DSS Tenants And The Shitty Council

Cry baby I’ve decided it’s not worth getting involved with DSS tenants because of the incompetence of the local council (or at least my local council).

They are so brain-numblingly stupid that it’s painful. Not to mention, their unwillingness to help landlords make me want to rip my beautiful eyes out with a blunt spoon every time I have to deal with them.

Let me be clear, I have no qualms with DSS tenants, but I’ll happily flat-out refuse DSS tenants just so I have no reason to deal with the council, and I know I’m not the only landlord that feels this way.

Council tax problem

I received a council tax bill through for £18.57 regarding a property. Not much, right? Right. But that wasn’t the point.

I knew I shouldn’t be liable because I’ve had tenants occupying the property, so I wanted to know what period the bill accounted for so I could drill down the problem. I’m not entirely sure why they don’t have the dates on the actual notices.

Anyways, I called my local council to find out what the deal was. A woman on the other end said it accounted for 15th August – 20th August. I told her that my tenant (a tenant I evicted) was occupying the property until the 20th of August and my new tenant moved in on the 21st.

The unhelpful tit on the other end said that their records showed that my ex-tenant and the council had agreed for her to vacate on the 14th. I said I wasn’t aware of that arrangement, and asked why I wasn’t made aware of that agreement, and how I was meant to know my tenant and the council had made that kind of arrangement? Her response was, “it’s your property, you should know”.

I felt like saying, “How the fuck am I meant to know if no one notified me? If I was meant to be made aware of that information, why didn’t you fucking inform me?”

I said something of sort, but sadly without the obscenities. So basically, if you take on a DSS tenant, you have to not only be in the loop with your tenant’s circumstances, but also keep tabs on your tenant to council relationship.

We basically kept aimlessly arguing for 20mins, and we were obviously getting increasingly frustrated.

It really wasn’t about the money, it’s the principle. I shouldn’t be made liable for my tenant’s council tax because my tenant and council had an arrangement that I wasn’t made aware of.

She then went on about how I needed proof to clarify that my tenant moved out on the 20th, and I should send them my tenancy agreement. I said “that would make no sense. My tenant was evicted which you’re aware of, so why would eviction dates be mentioned in the tenancy agreement? There’s no proof in there”, she said, “yes, I understand, unless you can provide proof you’re liable because it’s your property”

At this point I had mental images of slamming a pencil through her spine. I then said, “what if you had a tenant and she had made an arrangement with the council that you weren’t made aware of which ended up costing you?”

Unsurprisingly, silence.

The conversation ended bitterly and we basically went around in circles. Urgh.

Benefit cheques received every 30 days

Benefit payments are released every 30 days. That makes no sense to me, because it’s totally impractical for landlords.

99.9999% of landlord charge tenants on a per calendar month basis. So for example, I collect rent on the 1st of every month, consequently it would make sense for the council to release cheques on a per calender month basis, even if it’s not on the date you require, but just as long as it’s on the same date of every month. Releasing cheques every 30 days can get confusing, especially if your tenant has to pay a shortfall. So if I agree for my tenant to pay £100 on the 1st of every month, and the council pay every 30 days, I’m receiving cheques all over the place.

The Government has stopped sending money directly to landlords

Back in the day, the council would send the tenants rent allowance directly to landlord’s. It gave landlord’s security and a reason to take on DSS tenants.

Unfortunately, the Government were too dumb to hold onto a good thing. The Government have now stopped paying benefits directly to landlords. This is a complete piss-take as far as i’m concerned.

Anyways, to save myself from repeating myself, you can read more about this issue here, The Difference Between DSS Tenants on Housing Benefit (HB) And Local Housing Allowance (LHA)

Council didn’t give a shit when I told them the tenant they housed wasn’t paying rent

One of my tenant’s was receiving housing benefit cheques because she was an unemployed single mum.

She fell into arrears by 2 months, so I contacted the council and explained the dilemma. They didn’t seem to give a shit; the fact that someone was receiving housing benefits and failing to pay her rent didn’t seem to phase them in the slightest. More frustratingly, due to data protection polocies they couldn’t tell me anything useful, like if she had actually received her benefits or not.

I never ended up receiving the rent, so I was left wondering what happened to the money. Additionally, from what I’m told, she is now living happily in a council house. Where is the justice?

Why should I or anyone else even bother housing DSS tenants if that’s the kind of support landlord’s get from the council? I’d rather let the government sit there scratching their balls wondering why there aren’t enough roofs to house the needy.

What a joke.

Incidentally, here’s a segment of an email I recently received from another landlord that experienced similar bullshit service from the council:

I’ve got the horriblest tenant in the world!

I rented out to ‘a desperate, friend of a friend’ and my children and I moved in with my partner. Problems started straight away with none payment of rent and Housing Benefit were a nightmare.
Housing Benefit started paying direct to me and I asked my tenant to start paying off the arrears.

She blathers on about missing payments and that the benefits people are looking into it but then still makes no attempt to pay anything.

I issued her with a Section 21 on 27 August 09 and told her to be out by 23 October – she’s still dragging her heels. The Council are worse than useless, and treat me with utter disgust because I’m making a lone parent with 3 kids homeless.

I know, let’s not focus on the actual problem (i.e. the rent-dodging asshole), let’s just emotionally blackmail the landlord.

The Council advise rogue tenants to remain in the property

To add insult to injury, the council encourage rogue tenants to completely fuck the landlord over.

When my DSS tenant fell into arrears, she was actually advised by the council to remain in the property until she had received a Section 8 – eviction notice from me.

The tenant was receiving housing benefit, but failing to pass it onto the landlord, yet the council were still advising/helping her.

Councils have a duty to provide shelter and generally prevent homelessness, this is why they instruct tenants not to vacate the property even when they receive a notice, whether it be an eviction or repossession notice.

The Council often even go as far as forcing Landlords to waste money on Court fees and also on bailiffs, even for a simple repossession. That’s because as soon as the tenant needs a new roof over their head, they then become the local authorities problem, and in a society where there is a huge housing shortage, that’s literally their worst nightmare. They’ll literally do anything to prevent the problem from falling back onto their lap, even if it means supporting and helping tenants that are swindling their housing benefit down the shitter.

It’s beyond ridiculous. It’s an absolute joke.

Conclusion

As far as I’m concerned the council are just trying to house as many people as possible without taking any responsibility of the aftercare which is required once a tenant has been housed. Providing shelter alone isn’t good enough.

Landlords get a real shitty deal when it comes to DSS tenants simply because they don’t always get the support they need from the council. In fact, they get zero support.

On that note, I stand firm, I won’t accept DSS tenants again. Like I said, this is nothing personal against DSS tenants; anyone can potentially be a tenant from hell, regardless of their financial circumstances. Not only is it frustrating for Landlords, but I imagine it’s a kick in the tits for those genuine claimants that are struggling to find accommodation because of how landlords are repelled by the broken system.

Has anyone else had any problems with the council regarding DSS tenants?

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42 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Victoria 29th November, 2007 @ 11:13

If the tenant was evicted then nobody was occupying the property ... I didn't think you had to pay council tax on unoccupied properties (after all, your non existent tenant isn't exactly consuming council services)

The council are cr@p through you're absolutely right. Its standard local goverment stuff, and where there's no commercial drivers there's no compulsion to provide any kind of service at all. Privatise the lot of them, that's what I say.

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RC 28th July, 2008 @ 19:34

Hi I have had exactly the same experience recently with a tenant who ended up going on to benefits half way through a 6 month tenancy and didn't even tell me.She just stopped paying rent, and then I found out eventually after she finally replied to a text, that she had had to go on to benefits as her and her husband had split up (which I later had strong evidence to suggest this was a scam anyway as I was told by neighbours he was round there all time). She span me a sob story anyway and told me that I would soon be receiving the benefits cheques. She then basically kept the payments herself and didn't pass them on to me. After many frustrating calls to the benefits department they eventually after 2 months (which is apparently now law) had to put the payments in to my name. Again I told them that she had committed benefit fraud by not giving me the payments and again they didn't seem in the least bit interested. Its almost as if you get treated as a second class citizen as a landlord taking on DSS, as they think you're getting easy money. After the 6 months I was down by nearly £2,000 after I also had to pay £500.00 to take her to court, otherwise I was told the council would encourage her to stay in the property beyond the 6 month contract otherwise she would have made herself voluntarily homeless and would stop receiving housing benefit.
As a relative new comer to all this it has been a very rocky road that I do not think I would have ever gone down had I known the pitfalls, and the sheer illogical and injust attitude of the benefits people.
One thing I am curious to know is how you can end a shorthold tenancy (say of 6 months) if the tenant refuses to go at the end of the contract. I am about to rent out again, but scared of having to end up forking out a load of cash to go down the court route again just to get my house back after at the end of the day was a mutually agreed limited time period... any ideas how this can be avoided? It seems like the hardest aspect of letting property! Thanks and sorry for this rant!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 29th July, 2008 @ 14:02

Hey RC,

We're totally on the same wavelength here. I seriously wouldn't recommend ANYONE to house a DSS tenant because of the complications the housing benefit slap on.

I heard EVERY sob story in the book from my tenant. Eventually, she told me to write a letter saying that i was going to evict her. That way the council would have to relocate her into a council house!! She told me the housing benefit told her to do that as well! The system is so messed up.

I highly recommend getting landlord insurance. Fortunately I had landlord insurance, so I managed to claim back a large portion of the money I lost from my stupid tenant. It only costs like £120 per year as well.

More details here:
Rent Guarantee And Legal Expenses Insurance

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ajay 5th December, 2008 @ 15:15

Hi,

I rent to DSS, 100 properties approx.

It is frustrating but worth the perserverence as you can buy cheap properties and get a good yield.

It takes time to find a good tenant, but when you find a good dss tenant they stay for life and the cheques just roll in every month!

Ajay
http://www.ahuja.co.uk

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th December, 2008 @ 15:57

Hey Ajay,
I still have one longterm DSS tenant, and she's been great. But she's a Housing Benefit (HB) tenant, so I get the rent directly into my account. So maybe that's why it's easy with her?

I can't imagine it's as easy with Local Housing Allowance (LHA) tenants, where they get their allowances directly.

Anyhow, I don't see her leaving anytime soon, so perhaps your theory is right! They tend to stick around, especially in this climate, when saving is tough and buying is tougher!!

I imagine you're a full-time landlord. I'm not full-time, so if there is a problem, keeping on top of the council eats up too much of my time.

But if you're lucky to get good DSS tenants, the money does come rolling in- I agree. But to get 100 good DSS tenants- I don't like the odds! ha!

Kind regards and many thanks!

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Paul 28th February, 2009 @ 13:26

Couple of points here: First of all, the problem with the date your tenant was evicted and your council tax bill. I bet you any money this tenant put in a HB claim at another address and put the occupation date as the 14th. Secondly, if this person was on income support, they most probably told the DWP that they moved on the 14th too. This looks very tidy in relation to setting up a new claim at another property and makes it a pain in the arse for you, plus leaves you out of pocket. Might've been easier to admit a 'mistake' and declare the property as empty and unfurnished and request an exemption for the period in question.
Secondly in response to the poor chap who's tenant kept the HB cheques. I'm afraid to say this isn't fraud. Although HB is an allowance towards someones rent the tenant doesn't have to actually 'spend' the money on rent. The tenant has a liability to pay rent whether they are on HB or not.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 26th March, 2009 @ 12:50

Hey Paul,

You're right, it's not classed as benefit fraud, unfortunately. It should be though, since she was on "housing benefit" and not paying her rent with the benefits she received :(

The law needs to get tougher in those cases.

Many thanks.

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monika 21st April, 2009 @ 14:48

I believe the best thing for people to do is to AVOID LETTING AGENT ALTOGETHER. they are a set of asshole, their pirmary goal is to rob you straight out,I have a bad experience with one and ther's no way I will use any again, I perfer to lock my property up for a little while until I find a good tenat myself than to allow these RODENT to have control over my property.

To be honest I believe the reason some of us tends to up in this predicament is the mere fact that we are concern about the mortage to pay, but if we give ourself a lead way if we have the money, then by all means we can avoid these shitpits,(sometimes).

These agent as one person said have no form of qualification and they don't know how to speak to people, shouting and swearing is one of their defence mechanism, expecting everyone is going to be afaird of them and back down.

They should be put before the judge and pay the consequences of giving you a DSS tenant and things that your don't ask for, and the council should be throw in jail also for not taking responsible to put YOUR MONEY in the account each month,

Why can't the council do that? The money does not belong to the tenant, it for the landlord.Am not saying it's all DSS but some of them not working and don't like to work, so it's quite obivious that you cannot left butter to a cat. The council should be aware of what they are doing.

To be honest I rather to have problem with a private tenant than a DSS tenant, because it does not worth the head ache.

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angela crear 9th May, 2009 @ 13:48

firstly with all due respect have any of you ever been on dss?????well let me tell you a few home truths.....1st thing my husband and i have worked our whole lives without claiming benefits or council benefits ,but due to our companies closing down this year we have both been made redundant and without any pay,because the businesses went under....now i do understand in some cases that dss tenants are frauds and are not worth the time.but as a mother who has had to do this for two months and feel like a begger.i am totally disghusted in your reactions to dss tenants...it is not fair or right that you class us all in the same boat we did not choose to be on dss or want to take the money we recieve....but all i can say is go to hell and expect judgement on yourselves one day....if god help you you find yourself in that situation...what goes around comes around...nice to know people are always in it for themselves..

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Paul 9th May, 2009 @ 23:28

Angela, Sorry to hear about your current situation hopefully it won't last too long. However the point that the authors are driving at here is the fact that not all HB recipients are the same. In all sections of society there is good and bad. I'm a landlord AND work in benefits and local taxation therefore I'm in a position of having experience in all areas.
I can say with some conviction that all the comments made throughout this thread have validity about them. I've witnessed properties stripped by HB tenants. I've even seen bedrooms used as toilets prior to vacation. I've also interviewed landlords (trying to) rip off the system. Indeed, I've worked with competant and incompetant benefit assessors & customer service advisors.
In case your wondering, my tenant gets HB, paid direct under LHA rules. Mind you, my tenant knows that I know exactly when the HB payments get sent, therefore the rent is transferred direct to me the day it's received. Tip for all you landlords: As you know, HB payments get sent four weekly therefore (with agreement of the tenant) I've now adjusted the rent to four weekly. Tenant's happy with this. Tenant now makes 13 payments over 12 months. This means it is easier for tenant to make up shortfall between rent and LHA = no excuse for late payments.

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Laura 11th May, 2009 @ 14:57

I have recently rented my beautiful home out to some DSS tenants and I will regret this decision until the time comes that I can get them out because their contract ends. They have been in my property for 13 days and when I did a check yesterday the place STUNK of deep fat frying. I was absolutely appalled. The light walls look grubby with fingerprints from their kids and already I've had to get a couple of things fixed which were working fine when I left them. I get daily phonecalls about something and nothing that they want fixing or to grumble about and I'm really fed up of it - the tenants are actually living in the house in a better state of repair than when I lived there myself!! If there is any way I can get my place back to being empty for a while until I get a decent tenant I'd do it in a flash.

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J LONG 13th May, 2009 @ 23:20

Hi, Well im fortunate enough to be able to see both sides of the coin here. Firstly i lived in a council house for 4 years on an estate and couldn't stand it! My partner at the time had just left me and i made the decision to move out and find a private house to rent in a better area. Just so you know i never once missed a rent payment, i made vast improvements to the house and when i eventually made the decision to move out, my landlord "Begged" me to stay! I was HB back then! I think the point is - There is good and bad in everyone! Im now a home owner and i would have no hesitation in renting out one of my houses to somebody claiming HB - You just need to go with your gut instinct on whether they are going to be good tenants or not!! This can apply to anyone - HB or private tenants!!

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Adam 29th September, 2009 @ 15:22

When DSS tenants pay rent on time, its not a problem, aside from the general DSS behaviour tenants have as a result of being mostly uneducated.
But when they decide that they will keep your rent for the fun of it. you cant do anything. i repeat anything. the governemnt pays from your tax money to these good for nothing leaches and they live rent free, profit a couple of months money and move on. You can sue as they have no assets, cant speak english when conveniant. a LANDLORD campaign needs to be started! get the council to start paying landlords directly. these people in the large are benefit cheats to begin with, now they can live rent free and make a few thousand pound aswell.

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mark 8th February, 2010 @ 03:00

great info but what is DSS? I have a huge piece of shit whose on SSA that I have to get rid of. He should be in jail for Social Sec. fraud. Anyway, its animals like that, that ruin it for the decent people trying.

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A M 23rd February, 2010 @ 19:21

Hi,i.m currently looking for a job at the moment, but for the time being i'm thinking of renting until i do get a job,but now after reading all this i am now scared shittless if god for bid if things go wrong when i am renting a place, i am sick of being on benefits,but until then,wat do i do?

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Neptune 6th March, 2010 @ 20:32

Hi, i have just read through your comments, and your thoughts. I would just like to point out that not everyone is this way inclined. I may only be a young tenant myself, but i certainly wouldn't do anything like this as i wouldn't like for it to happen to myself, but i think that this just goes down to the type of person they are. I look after my property making sure its cleaned properly, the way you would expect. I would personally like to meet the tenants before i would house them in any of my propertys (although i dont have any at the moment), so at the end of it it can be the landlords fault not just the tenants. Not everyone should be put into the same catagory because were not all the same. imagine if you were in the same situation as one of these DSS tenants looking for a property, but are genuinly nice people. I understand the council dont make it easy in regards to payments and again this should come to the council to make sure its all dont corretly, not down to the tenants themselves.

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Nikki 20th April, 2010 @ 08:05

Its quite a turn around in the books reading many comments on here....once upon a time, it was the tenant who had to be wary of the rip off landlords!

Keeping bonds with out good reason, not doing repairs they were supposed to do! Walking into the property unannounced to allegedly check on it! Until the laws were put in place to stop this type of thing, too many landlords were more than guilty of these immoral practices and if truth were told, would more than likely be continuing to do so today if they could get away with it!

Practice what you preach! DSS people may be unfortunate that they have to rely on benefits, but landlords should ensure they are going to keep up their end of the bargain too!

I have had to deal with too many dodgy landlords in the past, including taking them to court....just remember, you may see DSS people as potential trouble, but in my experience, it has been the other way round!

And for the record, I won on the court cases on three seperate occasions the landlord tried to rip me off!

The question is, do I tar every landlord with the same brush? No I do not, as there are a lot of reputable ones out there, just as there are a lot of reputable people out there who are in need of DSS assistance through no fault of their own!

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lisa ullah 30th June, 2010 @ 10:55

Hi
I have a DSS tenant and she is great, everyone is different you can get private paid tenants that ruin your property. Anyway can anyone help especially the person on here who deals with dss and income tax or benefits as newly self employed. Does rental income come on self assessment if you are self employed or other income for income tax/and or tax credits purpose, I have to do my self assessment yet but have till january to do online however tax credits want renewal details before end of july, i know can estimate self employ income till end of january but if it comes under other income dont want to say no dont get other income and try to put it on self assessment and then find ive done wrong on tc renewal as i dont know if tax credits know about dss rental income. In short where do i declare this income and if you pay mortgage interest on the house can you take this off for the year, cheers in advance if anyone knows, all this is really confusing.

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Ros 21st July, 2010 @ 21:52

This kind of attitude leads to many people being homeless. I have been homeless for five months in temporary accomodation. Its been a huge struggle for me and I have been offered a council house. Most landlords refuse point blank people on HB and others expect six months in advance. Where do people on benefits get that kind of money....

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Jambo 29th September, 2010 @ 16:29

I was put onto some guys locally (staffs) that just deal with landlords and agents who have benefit tenants. To be fair its probably been the best 70 quid ive spent and a meal and pint thrown in (all be it from the 2 for one menu!) BTM consultants (or consultancy staffs) website is tenantsonbenefit.co.uk

The benefit was back in payment within a week and ive certainly learnt more about how the system works and my tenants and I (and the council) now have an understanding which benefits us all.

May be worth a punt and its less hassle if understand and speak to your tenants ..having to speak to the tenant seems to be the main gripe here but as a landlord you are providing a service so why shouldnt you be interested in helping your tenants. I have 3 benefit tenants all living in an ugly area where theres no way I'd A) be able to rent out easily and B) get as much money as what the LHA rate pays Its being advised on how to do it i fouund the internet only helps you so much before you start reading the same stuff and CAB do jack

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caroline kelly 3rd October, 2010 @ 12:59

i also have had a bad experience with my landlord,i am also in recipt of housing benefit and he got paid direct.I have 4 kids aging from 2-15yrs and i suffer from a nervous debility.In my experience no-one wanted to help the tenant, 2 years my hell went on for. The first 11 months was spent living in 2" of raw sewrage under the kitchen floor covering(grey slur from main drain came in via waste pipes) kitchen units were saturated!, 2 out of 4 rooms were livable in.This landlord had reduced the rent to 545.60 per month!local authorities were well aware of my situation for 2 yrs and have done nothing about this landlord.Perhaps if i was a bitch with a litter of pups ,he would be jailed by now!

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Gustavo 2nd November, 2010 @ 15:34

Please, please, please,

I need rent guarantee insurance, Any advice?
I have a DSS tenant.

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Sue 30th March, 2011 @ 09:53

having red all the comments here, I want to let you all know about www.landlordreferencing.co.uk who enable all landlords to search with other landlords a prospective tenant, this is completely free, legal and will most importantly help prevent a landlord from taking on a problem tenant. we have a vast database of tenants who are know to landlords, by searching you can get information about the tenants reliability and behaviour through contacting their previous landlord.

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Juliette 21st May, 2011 @ 00:00

What a bunch of greedy T@at@!!!!!!

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Chris 17th July, 2011 @ 00:49

Sounds like landlords get away with murder....

If your getting the rent then whats the prejudice against DSS?

Could it be that your not renting to people who would weirdly pay nothing or get to live in your property technically for FREE is it?

Not that old bullshit coloured chestnut is it?

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Chris 17th July, 2011 @ 00:53

Rent money today is paid directly into a bank account that could be the land lords too.

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Chris 17th July, 2011 @ 12:59

Also Rent Money on LHA or Housing benefit "when you claim it you can actually tick a box for monthly payments" most people miss it or think they get more over 13 payments than 12. ha ha, :-)

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th July, 2011 @ 13:13

Chris,

The legislation has changed (for quite some time). When Housing Benefit existed (which it doesn't anymore), landlords/tenants had a choice. But since LHA was introduced in 2008, payments have been going directly to tenant's by default. Apparently only under special circumstances can landlord's receive rent directly e.g. if the tenant fails to pass on rent and falls into arrears. But surely it's too late by then.

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graham 13th August, 2011 @ 16:50

I can't blame anyone who refuses to let out to dss tennents. My job as a self employed property maintenance has prooved this point on many occations. I have had to repair twisted off taps,kicked in doors,smashed basins and toilets,broken windows,ripped off kitchen unit doors.pissed all over carpets,fiddled meters,broken stair bannisters,sockets ripped off walls. One property I went to, they had even ripped up floor boards and burnt them. The council should be responsible for these chavs and their brats damaging your property,it's criminal damage and the council put them in your property to get them off their hands,the fact that they pay for the rent is imeterial.If all thanks you get for putting a free roof over the heads of a load of lager swilling drug snorting uncivilised scumbags that will never need to work because they get so many free handouts paid for out of our council tax, then the council should put right and damage caused by them.

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Nicola 13th August, 2011 @ 20:12

@Graham

Are you accusing ALL DSS tenants of being chav scum? If so, you need to get your head out of your ass and realise that there are thousands of people who are currently out of work and struggling like hell to get a job! This situation is only going to get worse with the way this country is being managed by this piss poor government and the last thing people need who have lost their jobs, is assholes like you accusing them of being chav scum just because they are now jobless and having to claim benefits!

Yes, there may be chav morons who destroy houses...but that does not mean ALL dss tenants are like that!

When the Landlords from hell tv programme was aired a while ago, I was one of the advisors to the programme. I can safely say that there are things I have seen and are currently seeing, which would disgust most ordinary human beings, but obviously not landlords!
So before you go shooting your mouth off about DSS tenants, take a look at the poor quality of landlords which are rapidly on the increase and taking severe advantage of people in poor situations!

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David Booth 24th November, 2011 @ 21:00

Calling all Landlords,

I would like to take my time to introduce you to our new company Tasker Payment Services. The company is designed as a one of it's kind payment service for DSS claimants and their landlords. Customers who do not have a bank account, or have large overdrafts eating into their Local Housing Allowance can use our service to have the peace of mind that their rent is paid straight to their landlord's bank account on time, every time.
With much experience in dealing with such payments, landlords can rely on Tasker Payment Services to provide them and their tenants with a reliable and secure way of receiving their rent.
We are fully registered with the FSA (registration number 564939) and can be found on the FSA's register of payment service providers.

The idea behind our company is simple the tennant agrees to pay our company (Tasker Payment Services) the money they get from the LHA and the landlord gets paid from us fortnightly. All we take £4.00 transaction fee for transferring the money to the landlords bank account.
This also helps out the council because they dont have to deal with arrears and it could help the council because more landlords would want to register because they know they are going to get paid.
If you would like to visit our website http://taskerpaymentservices.co.uk/ and read a little more about us if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

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Mels 30th November, 2011 @ 23:42

I am a housing benefit tenant and I'm always hearing stories from landlords stating that they won't accept HB tenants. Their reasoning always seems to come across derogatory towards the tenants. Now I am aware that a lot of HB/DSS tenants do not always pay their rent on-time or at all, but that is no reason to disrespect them as a person as everyone's circumstances are different, however, when I read about your experiences with the council and with that particular tenant, I feel it for you.

Tenants can request (when claiming HB for a new property) to have the rent sent directly to the landlord. This is something that should be required within the tenancy agreement, as to prevent inconveniences to the landlord and debt for the tenant.

I am so sorry you had to experience that kid of treatment from the council and I can assure you it doesn't stop with the landlords. The council also keep tenants in the dark! Their policies are so complicated that they are not even sure how it works and therefore good intended landlords like yourself and otherwise innocent tenants in financially hard situations fall short of a fair and satisfactory service.

Now thanks to that shitty council, there is one less GOOD landlord on the market.

I am so sorry, I could have been your next tenant.

Best of luck, anyway.

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sohil 11th December, 2011 @ 01:22

There is no justice in this country, not only in regard to landlord and tenant, is also to crime which hapning every day, and the he will get prosecuted for 2 years, and end up 1year only, with all good facility, and wish to go back there again by killing some one else. where is the justice when one family will remain with no father, who look after his children?.
same with the council they do what they want they encourage the tenant not to pay the rent, and the promise them council property after when they get evicted,no matter what damage they have done to the property, leave propety with the mass,and end up not paing the landlord 5 month rent. when they go to court the juge will say they dont have money to pay to landlord, and that another £1500 court cost for him (landlord). tenant have mony she spend the benefit cheque for her luxures, and give rent to her mother to save it on her account. why the council and other authrity dont understand this, they only want to hang the landlord, nobody can say anything. landlord may be make a living with this rent, he is not rich,to lose, there should be some thing done about all this. who is responsible? this is real next time will be your turn,

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Disabled DSS tenant 23rd March, 2012 @ 20:41

I came across your article and I'd like to say a couple of things;
benefits claimants are not always the same even though we're often tarnished with the same brush.
I've been in receipt of LHA (New housing benefits) for several years and we have never paid our current landlord late.
Perhaps if you could just reconsider not letting to any DSS recipients to only accepting those who have a guarantor?
That way, you have some guaranteed rent whether the tenants pay you or not? It's almost impossible to find a decent house if you're not a council tenant because so many people have screwed over the system. Also, LHA is paid every 4 weekly (not monthly) so every month we have to find the shortfall of about £150 from our other benefits. Once a year, we get two payments in the same month and though saving some of that money is possible, it never seems to stretch that far. That's how people have problems. If the councils agreed to pay monthly then it would save a lot of problems.
Anyhow, the only thing I'd like to reiterate is, please don't tarnish us all with the same brush.

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Lyn 30th March, 2012 @ 16:55

I would just like to say we are not all bad, I went on benefits at the age of 60 due to a very bad divorce in Spain. I came back to the uk 3 1/2 years ago and receive HB and pension credits for which I am very grateful, I have never owed my landlady a penny, I get my rent payed to me every 2 weeks and pay my landlady every 4 weeks ( 13 payments a year ) If small things go wrong in the flat I live in I get it done myself. I have to get out soon as the flat is being sold and am very sad that there is nothing for me to rent as nobody wants benefit tenants. When I first went on benefits I asked the council to pay my rent direct but they said no it is your responsibility I said that was ok for me but what about the people with small children when christmas comes or birthdays, I think it is to tempting for them to spend the rent, so I would be glad to see the council start paying direct. ( I do understand both sides ) but some of us are genuine. If you didn't go through agents and met the people yourself you should be able to pick good tenants.

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Barbara 7th February, 2013 @ 14:45

Was persuaded by my agent, against my better judgement, to have a DSS tenant. I was assured that the council would pay the rent directly to her (my agent). Thought I was safe but: No sooner were the tenants in the house than the council stopped paying the rent as the tenants had gone on holiday to Turkey and then London. I definitely felt I had been conned. A year later after much hassle and none payment of rents by the council due to the Turkish foul mouthed tenants visiting Turkey, I managed to get the court bailiffs to evict them. The wife was crying but was consoled by a social services support worker. Sadly no one was there to console me. The place was a pigsty with a broken door and toilet seat. Totally filthy. The walls had all been scribbled on by a child. The garage was full of junk and half empty cartons of milk, and assorted clothes and food. Not to mention rat faeces. There were however some very beautiful bras and knickers amongst the rest of the debris. Lost count of the bin bags I filled. There was also a council bill to be paid for the removal of fridge, washing machine and three piece suit which must have been lovely when they bought it when they first moved in. My agent charged me £50 for finding this tenant by the way.
Here endeth my lesson. Never again.

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John 27th February, 2013 @ 04:04

Hi I read your article and as a dss tenant I can whole heartedly agree with you about the council as I have been having major problems with my property and landlord of the current property the property is now considered unsafe by British gas due to faulty wiring which caused a fire as a plug socket was directly underneath the sink which it should not be also the property has damp and is extremely cold I have 2 very young children one of which is a 8 month old baby and if I had not been downstairs and noticed the fire I dread to think what would have happened I have asked my landlord constantly to fix various problems which he disregards and now has led to this situation getting to the point though lol the council are the ones who went in before we moved in and assessed the property stating it was safe and 2 weeks before the fire I had a health and safety officer look at the house including under the sink and said everything was fine the council are the problem because from how you sound you are a decent landlord as are we tenants all I want is a landlord that will treat serious matters especially when children are involved quickly and professionally whilst we pay to live in his property with no need to go to the council. They are always trying to cover their own backs and saying there are no property's when the reason why is because they screw up relationships between landlords and tenants due to them not pulling their finger out and helping a situation or resolving it.

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John 27th February, 2013 @ 04:21

Also sorry but I agree with Nicola some landlords need a prison sentence as well as some tenants which is what my landlord is facing due to negligence word of warning to all those scumbag landlords do your health and safety checks make sure your property is safe for occupants otherwise you could be slapped with a fine and jail sentence same goes to you stupid dumb tenants who fuck up property's

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Howard 14th January, 2014 @ 06:50

As a Landlord burnt by DSS tenants I strongly advise any landlords considering such a tenancy to weigh up the risks which are very high.

You will not realisethe full magnitude of risk until it happens to you.

Firstly, you will not normally be able to do a check on the DSS tenants as the council will say its data protection and they have already vetted them.

If they have caused serious problems to property in the past this history is likely to be wiped clean after a short stay in the councils homelessness shelter

You will soon to treated as a social landlord where the rights of the council and tenants outweigh the landlord and you will soon feel like the sucker you have become.

You will not get rent guarantee insurance or landlords insurance for DSS tenants ( least I couldn't)

The Housing Benefit Dept is on the Tenants side ( don't even think they are there to help you) and will normally instruct the tenant to stay until the baliff comes if you have to evict them

Don't forget that people on housing benefit are in financial trouble and in many cases have personal "issues".

There will be very few housing benefit tenants who can properly organise themselves out of a council funded home into a job while losing the portions of housing benfit as they start to receive paid income. Possibly the worst instance is the single mum who wants to return to work. Looks all ok to begin with but wait for the attempted return to work. For Landlords the dice is stacked against us big time.

Also watch out for the Housing Benefit tenant in waiting, converting to HB after they move in.

Best advice I can give is do up the place so it attracts a better sort of person, professional/quality trade with good long term references, get rent guarantee insurance, issue Section 21 Notice at start of tenancy, do regular checks (every 3 months), start eviction after 2 weeks late with rent.

best of luck

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Mrs Angry 31st October, 2014 @ 13:23

Personally as a homeowner I am delighted that the way housing benefit has changed.We bought a house on a nice quiet street and had lots of lovely neighbours .sadly one by one they either died or moved as many were elderly and their houses bought by buy to let landlords who were content to inflict their horrible tenants with their antisocial behaviour on the rest of us as long as they collected their rent from the council .
Now it is amusing to see them trying to fix their wrecked houses after evicting said tenants because they have received no rent .Ha ha what goes around hmmm

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Lee 29th August, 2015 @ 14:03

Having read the usual discrimination against people claiming HB hopefully all you whinging landlords have watched a recent series on Channel 5 called 'Nightmare Tenants/Slum Landlords?' Firstly the conditions some of the tenants have to live in are beyond disgusting & some of these tenants had children but what made me really angry was all the tenants featured that owed landlords thousands and thousands of pounds, cost the landlords more money to take them to court, get them evicted etc were ALL working! Yet all I keep hearing is "we don't want HB tenants cos they won't pay their rent/trash the place; we want people who are working!!" I have to say after all the discrimination I & other people who claim HB have had to put up with I did laugh; Karma is the word that springs to mind & boy is it deserved!!!!!

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Shahbaz 3rd December, 2015 @ 19:09

I evicted a Council tenant today, after losing thousands of pounds in unpaid rent.
EVEN worse was to come. The house was wrecked by her and it was a scene from a TV programme called "hoarders".
My question is can I claim damages from the council?
Please help.

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