Landlord Schedules

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  • #38024
    Paul Hallsworth
    Participant

    We’re looking at various ways of making efficiencies and savings across benefits processing.
    As well as looking to stop payment by cheque, we are also looking at landlord payment schedules. It costs us an absolute fortune to mail these out each year.
    We don’t believe that there is an obligation in the regulations to send schedules out (does anyone think otherwise?) and want to encourage landlords to keep better records such as keeping abreast of any letters we send them about decisions & awards, and combine this with encouraging them to use our online service which shows them some limited payment information.
    Has anyone else looked at this area and have any thoughts/ideas they might want to share?

    #107069
    Kevin D
    Participant

    [quote=Paul Hallsworth]We don’t believe that there is an obligation in the regulations to send schedules out (does anyone think otherwise?) and want to encourage landlords to keep better records such as keeping abreast of any letters we send them about decisions & awards, and combine this with encouraging them to use our online service which shows them some limited payment information.
    Has anyone else looked at this area and have any thoughts/ideas they might want to share?[/quote]

    I agree there is no obligation to send schedules. However, this may substantially add to the number of overpayments you may have to determine as non-recoverable and I don’t think you can lawfully compel landlords (or claimants for that matter) to use online facilities. Ceasing schedules may well save you money on the one hand, but may well cost a great deal more on the other. Personally, I would never stop sending schedules to LLs.

    One other point: payment by BACS cannot currently be forcibly imposed. If the reasonable needs of the clmt are such that payment by another means is more appropriate, payment by that means it must be.

    #107077
    Inga Mycroft
    Participant

    We email schedules to landlords rather than posting where possible

    #107078
    Paul Hallsworth
    Participant

    Inga, how do you get around gcsx protocols when e-mailing personal data to Landlords? Our data protection officer tells me unde rno circumstances can we e-mail personal information out of gcsx.

    Kevin – I think we accept that a number of clients will always want cheques, for varying reasons. What they will do in 2018 when cheques are phased out I wonder? I don’t think there is any excuse for Landlords to be paid by cheque.

    #107079
    jmembery
    Participant

    We e-mail schedules to landlords with secure e-mail facilities.
    (As an aside, does anyone in their right mind really think that e-mailing schedules is any more risky than sending the same details by post. When HMRC lost all that child benefit info it was sent on a dic through the post not by e-mail).

    #107080
    Inga Mycroft
    Participant

    Paul – I’ve just checked with our payments team and apparantly we don’t email them out, although this was the plan before christmas. Sorry for the misinformation. However, our IT team have advised that they could be loaded on to a specific area of our network and landlords would be able to log in and access their particular schedule. There would be a lot of work to set this up and the decision needs to be made as to whether this would actually save us in any money in the long run compared to posting them out. Another option which our IT team is not so keen on is that LLs that have websites (HAs for example) can set up a secure area on their website and we could load the schedule on to that

    #107081
    Paul Hallsworth
    Participant

    We have a limited online service available to landlords already, but is something we haven’t pushed enough. I think by making this better, and encouraging more landlords to sign up to it, we can justifiably cease to issue schedules.
    It’s ludicrous in this day and age we have to print off, envelope up and despatch thousands of schedules each year when we should be able to deliver this electronically. There also seems to be an element of not upsetting landlords and when they say “jump” we seem to be in the habit of saying back “how high?”

    #107108
    craigworc
    Participant

    We also e-mail schedules out to the landlords … this is password protected. We have also gone live with a self service module where the landlord can log in and see what payments have been sent to their claimants. It ha sbeen suggested that a downloadable schedule could be put on self serve.

    The claimants are also able to this this but with more information showing.

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