Reaction to Universal Credit changes announced in the Budget

Reaction to Universal Credit changes announced in the Budget

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, reacts to changes to Universal Credit scheme announced in the Autumn Budget yesterday.

“The Government appears to have bowed to the volume of criticism levelled at its flagship Universal Credit scheme and a realisation there is a range of fundamental issues which need to be urgently addressed. Mounting evidence pointed to the fact significant hardship was being experienced by claimants due to, amongst other things, having to wait up to 6 weeks before the first payment.

“Changes announced yesterday by the Chancellor, included removing the 7 day waiting period, before eligibility commences; access to a full months’ advance (loan), instead of current 50%, payable within five days of applying; extending the repayment period for advances from six to 12 months, will undoubtedly help ease concerns. The Chancellor also announced that new housing benefit claimants could continue to receive it for an extra two weeks, while waiting for their universal credit payments to start. This news will be warmly welcomed by tenants and landlords alike and should help reduce rent arrears at the point of transfer to Universal Credit.

“However, I do still have a number of concerns. The reduction in the waiting period by seven days doesn’t apply to the vast majority of claimants anyway, so this will only help the minority. Of greater issue is the increasing complexity of the scheme; staff assessing Universal Credit claims have not been properly trained, meaning mistakes are being made on an all too regular basis; and as the Full Service rollout expands, more complicated cases will arise, causing even more challenges for DWP staff. Some experienced commentators have suggested the changes, whilst welcomed, represent “sticking a plaster” to a fatally flawed system which requires re-engineering, rather than tinkering and have grave doubts concerning DWP’s ability and willingness to alter the direction of travel. Until the system has proved itself “fit for purpose”, landlords will remain cautious about renting to those in receipt of Universal Credit for fear of unsustainable levels of rent arrears.”

www.landlordaction.co.uk

ENDS

Helen Evison, Landlord Action PR, t: 01276 804411, m: 07979 537 335

Paul Shamplina, Founder, Landlord Action, t: 020 8906 3838

EDITORS NOTES

About Nightmare Tenants Slum Landlords

With house prices soaring and the rental market over-heating, this series follows victims and villains on both sides of the buy-to-let battlefield. Eviction experts help frantic landlords as they attempt to grapple back their properties from nightmare tenants who won’t pay and won’t leave; and housing enforcement teams up and down the country do their best to protect vulnerable tenants who are living in squalor, at the mercy of slum landlords.

About Landlord Action

Landlord Action is a UK based organisation helping landlords, letting agents and other property professionals. As a champion for landlords, it has campaigned extensively and was instrumental in getting the law changed to make squatting a criminal offence.  It was founded in 1999 as the first ever fixed-fee tenant eviction specialist, they revolutionised this area of legal practice. They have now acted in more than 35,000 problem tenant cases and are considered the authority in this field.  Landlord Action run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: 020 8 906 3838

www.LandlordAction.co.uk

About Paul Shamplina

Paul Shamplina is one of the key founders of Landlord Action with 25 years’ experience in the legal field. He has previously worked as a legal clerk, private investigator, debt collector and certified bailiff. He has appeared regularly on TV and radio and lectures across the UK at landlord seminars and events and still works full time in the office, heading up the team of advisors. Paul believes passionately in the rights of the landlord and is always available for comment on any landlord/tenant matters.

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

Write a Comment

Call me back
Call Me Back (Ninja Kick Form)

* No spam, 100% confidential and secure.

Sending