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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

UC and Untidy Tenancies

A pollard
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Financial Inclusion Officer - Plus Dane Housing

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Total Posts: 3

Joined: 17 January 2017

hi 1st time post here—i work for a housing assoc, we seem to be having problems with UC and untidy tenancies recently..anyone else?  We refuse SRS on Portal as per UC instructions but then we are not getting the email SRS (manual form i believe they call it) to complete. On calling UC (3 way with tnt) are getting told they dont have any Housing Costs as not verified ie SRS was refused, have tried explaining that we are supposed to refuse (and say absent joint tenant etc) but all that is suggested is to redeclare h costs ( UC will help do this) which then comes back on the portal to be refused again. is it just us? We have tried raising with partnership managers but dont seem to be getting much back so wondering if this is a new problem or if UC have changed the procedure and arent telling us. Any thoughts welcome. thanks

J Sue Ramsden
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Policy department - National Housing Federation

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Joined: 17 April 2013

Hi The NHF has raised this with DWP as other housing associations have reported similar problems.  A new system to try and ‘sort’ unitidy tenancies was put in place at the beginning of the year (or perhaps earlier) and there was then considerable disruption caused by some unintended consequences of the April rent change process. Since then DWP say they are working on making sure that next April does not cause the same disruption.  Problems now seem to be due to UC staff not following the procedures but if you have some real life examples you are happy to share with DWP they looking for cases where they can investigate what has gone wrong.  Get in touch if you want more details - my details are on the National Housing Federation website

Timothy Seaside
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Housing services - Arun District Council

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Joined: 20 September 2018

We have had a few problems with this as well. My understanding is that the tenant is automatically notified that we have disowned them when we follow the absent joint tenant procedure. So before we go through the procedure we contact the tenant to let them know what to expect (it can be a nasty shock otherwise to receive a message to say we have said they’re not our tenant). We advise them to put a note on their journal to explain that they have spoken to us and we have advised them we are following the absent joint tenant procedure, include any detail they have about the absent joint tenant’s circumstances, and to ask whether they are really expected to re-enter their housing costs information.

In the absent joint tenant process on the Landlord Portal we include as much information as we can about the absent joint tenant in the “Tell us why you have said this person is not your tenant” box.

Generally when we go through it like this, it works okay. But I think there are sometimes training issues with individual case managers - although these are usually cleared up quite quickly through our liaison contact.

A pollard
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Financial Inclusion Officer - Plus Dane Housing

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Total Posts: 3

Joined: 17 January 2017

thanks both, reassured its not just us.
We do try and contact tenants when we get a SRS especially in Untidy Tenancy cases to tell people to ‘expect some faffing’,  UC were OK up until 2 or 3 months ago, we previously had a contact in UC who would help us (theyve now left tho’) and clarified the procedure that on refusing and using the magic words ‘absent joint tenant(untidy tenancy)’ as it now states on the Portal, it would trigger a real person ie case manager to pick it up and issue manual email SRS. This is where it seems to have fallen down and instead of being picked up, its falling into a black hole of tenant having no housing costs because theyve been refused, no amount of trying to explain that it needs picking up at their end works and all that is suggested is to redeclare and back into the portal it comes, We do advise people leave notes about circs on journal and where we are able we will tell UC that we were advised joint tenant left on x date. Ah, well the joys of UC