Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Rent Arrears Swell with Universal Credit.

with 65 comments

Image result for universal credit rent arrears

Universal Credit: More and More Demands…

One of the ideas behind government welfare ‘reforms’ is to make people more “responsible”.

We now have to pay a percentage of our Council Tax, because that makes us “responsible”, or to put it more simply, it is thought to make us consider how Councils allocate money. In this case a right-wing idea, that poor people voting over public spending is a bad idea because we will use our power to tax our betters, is behind this. As ‘taxpayers’ ourselves we will think twice about forking out for the elderly, and public services more widely and, they hope, vote Tory to keep Council Budgets in order. Bad councils, that is Labour ones, will suffer electoral reverses if they do not follow the penny pinching and contracting out ways of the Conservative crooks who still run many councils.

The fact that this scheme costs money to collect, that poor people fall into arrears, and that not a single penny has gone to compensate benefit claimants for what is in reality a hefty cut in our income, is ignored.

Universal Credit operates with another kind of enforced “responsibility”.

People pay their rent themselves, rather than having it deducted and sent to the properties’ owners.

Common sense would have told the designers of this system that far from ‘teaching people how to budget’ it would be the occasion for many to fall into arrears.

And so it has come to pass…..

Almost 90 per cent of tenants in receipt of Universal Credit are in rent arrears Daily Record.

South Lanarkshire Council confirmed this week that 633, 87 per cent, of UC tenants owe £525,000.

Almost 90 per cent of council tenants in receipt of the controversial Universal Credit (UC) benefit are in rent arrears totalling £525,000.

South Lanarkshire Council confirmed this week that 633, 87 per cent, of UC tenants are struggling to pay for housing.

The local authority said it was doing everything possible to assist people to repay the debt and avoid losing their home, as Gerard Killen MP called on the government to halt the full roll out of the benefit.

Currently offered to a limited number of people, UC replaces six of the main means tested benefits including housing benefit and sees claimants receive all of their benefits in one single payment monthly in arrears.

It means tenants are, for the first time, responsible for paying their rent as opposed to their housing benefit being paid direct to their landlord.

The Residential Landlords Association quickly got a whiff of this and has set the following up,

In July Councils were already flagging up their concern.

Councils losing £6.7m in Universal Credit arrears

The saga of Universal credit looks far from over.



Written by Andrew Coates

August 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

65 Responses

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  1. What happens next?

    Once DWP have received the required information they will make a decision on whether or not a managed payment direct to the landlord is appropriate and inform both the landlord and the tenant.

    If the managed payment is refused the notification issued to the landlord will not advise the landlord if their tenant is currently getting UC, nor will it advise them of the reason why the application has been refused.

    There is no right of appeal against the decision. However, a decision can be reviewed if further information is provided.

    How much information will one need to guarantee a managed direct payment?


    August 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    • You lost me.

      Sounds like a paper-phone call-Internet chasing nightmare in any case.

      Andrew Coates

      August 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    • So is it the landlord, tenant, or jointly the landlord and the tenant who requests that a managed payment be may directly to the landlord. Or some third party? Councils will automatically know who is on UC, in order to calculate council tax benefit entitlements based on the Jobcentre report about earnings. Plus when most people are on UC, God forbid, any landlord receiving a direct payment from the DWP will know that the tenant it relates to has to be on UC, by definition, in which case what’s all the secrecy for? None of this makes any sense at all and looks as if it has been made up on the hoof.

      Worried of Neasden

      August 18, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    • This will surely stop anyone from becoming homeless on UC won’t it,

      We all know DWP’s liking of refusal.


      August 19, 2017 at 3:25 am

  2. It’s an unpresidented attack on welfare like, innit?


    August 18, 2017 at 5:50 pm

  3. […] Ipswich Unemployed Action […]

  4. Universal Credit will end up making it impossible for UC claimants to rent in the private sector because landlords won’t let to them, afraid that they will fall into arrears or won’t pay their rents promptly. So UC will cause more and more rented property to be withdrawn as possible accommodation for people on UC or those likely to go on UC because of their personal circumstance. With social housing in short supply what happens then? Where will UC claimants secure accommodation from? Universal Credit is pernicious and will eventually lead to massive bad effect as far as renting is concerned.

    Omar Patrick Tanaka

    August 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    • UC has nothing to do with people being able to rent privately. its been happening for a while now. more n more regulations the govt are putting in place for one thing(like one coming in next year where landlords being taxed on earnings from renting out property. this has happened to my daughter,the landady gave her notice to quit after she had lived there 12 years because of the above new rule… she now is doing that house up in order to sell it(where as she never did repairs in all that time my daughter rented it) )… but other things like people on benefits need guarantors to be allowed to rent a lot of properties. most private properties now are with estate agents. most of whom have long lists of fees for just about everything you can think of and more besides. So many wont let at all to people on benefits. yet there are fewer LA homes coming up on the sure start site. what there is you have to “bid” for (register an interest in ) and hope that one day you might get to top of the list or near enough to it to be in the running. all you find around here are actually in another of several other towns,and not very desirable areas.also which,if someone moved there, and hasd family in the town they were leaving, would cause hardship financially in being able to get help from friends/family if needed or just boost moral by being able to visit them or vice versa.cost of bus and train fares are not cheap. and if, like me, you have to use taxis, impractical financially. so your isolated.


      August 29, 2017 at 11:37 am

  5. “Common sense would have told the designers of this system that far from ‘teaching people how to budget’ it would be the occasion for many to fall into arrears.”

    From the governments point of view, this policy makes absolute sense. It’s just another tool for portraying claimants as feckless scroungers. It’s just another scheme in the long term to do away with housing benefit altogether.

    jj joop

    August 18, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    • Doing away with the welfare state, as we know it.


      August 18, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    • Common sence what was lacking with this whole welfare reform,thats why its failing and ending up in tribunal courts.Freezes cuts will make people become desperate for basic needs’.Its like treating people like they need educating with this pretend the word of work.

      Employers are too demanding.The application process has become a massive hurdle of perfect backgrounds and psychometric tests.


      August 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm

  6. i would like to know, how do they expect people to pay rent and council tax out of 1,the pittance they receive in esa/unemployment etc and 2, when the powers that be are consistently finding ways to take that pittance off people with sanctions and making them pay extra money that its not designed for. those benefits are supposed to be the minimum the govt says we should be able to live on.. for food,clothing, water, gas and electric only.(not forgetting they still have to find money for uniforms for school plus pens/pencils etc i am told). not for paying more rent/council tax/thats what HB and CT are there for. were designed for. they are simply putting their own spin on what benefits are and what for / how they were designed .


    August 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

  7. Reblogged this on sdbast.


    August 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

  8. So update, it’s been a while.
    We were places in emergency/temporary accommodation 3 weeks ago (it’s a flat and I’m disabled so it’s killing me!. This week we came number 1 on 3 houses (same road and housing association).
    Had a call yesterday and told we have a tenancy assessment next week.
    She calls back to say that due to this DWP over payment and housing benefit overpayment I’ve spoken about before on here, they won’t house us!
    This debt is wrongly paid back monthly, it’s gone from £9,000 to £2,207 since 2014!! We have our debts managed and that’s still not enough to be housed!! Angry, upset, disgusted are just a few words to describe how I’m feeling right now! All I’ve done is cry! X

    get a load of that they take the piss!


    August 18, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    • Sorry. We must all hope that a better day will dawn eventually.


      August 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    • I’m disabled

      Thats it Superted,go get em!


      August 19, 2017 at 1:45 pm

  9. Being in work but not being able to afford to pay your rent.

    McDonalds staff to strike over pay and working conditions.

    Attempting to live on low wages, with no guaranteed hours, has meant that some employees have found themselves unable to meet their rent payments and out of their homes as a result.



    August 19, 2017 at 4:16 am

  10. Is this guy the new Johnny Void?



    August 19, 2017 at 7:25 am

    • No idea but he makes important points which should be read, and, most of all, replied to by ‘social landlords’.

      Andrew Coates

      August 19, 2017 at 11:39 am

  11. Where Are Wayne Scarface And Plice Officer


    August 19, 2017 at 8:21 am

  12. Sorry Typo POLICE OFFICER


    August 19, 2017 at 8:22 am

  13. Black boxes stuck to the underside of desks in work places – tracking devices called OccupEye, which use heat and motion sensors to record how long employees are spending at their posts.



    August 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

  14. If you tolerate this then your children will be next.


    August 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

  15. The Liar Jeremy Hunt launches fresh attack on Stephen Hawking after scientist criticises ‘direction of change’ of the NHS – towards the US-style insurance system.



    August 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm

  16. Hi , wondering if anyone else on here has to sign to update their claimant commitment every two weeks ?


    August 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

    • Yeah, your cockroach will be adding things on, but they get you to sign it on the pad electronically so you have no idea what you have ‘agreed’ to.

      Job the Centre

      August 20, 2017 at 8:15 am

      • Well im glad its not just me, thought my card had been marked due to letting my coach know that i had no obligation to the the 35hr weekly job search being on jsa, so claimant commitments are no longer mutually agreed and you dont get to keep a paper record either ,,, more sanctions to come i guess !


        August 20, 2017 at 8:54 am

      • I always insist a paper copy is printed off after I’ve signed it and I insist they sign and date it as well. Otherwise I raise mary-hell. They have to give you one, otherwise how are you expected to know what your current obligations are.

        jj joop

        August 20, 2017 at 10:43 am

      • You don’t have to carry out an activity written in the ‘Work Plan’ booklet thingy? But what if the activity is also being added to your ‘claimant commitment’? Do you have to carry out ‘activities’ listed in the ‘claimant commitment’?


        August 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      • Never forget: The Jobcentre are PURE, FUCKING EVIL and they are always looking for a way to sanction.


        August 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      • yeah, me cock roach wrote in me work plan book like to go to job club like and get me book stamped by job club to prove i had been there like 😦 thing is the job club is in a community co-op place and run by a housing association, so how come can the job centre use these jobs clubs that are not even run by the job centre as torture devices like to harass claimants like?

        zac n sarah

        August 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    • jim

      No. I sign on in East Anglia. I signed a new CC two months ago. But that was only because mine had been mysteriously wiped from the JCP database. My work coach told me it was because of an IT glitch. I don’t know if anyone else has a similar story in that department.

      jj joop

      August 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

  17. Removing all trade tariffs and barriers would help generate an annual £135bn uplift to the UK economy, according to a group of pro-Brexit economists.

    Open Britain,

    “The levels of bankruptcy and unemployment, especially in industry and agriculture, would sky-rocket.

    “This is a project of economic suicide, not prosperity. No responsible government would touch this report with a barge pole as a source of ideas for our future trade policy.”


    After the referendum many people were left disappointed by some of the false promises made during the referendum campaign. Misleading claims about what leaving the European Union and our future relationship would look like were made by the leadership of the Leave Campaign. This must not be allowed to continue.

    Open Britain is committed to standing up for the British people. During the Brexit negotiations any misleading claims made in order to force the country into a hard Brexit will be exposed.

    Here are some of those claims that were made:……………………



    August 20, 2017 at 9:34 am

    • BBC censors quotes: UK manufacturing “eliminated” and car production “run down” after hard-Brexit

      A recommended read for those you don’t know What’s happening with the BBC.



      August 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      • The ‘Britain Alone’ scenario: how Economists for Brexit defy the laws of gravity.

        The only modelling details provided by Economists for Brexit come from Professor Patrick Minford of Cardiff University (Minford, 2015; 2016; Minford et al, 2016). He argues that Brexit will raise the UK’s welfare by 4 per cent as a result of increased trade. So where exactly does he get his numbers from and why are they so different?



        August 20, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      • Unemployment: cause and cure. Patrick Minford, Paul Ashton
        B. Blackwell, 1985

        MInford is one of the people behind exactly the kind of ‘responsibility’ and flexibility these reforms are meant to have created.

        Andrew Coates

        August 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      • Funny that, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme was telling us only this morning that after Brexit our standard of living would soar and the prices we pay for goods and services would plummet. What are we to believe?


        August 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • It’s brexit like, innit?


        August 20, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      • Patrick Minford was one of Thatcher’s advisers who wanted to privatise EVERYTHING. People would pay directly for pretty much everything. The would pay a fee to state schools to get their children educated. They would be billed for medical treatments and medicines and be expected to pay directly for such things as if they were private goods and services. If you wanted to do some training to get a better job at work you would have to take out a loan to pay for your course/certification and, if you actually got that better job, pay your loan plus interest back as if you borrowed the money from a private bank or similar. Road would have toll booths and motorists have to pay to drive along them. Minford said that alotugh he didn’t approve of poverty a huge gulf should exist between the poor and the rich in order to produce a more prosperous and dynamic society.

        Minford was, is, a complete and utter arsehole who is still trying to peddle this bollocks to this day.

        He’s got a personal website:


        Sadly it doesn’t allow comments from members of the general public.


        August 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      • This Patrick Minford talking nobhead was Radio 4 again this morning peddling his shite about how the UK would become a land of milk and honey post-Brexit.


        August 21, 2017 at 11:51 am

  18. Tory MPs lash out at Theresa May over dropped pledge to cap energy prices for millions of families

    A total of 53 Conservative MPs have signed a letter to the Prime Minister demanding more be done to protect millions of households ‘who continue to be preyed on by the Big Six’

    More rebels needed!!



    August 20, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    • When has May ever followed through on anything she has promised, suggested or said. She has made more U-turns than a stunt driver in a James Bond film.


      August 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm

  19. Improve protection for people’s pensions.and much more?



    August 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

  20. Well im glad its not just me, thought my card had been marked due to letting my coach know that i had no obligation to the the 35hr weekly job search being on jsa,

    Expected hours
    9.—(1) The expected number of hours per week in relation to a claimant for the purposes of determining any limitations on work search or work availability requirements is 35 unless some lesser number of hours applies in the claimant’s case under paragraph (2).
    The lesser number of hours referred to in paragraph (1) is—
    where— (i)the claimant is a relevant carer, a responsible carer or a responsible foster parent; and (ii)the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant has reasonable prospects of obtaining paid work, (a) Section 1(2)(b) was amended by section 44 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.
    the number of hours, being less than 35, that the Secretary of State considers is compatible with those caring responsibilities;
    where the claimant is a responsible carer or a responsible foster carer for a child under the age of 13, the number of hours that the Secretary of State considers is compatible with their caring responsibilities for the child during the child’s normal school hours (including the normal time it takes the child to travel to and from school); or
    where the claimant has a physical or mental impairment, the number of hours that the Secretary of State considers is reasonable in light of the impairment



    August 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    • Unless you have to spend 7 hours a day at the Jobcentre (or monitored at some other centre) this 35 hour jobsearch requirement ends up pointless because it is not policeable. Unless somebody is watching you and chivvying you on you could spend all day reading a few newspapers, supposedly looking for jobs, or in front of a computer and only glance at at one or two jobs, an hour, or whatever. The 35-hour shite doesn’t specify how man hours a day or on what days you have to jobseek, nor does it specify how fast or how much efforet you need to put into such activities. I regularly put down that I’ve walked around the city, visited the library, and looked for casually advertised work (never seen any to date) to use up the hours.

      Who can say that I haven’t?

      Seriously, unless your movements and internet activity is monitored for every moment of every day it is impossible for the DWP to know how many hours you spend jobseeking or what you do during the day. As long as I manage to drum up four or five applications a week, which is not easy these days, that seems to satisfy the Work Coaches.

      It is factually IMPOSSIBLE to spend 35 hours a week, on your own, diligently looking for work especially if you end up long-term unemployed and have exhausted pretty much everything you can do to approach employers and find employment. The 35-hour jobsearch garbage is just more politically motivated garbage from the diseased brain of David Freud: “When you’re unemployed looking for work should be your full-time job and, as far as Universal Credit is concerned, a full-time job means at least 35-hours labour week.”

      In practice, unless you are very careless, naive or stupid (and end up sanctioned) this crap means nothing.


      August 20, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      • the 35hr job search is a load of bollocks as foi states it is a expectation so unenforceable with a ase doubt, i keep telling every one one the fb page i use but it is a waste of time there all sheep and do the 35hrs anyway and will do whatever the coach tells them to do so they think they can wright all what they do down on a bit of paper ect and think they wont get a sanction doubt if no jobs are applied for well there going to get a shock as all the advisers want is jobs you have applied for not the time taken to do it in the first place.

        so lets see what the sheep say when they work 15hrs a week and after 6 months if cant find any more hrs will be sent down the providers to profit from and sent on work fair for the other 15hrs and then 5hrs job search at provider office.

        maybe then they will pull there fingers out there ears and do something about it but i guess buy then contracts will have been signed and then there provider propty to do with what they like and then dont turn up to work placement and get sanction for 3 months.

        and as they give there email to the dwp like it dont matter there all gunna get it big time but they just wont listen so dont bother anymore as they think you cant fight them and win pmsl 😉


        August 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      • Like Tony Blair used to say as his promises turned to dust the 35 hour a week job search is an “aspiration” [cheesy grin] 😀 😀 😀 😀

        Job Search

        August 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

    • I had this with them about the 35 hours jobsearch on JSA,they pointed this out but couldn’t understand the FOI request saying there wasn’t.


      August 21, 2017 at 2:12 pm


      “The expected number of hours per week in relation to a claimant for the purposes of determining any limitations on work search or work availability requirements”.

      No where else in the entire act will you see mention of 35 hours as an enforceable rule other than here and as detailed, “for the purposes of determining any limitations”.

      SO, its not a requirement a fit and healthy person spends 35 hours a week looking for,applying,etc for work, that this 35 hour is a suggested ceiling when factoring expectations for claimants who have either a disability,illness or commitment (caring/child).

      The 35 hours in unenforceable unless the claimant consents to it via a CC because while DWP can ask and expect you to look for work for which 35 hours is certainly not unreasonable even if impracticable, they cant do so in manner that’s becoming of a employer (ie, your paid benefits based on your work rate under specific instruction).

      Its impracticable because SUNDAY cant count if you have no internet and SATURDAY, only having libraries as the providers and DWP are shut. Also don’t forget bank holidays and closing periods like Christmas.
      This means the 35 hours would have to be worked/confined to MONDAY to FRIDAY meaning 7 hours a day, 5 days a week.

      Now no one but a provider or DWP could supply 7 hours straight, 5 days a week (job clubs are always once a week, half a day and libraries you have to queue at). The government has made no such provision unless you are on a work programme, sector based learning or studying (ECDL, English, Math,etc) but even then in order not to constitute as full time education, no learning period should extend 16 hours in any one week.

      Even these schemes are temporary so cant account for long periods of unemployment.

      Further to this if you spend 35 hours a week searching for work, eventually you will run out of work to search for after a certain period and spend the majority of the time having to get past previous vacancies to find any new ones what with the trend for agencies and businesses to constantly repost the same vacancies everyday.

      While its workable for a person who has just become unemployed, its only achievable if the subject gets a job in a short space of time. Beyond this point its impossible as government wont pay providers to house you 7 hours a day,5 days a week and they cant afford it and why the providers try so hard to off load you onto courses and work experience.


      August 27, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      • Excellently put Doug.

        It is a pile of dung, innit?

        Andrew Coates

        August 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

  21. Homelessness Is Rising At A Scandalous Rate And The Government Is To Blame

    Owen Jones thinks the homelessness problem in Britain is a national scandal – and he was very vocal about who he thinks is responsible.



    August 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    • The most comprehensive evaluation of housing related support services estimated that £1.6 billion investment generated net savings of £3.4 billion to public spending. Preventing homelessness is far more cost effective than dealing with it once it has occurred. The minimum cost saving of preventing someone’s homelessness compared to accepting a homelessness duty is between £1,300 and £7,700. If somebody ends up street homeless the costs are even greater: it is estimated that one person sleeping rough costs between £8,605 and £35,000 a year in crime, emergency health and social care services alone.



      August 21, 2017 at 4:00 am

  22. Common sense would have told the designers of this system that far from ‘teaching people how to budget’ it would be the occasion for many to fall into arrears.

    Here their calling it.

    the award should be made direct to the landlord to prevent rent arrears, misuse of public funds and need to pursue legal action in the courts.

    direct payment malpractice!



    August 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

  23. Working-exploiting, benefit-sanctioning Salvation fucking Army out rattling their cans for the “Big Christmas Appeal” in the shopping centre this morning. Just walked past the bastards,

    Early Bird

    August 21, 2017 at 11:44 am

    • So rattle their cages by telling them to f*ck off that’ll wipe the smile off their scrounging fizzogs.


      August 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

  24. WorkFARE-exploiting, benefit-sanctioning Salvation fucking Army out rattling their cans for the “Big Christmas Appeal” in the shopping centre this morning. Just walked past the bastards,

    Early Bird

    August 21, 2017 at 11:47 am

  25. Will we see Jeremy Hunt on national tv to debate NHS statistics with Stephen Hawking?.


    August 21, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    • Never if it’s live. Imagine how long it would take Professor Hawking to frame his questions and answers and make his points.


      August 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm

  26. Jobcentre staff threatened by man armed with knife and knuckleduster

    Thomas Phillips lost his temper with two female workers at the Jobcentre in The Galleries, Washington.



    August 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    • He’s a goner then. Nobody who has a knife and knuckleduster in their possession could possibly say that their behaviour was not premeditated. The guy will end up sectioned, sanctioned and/or in court with a custodial sentence.


      August 21, 2017 at 3:15 pm

  27. We’ve all been there and can guess what probably happened..People driven to their limits by the “support on offer”.


    August 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

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