Good Afternoon

Neil Couling, DWP’s most senior director, announced yesterday, the launch of the online Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA) scheme, the link to which can be found here

As I’ve mentioned before, the online system was being tested by a number of my PRS clients, in various parts of the UK. Many of these organisations had, prior to their participation in the scheme, been experiencing £00,000’s in lost rental income, which was severely damaging to their cashflow and bottom line.

Almost overnight the pilot version of the system addressed many (but not all) of the problems they had been experiencing. These same clients were given early access to the new system and have confirmed its already had a beneficial impact, particulalrly on the thousands of new claims, arising from the COVID crisis, with some APA requests being acknowledged and agreed within hours or days of the request, rather than, the sometimes many weeks/months experienced by landlords currently using UC 47s.

You’ll find if you use the new system, it asks you to complete a number of sections, with, amongst other things, requests for details of rent arrears, other Tier 1 factors, your tenant(s) personal details and your bank account number and sort code.

Once completed, you simply click to process. The system immediately acknowledges your application, which is a bonus itself. Far too often UC 47s were never acknowledged, simply deleted or rejected, because of multiple attachments, allegedly incomplete details, tenant ineligibility etc. with little or no further information provided to the already frustrated landlord applicant.

So ditch UC 47s and start using the online version immediately. I’d be interested in hearing of your experiences, good and not so good, plus any ideas for improvement you may have, so I can raise these directly with DWP’s management.

Undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but too soon to say, with any degree of certainty, its a “game-changer” – I hope it is!

Bill Irvine

UC Advice & Advocacy Ltd