Universal Credit changes to rent arrears

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Universal Credit changes to rent arrears

Postby Dolphin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:32 pm

Any improvement to the Universal Credit system is good news and this change which takes place on 11TH APRIL 2017 will help landlords who tenants fall into arrears:

The Universal Credit service is built using an iterative approach, taking insight and feedback from users. This means that the Programme is able to react and deliver continuous improvements to the service.
On 11th April 2017 DWP is implementing an improvement to the Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) UC47 application forms and related processes.

What Changes Are Universal Credit Making?
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and Private Landlords (Pvt) can request a Managed Payment to Landlord (MPTL) APA and or repayment of rent arrears, by email using the improved UC47 Secure or the UC47 Non-secure APA request form. A MPTL and or recovery of rent arrears can also be requested by post using the UC47 Secure form.

The APA application forms have been improved to now incorporate all relevant information required to inform a MPTL APA decision. This will remove the need for landlords to provide additional evidence.
In addition, the UC47 Secure form, now has a free text box to enable landlords to give reasons for a MPTL APA request other than rent arrears, for example where the tenant has drug or alcohol problems or complex factors impacting their ability to manage their money and pay their rent.
Landlords will need to supply the reasons for the APA request using the tier 1 or 2 APA factors that apply to their tenant. The tier factors can be found in the attached APA criteria matrix.

The improved UC47 forms also includes a disclaimer for landlords to sign, this is to ensure that all landlords have read and understood the criteria for requesting a MPTL APA, or recovery of rent arrears, which are found in the PBS and APA guidance (see link below) and their responsibility to notify UC of any changes in the tenancy, e.g. if a tenant moves out, the rental amount increases or decreases, or if the rent arears have been repaid etc.
Further guidance can be found here on Gov.uk PBS and APA guidance.
Frequently asked questions

How do I apply for a Managed Payment to landlord (MPTL) APA?

Both the UC47 Secure and UC47 Non-secure APA request forms can be accessed via the UC GOV.uk pages via the link below;
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-request-for-a-managed-payment-or-rent-arrears-deduction
Important please ensure that from now on you are using the most recent and up to date UC47 forms by accessing the above link.

What is the difference between the UC47 Secure and UC47 Non-secure?

The UC47 Secure form can be used by landlords who have an accepted secure email address and can be sent by email to;
Universalcredithousing.aparequests@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
The UC47 Non-secure form can be used by landlords who do not have one of the listed accepted email addresses and omits certain personal information. This is to minimise the risk of sensitive claimant information being intercepted and misused. On receipt of this form the UC Housing team will contact the landlord to gather the missing sensitive information.
The UC47 Non-secure form can be sent by email to;
Universalcredithousing.aparequests@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
The UC47 Secure form can also be completed and returned by post to;
FREEPOST DWP UNIVERSAL CREDIT LIVE SERVICE
This freepost address covers all Universal Credit claimants, so both Universal Credit Live Service and Full Service claimants.

What is accepted as a secure email address?
Accepted secure email addresses are; GSI, GCSX, GSX, CJX, CJSM or GSE
What if I don’t have one of the listed secure email addresses?
You can use the UC47Non-secure form and email to;
Universalcredithousing.aparequests@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Or complete the UC47 Secure form and post it to;
FREEPOST DWP UNIVERSAL CREDIT LIVE SERVICE

How will I know if my APA application has been received?

If you email in your UC47 form you will receive and automated email message confirming that your email application has been received.
What notifications can I expect to receive following submission of an APA request by email?
You will receive an automated email message confirming your email has been received.
You will then receive a written notification advising if you APA application has been approved or refused.

What notifications can I expect to receive following submission of an APA request by post?
If you chose to post in the UC47 Secure form you will only receive a notification once your application has been considered by the UC Housing team.
If the post does not arrive at our mail opening unit you will not receive any correspondence from UC.
If my request for a Managed Payment is refused will I be informed why?
Where the Managed Payment is refused the notification issued to the landlord will not advise the landlord if their tenant is currently getting Universal Credit, nor will it advise them of the reason why the application for a Managed Payment has been refused. This is due to data sharing regulations and claimant confidentiality.

Are there any changes to the way APAs are considered and the way a claimant is offered Personal Budgeting Support

An APA request will be considered in the normal way by UC staff. A PBS referral will also be considered by the Work Coach. We will set an APA review date to see what progress the claimant has made towards financial independence, with a view to stopping the APA as appropriate.

I have additional questions about this change, who do I contact?

If you have questions about this change or about how the process works, or any other non-case specific question, please contact your local Jobcentre Plus engagement team or Partnership Manager. If you are unaware of whom your local Jobcentre team are then please check the list of Partnership Managers via the attached link.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-partnerships
Dolphin
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