Last weekend the Guardian ran a piece about social landlords response to Universal Credit. They want their tenants – and note the possessive language they always use their tenants, which is why a tenant can never be a customer as they are captive and can’t move – to make additional rent payments to be one month in advance.
Let me put that into some perspective reader as aside from tenants struggling to even keep up with rent due to the bedroom tax and benefit cap and a range of other welfare cuts this would mean the UK’s housing associations sitting on about £1.68 billion of tenants money.
4.2 million rents at an average of £400 per calendar month is £1.68 billion which is what social landlords want to squeeze out of their tenants.
Notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of tenancy agreements are weekly tenancies and tenants need to be a week in advance, social landlords are seeking to squeeze the tenants for a further 3.33 weeks of rent between now and UC coming online or in other words paying lip service to their own tenancy agreements as legally binding contracts!
Yes – and to use the Tory language for them – the subsidised housing sector who are subsidised to the tune of £1.125 billion per year now want a further £1.68 billion in subsidy from their tenants. Or put another way for every 2 new homes they bring to market from government subsidy they now want their tenants to give them the money to provide 3 new properties for every 2 the taxpayer gives them.
What a novel way to treat the tenant as the easiest form of finance. The government wont give us the money – in fact the coalition cut it in half – so let’s treat the tenant as even more of a cash cow!!
Above as you can see the coalition cut the subsidy down from £2.1 billion per year down to £1.125 billion (the £4.5 bn is over 4 years) or almost in half. Then Incompetent Despotic Shyster launches Universal Credit which seeks in his words to bring those on benefit in line with those in work by paying them a month in arrears hence panic by social landlords.
Aside from the fact that nobody appears to have challenged Incompetent Despotic Shyster on the fact the workers are paid half monthly in arrears half monthly in advance, IDS’s plans really do UC up social landlords cash flow and sustainability and of course come on top of the halving of capital subsidy….yes that subsidy of £1.125 billion per year that produces a saving of over £4 billion per year through lower rents and forces social housing to accommodate all the SODS (Sick Old Disabled Supported) that the great God of the market, the private rented sector refuse to accommodate.
And why haven’t social landlords sold those points…oh silly me that’s called marketing and lobbying…move on Joe!
Of course as much as social landlords may WANT social tenants to increase payments now to be a month in advance in time for the great UC up of IDS’s welfare reform crusade – yes that one that even his own government refuse to sanction (oops irony!) as it is so ill-considered – tenants have a legally binding tenancy agreement to be one week in advance not 4.33 weeks or a month in advance.
Still landlords trying to milk the social tenant leaves a sour taste in my mouth…oh sorry THEIR tenants…you know the ones they like to call customers!!
The Guardian article mentioned a few more cunning stunts that landlords seeking to make one of which I reported on yesterday in that they may have stolen up to £27 million of tenants money which could end up costing then double that at about £55 million – so just another one of their cunning stunts and yet another example of the wonderful customer service ethos they have!
What a brilliant business strategy this is eh reader? Antagonise and severely piss off the customer you have taken for granted for decades just ahead of the very same ‘customer’ taking full CONTROL of the payment of rent with direct payment of housing benefit to the tenant and not to the landlord. What hare-brained buffoons inhabit the senior management of social landlords. What near-sighted incompetents think this is a good business idea!
The same buffoons constantly remind us of how prepared they are for the welfare reforms and how considered their responses are to it as of course the great and the good of social housing are immune to any form of criticism!
Isn’t Universal Credit that much of a cock-up already without social landlord responses like this making it so much worse…for social landlords? Then again place three shovels against a wall and tell the landlords to take his pick is enough to bamboozle their business brain eh!
Rant over? Yes for now. But I doubt this is the last cunning plan from the cunning stunts in the lead up to tenants taking CONTROL over the payment of rent do you reader?