Reasons Why Landlords Shouldn’t Accept DSS Tenants
Before anyone gets firmly on my tits about this, let me just clarify, this is a follow on article from The Positives Of DSS Tenants. So please, no angry hippies or DSS tenants start protesting, this is just a simple flip of the coin.
But I must confess, this list is longer than the pro-DSS tenants’ article! My bad.
DSS tenants receive a lot of negative publicity; they are seen as high-risk due to the historical view of them being people with poor credit history who don’t look after their rented property. Of course, not everyone is the same, and I’m a firm believer in everyone being judged on their own merit. You’ll find good amongst the bad. However, having dealt with several DSS tenants, I can confirm that they can come with problems, and the odds are, they will. Harsh? I prefer “accurate”
1. DSS Tenants usually carry troubled circumstances
DSS tenants are receiving benefits for a reason, so they’re often individuals with unstable and/or shady backgrounds. I’m not trying to be a pompous prick about it, but that’s just how it is in reality.
That explains why they get thrown into the high-risk and troublesome category. Granted, in cases, there are genuine cases like unfortunate people that have lost their jobs, or unable to work due to disabilities.
2. Landlords no longer receive rent directly
At one time, DSS tenants were sought after by Landlords because the council would pay the rent directly to the Landlord. Unfortunately, that changed a few years ago, consequently tenants now directly receive rent. The change occurred to encourage the tenants to become more responsible with money.
Essentially, a lot of DSS tenants caused a lot of problems for Landlords, but Landlords tolerated it because rent was guaranteed. But since tenants have been responsible for their own allowance, a lot of cases have (predictably) cropped up where tenants are failing to pass on the rent, and presumably spending the money on other things. The only real security landlords once had is no longer there.
3. DSS tenants need to cover a shortfall
DSS tenants will typically need to cover a shortfall each month. For example, if the tenant’s rent is £500pcm, they may receive an allowance of £400 per month. In that case, your tenant will have to cover a shortfall. Bearing in mind, a lot of DSS tenants aren’t working, so it’s important to investigate how the tenant will cover the shortfall.
4. Difficult to get Landlord Rental Insurance
Rental insurance is always a useful policy to have in place, especially if you’re not 100% sure of your tenants credibility.
If your tenant fails to pay rent, your rental insurance company will cover the costs. However, many insurance companies won’t insure your rent if you have a DSS tenant. And if they’re willing to, they may ask for a higher premium than a private tenant.
If insurers are refusing to insure DSS tenants, or ask for a higher premuim, the statistics should speak for themselves. These insurance companies aren’t fools.
5. The Council are useless
I’ve already raged about how useless the council are when problems occur with DSS Tenants so I won’t drag on about it too much. Basically, on various occasions throughout my involvement with DSS tenants I’ve needed to contact the council in order to resolve some outstanding issues. It goes without saying that they have been less than helpful and added to my misery. You can read a more in-depth discussion on how the council are rubbish when it comes to providing Landlords with support.
6. Even Letting Agents refuse to deal with DSS tenants
A letting agents job is to find suitable tenants for their landlords’ as quickly as possible. If they don’t find tenants, they don’t get paid, it’s that simple. So it must say something about DSS tenants if more and more letting agents refuse to deal with DSS tenants.
When a letting agent prolongs filling in vacant properties by denying a certain type of tenant, alarm bells should ring. I’m sure letting agents have dealt with DSS tenants at one point, and on the back of their experiences, they’re now refusing…
7. Allowance amount can randomly change for your tenant
I’ve been in situations where my DSS tenant’s circumstances changed, which reflected on the amount of benefits they were entitled to. For example, they were initially receiving £400pcm, but were then only entitled to £350pcm. That can cause problems because now they have more of a shortfall to cover. Of course, you may never be aware of the change, and you’re not entitled to know why the chance occured because it’s none of the Landlord’s business (according to the law).
However, it can work both ways. In some instances, the tenant’s allowance could go up. But if it lowers, there may be a knock-on affect for the landlord.
Anyone else got anything to add? If so, blurt your stuff…
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