The procedures for reporting rent changes are different for Live and Full service UC claims, and the DWP have made some slight changes - here is an update.
Live/Gateway service areas
In Live service areas, because claimants cannot report changes online, landlords have been able to send in schedules showing rent changes for April 2017.
In May and June 2017, the UC dept will send a text message to any Live service claimants who have not reported an April 2017 rent change, or had a change reported for them by their landlord, and request that they phone the UC dept to let them know whether their rent has changed.
Full/Digital Service areas
There is no arrangement for landlords to send rent change schedules to the UC dept for Digital service claimants. This is because claimants are responsible for reporting changes using their online account.
Claimants cannot report a rent change before it happens:they will need to remember to report it in the Monthly Assessment Period during which it takes effect! Some claimants may have reported it as soon as they were notified of the change - but this may have been too soon for the DWP to accept notification of the change - so these claimants will need to report it again!
If they delay in reporting a change and the rent decreased, then they will have been overpaid, and this will be recovered. Alternatively,if the rent increased, they will miss out by not having reported this within the Monthly Assessment Period when the change occurred, unless the DWP accepts they had a good reason for the delay.
The DWP have said that where the change is less than a £3 increase or decrease, the DWP does not require the change to be verified ie the DWP will not need to see evidence of the change. Changes above £3 have to be verified by the landlord.