobcentre as ID should already have been accepted.
A face to face meeting may be required for a claimant commitment but depending on their conditionality group this may not be necessary.
When a claimant makes a new claim within six months of a claim closing they retain the same Assessment Period (AP) as for the previous claim and the claim will be paid from the AP date in which they reapply.
4. Landlord events
DWP has recently been involved in delivering awareness sessions to landlords about Universal Credit at landlord events nationally.
We are looking at building on the initial work we have undertaken, issues to date and future improvements/enhancements.
We are currently working with the Residential Landlords Association, National Landlords Association, Association of Residential Letting Agents and Housing Quality Network to continue with raising awareness of UC with landlords going forward.
5. Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA): Applying for a managed payment to landlord
5.1 Updates to the UC47 Forms
The UC47 forms have been updated to include a box to add the landlord email address and a contactable phone number if further information is required.
The latest UC47 form to request payment of rent from tenant’s Universal credit.
Please ensure that you provide this information when requesting an APA.
5.2 Completing the right UC47 form
If you’re a private landlord or a social landlord that doesn’t have a secure email address and you are applying for a Managed Payment to landlord (MPTL) due to 2 months’ rent arrears you will need to complete the non–secure UC47.
If you are applying for a MPTL due to another tier one or tier 2 factor only, you will need to complete the secure version of the UC47 form and explain your reasons in the additional information box.
The secure version of the UC47 form can be found by selecting yes to the question on GOV.UK ‘Does your email address contain any of the following? This question will appear once you have put in your tenant’s postcode’.
Find out more about Direct Payments.
5.3 New online process for requesting an APA that will replace the UC47
We are developing a more streamlined process for private landlords and social landlords not on the landlord portal to request a managed payment to landlord APA via GOV.UK.
This is an online process, enabling the secure capture of information and doing away with the need for the different versions of the UC47 forms, via a secure/non-secure e mail and/or postal route. Security is at the heart of this new process, to securely capture the reason for the APA and the landlord bank details.
User testing is taking place with landlords to feedback on the design. We will keep you updated in future newsletters as this work continues to progress.
6. Welfare Reform Act 2012 regulations
On 20 July 2018 a link was added to the Welfare Reform Act 2012 – amending Commencement Order No. 881 (C. 68) that provides for the final expansion of the Universal Credit Digital Service to more postcodes between 5 September 2018 and 12 December 2018.
6.1 Sending an email to the UC full service inbox
If you need to send an email to the full service inbox (such as sending in a UC47 form), please check that you are sending your email to the correct address.
7. Universal Credit statistics
The latest release of Universal Credit statistics now dated September 2018 includes updated information about the source of the statistics, and new information on split payments and more frequent payments.
8. Universal Support changes from April 2019
From April 2019 The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will fund Citizens Advice to deliver a better Universal Support service.
8.1 Third party payment scheme
Social landlords are paid their MPTL and recovery of rent arrears using the third party payments scheme. For private landlords recovery of rents arrears is made using the third party payments scheme.
Further information relating to the Third party payment scheme and creditor reference number.
- creditor handbook – guidance
- form to amend creditor address
- form to amend creditor bank details
- form to amend customer reference number
9. Information for social rented sector landlords
9.1 Trusted Partner and the landlord Portal
As of 10 October 2018, there are 470 landlords enrolled on the portal which includes the first landlord in Northern Ireland.
We aim to roll–out the landlord portal to 90% of social housing landlords by December 2018. In addition we are planning how we can complete enrolment for small landlords.
The list of landlords with access to the portal is updated regularly in the House of Commons members’ library.
9.2 UC live service to full service transfers
Claimants will be unable to claim Universal Credit in live service areas after 31 December 2018. If claimants are already getting Universal Credit in a live service area they will manage their claim by phone.
Live service claims will eventually move to the full service. Universal Credit live service claimants will be notified when this will happen and what they need to do at that time.
In order to successfully transfer claimants to the full service, claimants must re-declare their housing costs. For claimants in social rented sector properties the landlord will need to re-verify their housing costs for payment to continue.
On 9 July 2018, we wrote to the Housing Federations, regarding the impact on landlords when claimants transfer from Universal Credit live service to full service and activity required.
Partnership managers will support landlords in preparing for this transfer and will be able to provide the dates for when this transfer will take place.
9.3 Local authority welfare direct bulletins: 2018
A new LA welfare direct bulletin providing information that affects Housing Benefit and other areas of DWP, to local authority staff has been published on GOV.UK.
9.4 Future Universal Credit landlord newsletters
We hope you have found this newsletter useful. If there is anything specific you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please send an email to email: