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Darfyddi

Future UC, HB & CTB monthly in arrears but rent to be payed up front - HOW?

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As far as I can work out, the Universal Credit which includes Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit will be payed monthly in arreas yet when we are due to pay our own rent (to Whitefriars in Coventry) we must pay it in advance. Currently HB is paid direct to Whitefriars 4 weekly in arrears but the instant your benefit is reduced or stopped they expect us to pay in advance.

 

I am concerned that soon many of us will be caught in the trap where we will be expected to pay our rent (and council tax) upfront even though we wont get it ourselves until the end of the month. Whitefriars start eviction proceedings as soon as an account is £300 in arrears and as our rent is likely to be £109.43 a week come October (gussing this using the average 7.65% increase every year so far) then within the first 3 weeks of the month we will be facing eviction and will have another 2 weeks rent added to that debt before we get paid at the end of the month.

 

I know I am speculating but it is better that I enquire now then ignore the potential problem.

 

For anyone whos response is 'save up so you can pay in advance' - we already have to save up so we can pay our utilty bills, food & hygene & clothing for the month in advance as we will no longer be receiving weekly/fortnightly payments that we have set our budgets to. (that's another point - apparently the monthly paymnent isn't a money saving scheme; it is because 75% of the workforce is paid this way so we should get used to it. I would like to see the percentage of people coming off JSA into monthly paid work vs weekly paid)

 

So, anyway - Am I right to be worried about how I pay my rent when the changes happen?

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I don't think it's melodramatic to say you should be worried regardless. Assuming the government uses their brains and solves this problem, there are a million more to worry about. My biggest concern is changes like these that really don't need to be made. You would think two branches of the same government could communicate and prevent a problem like this, but previous experience tells me this won't be the case.

All anyone at risk can do at the moment is wait and see. Prepare as much as possible by having all paperwork copied and ready to send, I have everything organised along with a £20 note, so the next time a brown envelope comes through the door, they will get a reply the next day.

In some respects I feel very lucky that I will always have a bed to sleep on. Others aren't so fortunate.

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I think most people with any real experience of Social Security are concerned about Universal Credit being paid monthly in arrears.

 

Council Tax Benefit however will not be included in Universal Credit, as this is to be replaced by a Local Council Tax Support scheme designed and administered by each LA.

 

Housing Benefit is already paid in arrears, normally 4 weekly if paid to the landlord, or fortnightly if paid to the claimant. I think social landlords will have difficulties matching a monthly payment to a weekly rent.

 

In my opinion, the bigger budgeting problems are going to be caused for JSA and Tax Credits moving from fortnighty in arrears to monthly in arrears.


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I am also concerned of the difficulties people will experience when they have a change of circumstances, at the moment, if you are reciving benefits deom DWP, LA & HMRC, if you have a problem resulting in suspension of benefits from one of them, you may still receive benefits from the other 2.

 

Come Universal Credit, you have one problem, and everything will stop.


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HB/LHA has been in arrears for years. So this is nothing new.

 

UC has a ton of problems such as the suspension of the whole thing if an issue but the arrears thing isnt new.

 

As far as arrears go the state will just consider as they do now, a case of tough luck, I have always had to find the cash to fund a move from somewhere, that includes deposit, first month's rent and to cover rent whilst awaiting benefits to be processed, when I moved here eg. the average waiting time for HB approval was 9 months. Obviously my landlord would expect payment during that time so I had to deal with it.

 

Also my HB has always been 4 weekly not fortnightly even when was a giro.

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HB/LHA has been in arrears for years. So this is nothing new.

 

UC has a ton of problems such as the suspension of the whole thing if an issue but the arrears thing isnt new.

 

As far as arrears go the state will just consider as they do now, a case of tough luck, I have always had to find the cash to fund a move from somewhere, that includes deposit, first month's rent and to cover rent whilst awaiting benefits to be processed, when I moved here eg. the average waiting time for HB approval was 9 months. Obviously my landlord would expect payment during that time so I had to deal with it.

 

Also my HB has always been 4 weekly not fortnightly even when was a giro.

 

harsh, but a true reflection of what we are facing...there are many people going to be forced into making very hard choices when this foolhardy system comes online....do the tories care? of course not!! their attitude is fend for yourself!! and dont expect the state or someone else to do it for you...this govt has never looked at the long term damage they are inflicting on the poorest of society just the short term expedient of 'look we are bashing the benefit scroungers!!'

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I understand the point about the general income going to monthly from weekly/fortnightly but that is something that is do-able even if it is hard as we are not spending any extra money and we have a few months to slowly shift things about by a couple of quid a week so we are prepared for that. It will also be difficult for those of us that pay bills weekly on paypoint card or pay with prepayment meters.

 

However it is going to be difficult at the same time to find an extra £500-£1000+ to cover the months rent and everyone in receipt of full or a high percentage of HB will be in this position. I hear what you say worried33 but in comparrison there are few people in that situation with out some influence from the person themselves; i.e. you chose to rent from that landlord with those conditions (even if you didn't have much choice you did have some) [this is in no way any judgment on you nor to detract from your strife in that occurance as a lot of us have been there at some point, it is mearly to emphasie the potential trouble come autumn]. Come October there are going to be thousands suddenly in the rent arrears situation with absolutley no choice whatsoever (I can not work without putting my wife in a home or paying for 3 carers to look after her and my baby) and this is going to be more stressful for tenents with landlords that strive to fast track evictions as soon as a tenent is 2-3 weeks in debt.

 

Debt4get - one of the nicer perks of my old job was to paint the steels of a new building with tar to rustproof it - I now know how it feels to have that brush turned on me :)

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Darfyddi you consider conditions where a landlord expects to be paid and in advance as abnormal? thats the standard in the private rental market my friend. I also dont know anyone who currently gets LHA/HB more frequently than every 4 weeks in arrears now.

 

The real life fact is most people in my situation have very little choice, 99% of landlords who advertise dont even want benefit claimants. One who has properties near my parents doesnt advertise because he has over 200 people on his own personal waiting list. My landlord I made the decision to not let him know I am on benefits in fear that he wouldnt let me have the property, I was already in with the landlord and didnt need employment checks because he was also my landlord at my old bedsit, which when I moved there I was in full time employment.

 

Its not me who is out of touch but rather the housing support policies, I wont say how I funded my rent whilst waiting but the reality is when on benefits the payments have always been in arrears for private rental housing support and there is no help provided for any moving costs.

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My housing assosiation have always taken benefit payments from the council in arrears. It's just accepted, as they told me. They work around it. I don't expect that will change?

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Darfyddi you consider conditions where a landlord expects to be paid and in advance as abnormal?
: No I don't and I never said nor insinuated that.

 

 

[sic]thats the standard in the private rental market my friend. I also dont know anyone who currently gets LHA/HB more frequently than every 4 weeks in arrears now.
: I never said otherwise.

 

 

The real life fact is most people in my situation have very little choice...
: that is exactly what I said.

 

 

Its not me who is out of touch...
: I never said you were.

 

 

but rather the housing support policies...
: Fully agree with you on this.

 

I am very sorry if you thought I was having a go at you Worried - that wasn't my objective and I apologise for any offense caused to you or anyone else that has been in your situation.

 

My point in this thread was not meant to be for those that have decided (their choice or not) to move into new accomadation but for those whose housing situation is not changing but will end up in massive arrears and/or face eviction proceedings through no fault of their own.

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I also dont know anyone who currently gets LHA/HB more frequently than every 4 weeks in arrears now.

 

 

 

Our council still pays fortnightly in arrears, but most councils do pay four weekly.


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Our council still pays fortnightly in arrears, but most councils do pay four weekly.

 

hb is normally paid at frequencies of 2 weeks, 4 weeks or monthly

 

if hb is being paid direct to claimant, they have a right to request fortnightly payments, which the LA has to do

 

if hb is being paid direct to landlord, there is no right to fortnightly payments


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