Refusing DSS Tenants Is Discrimination

Joke. Obviously.

During the weekend there’s been fireworks over on the other side of my blog. Whenever my blog gets an erratic surge of activity, it’s usually over a DWP / DSS Tenants related topic. It’s good to know that some things never change. Head over to the Reasons Why Landlords Shouldn’t Accept DSS Tenants blog post to catch up on the drama.

I didn’t participate in the discussion because the conversation seemed to be going around in circles, and more importantly, it was the bloody weekend. I religiously reserve the weekend to get my freak on!

Even though I didn’t partake in the discussion, I truly made the best of a bad situation. I was receiving an email each time someone contributed a new comment, consequently my phone was vibrating like crazy. Needless to say, I slipped my phone into my boxer-shorts and enjoyed the repercussions of my blog post in my own beautiful way.

I’ve only just got around to reading the comments. It consisted of the general bullshit I expect from people that are too ignorant to understand anything beyond their own reality. Nothing new there. But I want to address one specific statement made by a few people. I’m told, “Refusing DSS Tenants Is Discrimination”, and it’s similar to refusing “Blacks”, “Irish” and “Asians”

Amusing.

That particular Red Herring has been flapping around for a while, and I want to kill it. With a sledge hammer.

Anyone that carries that kind of mindset clearly doesn’t understand the dynamics of being a landlord or what being a landlord is all about. The irony is, anyone that believes refusing DSS tenants is a form of discrimination is a self-righteous ignorant bell-end. Yeah, I said it.

My list of reasons why refusing DSS tenants is NOT discrimination

  • This is NOT a charity
    Being a landlord is NOT a charity based organisation, it’s a business based on profit. I think that’s what most people DSS tenants fail to appreciate. Our job is to secure suitable/reliable tenants.

    A major aspect of running a successful business is “risk-assessment” Some tenants have higher risk than others and we just want to minimize our risk. For example, a bank is unlikely to authorise a loan to someone receiving benefits. Is that discrimination or is it a decision based on risk-assessment?

    Yes, even the lower-risk tenants can cause problems. And yes, the higher-risk (DSS tenants) can be the best tenants in the world. But this is about risk-assessment, and the odds are stacked against DSS tenants. This type of risk-assessment is practised by almost every business in some shape or form, but more relevantly, businesses that deal with credit and insurance.

    Landlords don’t refuse DSS tenants because they have something “personal” against the individual. They generally refuse DSS tenants based on their undeniable financial circumstance. No one is ASSUMING DSS tenants have financial difficulties, it’s a fact.

    ANYONE running a business (regardless of whether they’re receiving Housing Benefits or not) will try to minimize their risks, so it alludes me that people fail to understand that concept when it’s regarding Landlords and DSS tenants.

  • It’s NOT like racism
    The whole argument that refusing DSS tenants is on the same par as discriminating against a race is laughable; it’s almost not worth defending. But I will, because the statement is silly, and I’m in a silly mood (I suspect that comment will come back to haunt me if/when the protesters attack).

    The financial status of a tenant has a direct impact of how they may affect MY business, someone’s race DOES NOT. So no, those analogies are nothing alike in the current context; so you can stick the “race card” up your anal-passage and choke on it.

    Find me a family with an employed Asian wife with an employed black husband, with a mixed race baby, and I’ll happily give them tenancy. Find me a family with the same racial statuses that are unemployed, and I won’t be so willing.

  • Difficult to get insurance
    Most Landlord Insurance companies refuse to insure landlords with DSS tenants. The very few that do cover DSS tenants have a high premium. Why? Because at some point or another, statistics signified that a high portion of landlord claimants had DSS tenants.

    So the root of the problem is far deeper than landlords simply refusing refusing DSS tenants; it’s also based on the fact we can’t get the proper protection policies in place to secure our investments when giving tenancies to DSS tenants.

  • Mortgage restrictions
    Some lenders don’t allow landlords to let to tenants on Housing Benefits. So not only is it difficult to get insurance, but also an agreeable mortgage.

    On that note, you should always check the conditions of your mortgage before letting to a DSS tenant.

  • Risk-management is business
    Landlords want to keep their risk at a minimum (going back to risk-management), just like any business. That is why I would rather give tenancy to a family that consists of 2 employed individuals as opposed to a family that receives Housing Benefit. How is protecting my investment by obtaining the most “secure” tenants an act of discrimination? If you were a landlord that had the choice between a) a family that consisted of two doctors or b) a single unemployed individual receiving Housing benefits, which would you give tenancy to? It’s a no-brainer, as is this argument.
  • Most landlords are NOT rich
    Common misconception- all landlords are rich. That’s seriously bullshit. Most landlords struggle to make any profit, especially in this climate. All it takes is ONE tenant to fall into arrears for a landlord to go under. Then, ironically, the landlord may end up on the social housing list. What good would that do anyone?

    Point being, some times the whole risk-management aspect is crucial to the landlord’s livelihood.

  • It’s a broken system
    I personally refuse DSS tenants because of my past experience with the “system”, and not the individuals themselves. The protection for landlords when DSS tenants fall into arrears is scandalous.

    I’ve housed a DSS tenant that intentionally fell into arrears so she could get moved up the “Council Housing” priority list. I’m not saying all DSS tenants would do that. However, The question needs to be asked, why would the council move someone up the priority list AFTER they fall into arrears? Who knows, but it seems to be protocol.

    Similarly as scandalous is the fact that landlords no longer directly receive rent payments, it’s given to the tenant to pass onto the landlord. This has proven to be the reason why so many DSS tenants has fallen into arrears, because they won’t pass on the rent.

    Actions like that are awful for the landlord because they’re left out of pocket and equally as awful for the genuine DSS tenants struggling to find a tenancy. Why would I want to support a system like that?

    To reiterate, this isn’t a gripe I have with the claimants, it’s a gripe I have with the system. I have made that clear on several occasions.

I’ve said the following a million times on almost every single one of my DSS related blog posts, but only a handful seems to pay any attention, while the others get filled with rage and ignorance. But here it is again:

  • I appreciate, understand and even sympathise with misfortune. I know not all DSS tenants are the same; I know there are good and bad DSS tenants; I’m aware that many DSS tenants genuinely don’t deserve to be in the position they’re in; I’m aware that there are genuinely good DSS tenants out there that are struggling because others have given them a bad reputation. I get it. It sucks, and I mean it. It’s truly a shitty deal. However, DSS tenants are still high-risk in-comparison to professional-working families, so that is why I would rather give tenancy to the latter. I’m not saying that the working-professionals won’t or can’t fall into arrears, but I am saying it is less likely, hence the risk-management.
  • I’m not saying landlords should or shouldn’t accept DSS tenants, I’m just saying landlords have a legitimate reason for not accepting them, and DSS tenants should understand it’s not about discrimination.

The root of the problem is deeper than simply, “landlords refusing DSS tenants” – so much deeper. Getting ALL landlords to accept DSS tenants won’t resolve the underlying issues of a broken system.

By all means, be annoyed that some landlords refuse to house DSS tenants, but don’t call it discrimination, because it really isn’t.

Either way, I don’t really expect to have changed minds. I just wanted to make my justifications clear.

Like this post? Then maybe you should sign up to my FREE newsletter so you receive more like it!

334 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 284 - 334 comments (out of 334)
Guest Avatar
PAUL LEGAL 30th July, 2016 @ 13:15

It is down to you to challenge your bank if you won't your disabled tenant has rights to challenge you as you break the law. So once you lose your case your court case with such tenant it would be as easy as going to the bank and showing them the court sentence, they may wish to challenge it in High Court etc. but I doubt they have high chances of winning it, as the law about it is quite simple.

'Discrimination arising from disability' (s.15 EqA) is very wide. It is where a person treats a disabled person unfavourably 'because of something arising in consequence of' the disability.

Legitimate and Proportionate Aim
This objective test is applied to a number of equality scenarios including all indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from disability and direct age discrimination. Here below is a guide taken from the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Proportionate means that:

what the employer/service is doing is actually achieving its aim
the discriminatory effect should be significantly outweighed by the importance and benefits of the legitimate aim
the employer/service should have no reasonable alternative to the action they are taking. If the legitimate aim can be achieved by another or less discriminatory means, they must then opt for that route.

Legitimate means:

economic factors such as the needs of and the efficiency of running a business
the health, welfare, and safety of the individual (including protection of young people or older workers)
the particular training requirements of the job.
A legitimate aim must correspond with a legitimate need for the employer/service.

284
Guest Avatar
PAUL LEGAL 30th July, 2016 @ 13:30

To put it simply, it's not legal to use disadvantages that a disabled person is facing as something arising from their disability, against that parson or as an excuse or justification for shaming and exclusions or special treatment. It's a fact that a majority of disabled people rely on benefits to get by, so it is something that arises from the disability. It is safe a fact that majority of healthy people do not rely on a benefit to get by. So your policy of not renting to DSS tenants is indirect discrimination against the disabled as relying on DSS is something that arises out of their disability.

Indirect discrimination is when there's a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but it has a worse effect on some people than others. The Equality Act says it puts you at a particular disadvantage.

285
Guest Avatar
Paul 30th July, 2016 @ 15:15

I understand the legal issues here, but of course this is all theory as I would never be in court as I simply don't have the resources to pursue a case against my lender.
It really needs a charity to fund a LL with a test case to determine that DSS is no excuse for disallowing a LL to take them on as a tenant.
I'm afraid that the issue of a business decision not to rent to DSS can never go away.
The fact that a tenant is also disabled is irrelevant
They are being declined because they are in receipt of HB.
I accept that because most disabled are in receipt of HB that effectively they will always be discriminated against by any LL who is not permitted by his lender to accept DSS tenants.
Clearly it is outrageous that a lender can have this as a mortgage condition.
But LL must comply
Why don't one of the disabled charities take s lender to court to establish legal precedent.
We little LL can't afford to.
Unfortunately until the eviction laws and my mortgage condition allows I will continue to decline HB tenants unless they can meet my minimum business requirements

1 months rent in advance
2 months rent as Deposit
RGI policy on tenant or their guarantor

Disabled or not I would not take on any tenant unable to meet these requirements.

I have yet to source anyone who can meet my requirements who receives HB
But of course my mortgage conditions prevent me from accepting them in the first place.
If someone could stop lenders from having this mortgage condition many LL would be very grateful to them.
It is clearly a ridiculous condition and causes de facto discrimination against disabled people as they are usually in receipt of HB.
It is a big issue requiring deep pockets to fight the lenders in court
The other silly condition that needs removing is the restriction on length of tenancy
Especially for a disabled tenant they would like more certainty regarding such.
For logistical reasons such tenants don't and can't move to new rental properties like able bodied tenants can.
But to have that condition removed the eviction laws would need to be changed as that is the reason lenders impose the maximum year only tenancy length.
I simply cannot see anyone taking these issues to court and eviction laws won't be changed
So the disabled are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
They have my sympathies but unfortunately there is nothing I can or am prepared to do.
It needs someone of larger stature than me to take on the lenders

286
Guest Avatar
PAUL LEGAL 5th August, 2016 @ 22:13

Well eventually you would have to pursue a case against your lender if he cancels your mortgage, because of letting to a Disabled Person on a housing benefit. I'd like to see that happen in a first place after you'd show them the evidence I told you about.

Let's put it simply the Equality Act 2010 is quite straight about that and what you are doing in cohesion with agencies and banks it is Discrimination under this Act. I'd double dare you to find a solicitor that is going to try to undermine that.

Like I explained before, not knowing the law does not excuse you from abiding it.

If I'd be a Disabled tenant I'd take every single Agency/Landlord that refuse to rent a house to a disabled person. I'd claim damages at the same time.

If a Disabled tenant takes you to court over that, then you'll end up with a ready sentence for the Bank and they won't be able to impose anything on you. Simply saying bank can't ask you to break the law, stop being a sheep.

As I explained earlier Disabled people don't have to pay for the court and can ask a friend or family member to lead the case for them. Disability Act 2010 is quite straight and simple and there is plenty of guidance everywhere online.

Just that your Medieval mind thinks something is right, because "it's just business" or "it's bad for business", it does not mean that in modern, tolerant, academic society your caveman views are anyhow accepted.

To be honest I am amazed how nobody as of yet took this mafia like landlord establishment to court over this issue :D

"I'm afraid that the issue of a business decision not to rent to DSS can never go away."

Exactly that!!! When will you get into your little narrow mind that you can't refuse a disabled person because you think they'll be bad for business, or it's a hustle to deal with the Council or whatever. It's no excuse. It's like you'd tell a disabled person they can't come into McDonalds because they're disabled or in a wheelchair. DO YOU UNDERSTAND !?!?!

"The fact that a tenant is also disabled is irrelevant"
Your logic is irrelevant.

"They are being declined because they are in receipt of HB."
Which they are in recipient of because they are Disabled !!!!

"I accept that because most disabled are in receipt of HB that effectively they will always be discriminated against by any LL who is not permitted by his lender to accept DSS tenants."
It's not a matter of acceptance you cohering on breaking a law!!!

"Clearly, it is outrageous that a lender can have this as a mortgage condition."
YOU CAN'T IT'S AGAINST A LAW, JUST LIKE PPI INSURANCE WAS.
DOHHH BANKS ARE NOT ALL LEGAL THEY ARE MONEY SHARKS

But LL must comply
NO YOU DON'T YOU SHEEP!!!

Why don't one of the disabled charities takes lender to court to establish the legal precedent?
BEATS ME!!!

And so on... and on....

Well, let's hope someone wakes up soon and take it to court. Truth is that all the institutions set up in this country to apparently support the vulnerable on such matters are providing limited, incomplete, peculiarly selected bits of information, where if you closely analyze the process which they take you trough, it leads you to a conclusion that they are all set up for one reason, to do everything in their power to discourage you from going to court.

That's it, I said everything that could be said on this subject.

Equality Act 2010

1. INDIRECT DISCRIMINATION -> Crating condtions which discriminate against disabled while covering a wider social group. Therefor it does not matter that the policy include a wider group than just disabled, it's still discrimination.

2. DISCRIMINATION ARISING FROM DISABILITY -> 60% Disabled rely on benefits to get by, therefor not renting do LHA Disabled tenant is discrimination.

SEND AGENCY / LL LETTER
WAIT 28 DAYS FOR REPLY

IF THEY REFUSE TO COMPLY

FIND SOMEONE THAT WILL REPRESENT YOU
SEND A1 CLAIM FORM AND DX160 FORM TO COURT
GET A FREE HEARING, SHOW YOUR CASE

100% WIN

287
Guest Avatar
Paul 6th August, 2016 @ 05:51

I have to say I fully support your sentiments
I also accept that I am most definitely a sheep!!
I will NOT be leading any campaign for Disabled rights
You are totally correct in your assessment of what is going on.
I am as much a victim of these circumstances as you.
I believe you would have the support of ALL LL who would wish to see this NO DDS tenants mortgage condition removing.
It is effectively constructively discriminating against disabled tenants.
I will NOT be the sacrificial lamb as far as any case against my lender is concerned.
I wish you well.
I believe you should contact the major lenders quoting all that you have requesting they abolish this mortgage condition from AL of their mortgage conditions.
Potentially you might like to encourage the major charities to pursue a legal action against the lenders via a Judicial Review.
You are clearly well versed in all the relevant info and would make an excellent advocate for your campaign against the reprehensible business practices of lenders disallowing any tenant in receipt of benefits to be a tenant of a mortgaged LL.
I fully support all your contentions and would wish you well
I am already supporting a JR against S 24 which has the ability to make many DS tenants homeless
If you doubt the effects of S 24 have a read on property118 about
Summer Budget- Landlords Reactions
All 873 pages of the thread.
S 24 along with the OBC and welfare freeze will see many more disabled tenants booted out unless they pay substantially increased rents.
LL will have little alternative.
It is not good news for tenants and LL alike
I would suggest you campaign against S24 first to get that overturned and then work on the lenders NO DSS mortgage condition.
S24 will be affecting many
So contact Shelter and advise them what idiots they are being in not accepting how detrimental S 24 will be to DSS tenants including disabled tenants.
You could extrapolate S24 to say that S 24 will force LL to evict DSS tenants for better paying tenants so that the S24 taxes may be paid!!!
That includes MANY disabled tenants.
Govt will effectively be discriminating against disabled tenants.
See the unintended effects of Govt meddling in a tax regime for sole trader LL that has been in place for over 200 years!!
The question EVERY DSS tenant should ask of their LL is

Are you curently a mortgaged sole trader LL and if so do you intend to incorporate including my current rental property with you!??
If the ans is a negative time to find an unmortgaged or corporate LL who WON'T be affected by S24.
However it is highly likely that as sole trader LL are forced to increase rents to pay for S24 tax then other LL NOT subject to S24 will also increase rents.
So S24 will affect all tenants with increasing rents!!!
Get every disabled charity to protest against S24
Your rental properties are at risk
Many LL will just sell up to homeowners and this will mean fewer rental properties and even higher rents.
Silly old Govt doesn't understand the market!!

288
Guest Avatar
Benji 6th August, 2016 @ 15:39

@Paul Legal,

You make a good argument but I'm afraid I disagree.

For a claim to be successful you would need to prove landlords were indirectly discriminating against disability, which they aren't (at least the vast majority aren't), they are discriminating for financial reasons, which is entirely legal.

That is why there is no case law to back up your position.

289
Guest Avatar
Benji 6th August, 2016 @ 15:49

@Paul Legal,

You also quote s15 of the Equality Act but you fail to mention the important bit of s15(2);

"(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if A shows that A did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that B had a disability.”

290
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 7th August, 2016 @ 22:44

To sum up those that are mortgaged LL are mostly NOT permitted by their lenders to take on DSS tenants
Any LL is permitted on financial grounds only to refuse to take on a DSS tenant
Most disabled tenants are on some form of benefit which it seems for most lenders qualifies them as DSS tenants
Any LL should consider equally any disabled tenant with an able bodied one providing they are financially capable of meeting the Tenancy requirements of the LL
Any LL that refuses a disabled tenant because of the possibility of damaging works to a property to make it manageable for a disabled person is entitled to do so
Minor repairs that could easily be managed if the disabled tenant vacated and paid for by the vacating tenant should be acceptable to the LL
LL who refuse to deal with DAS tenants because of the complex benefits process are entitled to do so
So if equal rent is payable by two tenant possibilities one being DSS the other not a LL is perfectly within his rights to refuse the DSS tenant because of perceived and actual DSS issues
That in a nutshell is the debate and there is nothing any DSS tenant can do about it
Taking on DSS tenants is ultimately a business decision
Nobody can force a LL to take on a DSS tenant if he choose not to

291
Guest Avatar
Daryl 12th August, 2016 @ 11:11

There are so many ways to back ground check people, talk to previous landlords, get good references etc etc. Blindly putting no dss is just bloody stupid. Dss is guaranteed money every month from the government,It will always be there. a working person could easily lose their job. Instead of bluntly stating no dss why don't LL just take that extra 5 mins to actually see the persons/families circumstances. Having a dss tenant could be the best thing you ever do.

292
Guest Avatar
Paul 12th August, 2016 @ 18:03

Daryl
You clearly haven't read all this thread otherwise you wouldn't have made some of the comments you have.
You'll find most LL actually agree with you but there are other issues which causes them to say NO DSS.

Read the thread and then you'll understand!
You'll find that for most LL it is 'THE SYSTEM' that causes them to state NO DSS, not the fact that they are DSS tenants.

Fix the'THE SYSTEM' and potentially the prejudices against DSS tenants will disappear.

Remember it is as you have stated well known that the vast majority of DSS tenants are good people.
It is not that which causes LL to decline them.
Blame 'THE SYSTEM' not the LL!

293
Guest Avatar
David 16th August, 2016 @ 09:43

@Daryl

As much as I might agree with your politics your opinion is uninformed, read the thread, especially my posts!!

Seriously.

It is not THE SYSTEM is the market conditions, the solution to this is to build 5 million starter homes, this will create supply, reduce demand and rents will drop.

Referencing can be had for £25 by landlord associations, but if you are a Landlord, just call the old Landlord and ask one question:

Would you rent to this tenant again?

DSS is NOT guaranteed money, I do not know where you have been but the Con Gov has been suspending people's benefits, as soon as that happens the Tenant does not have the money.

Even for the disabled where it was guaranteed money the ConGov operated DWP is carrying out shady practices. Someone gets put into the "support group" which means they have a serious disability and can't do any kind of work (the other group is called WRAG - Work Related Activity Group).

So because the Job Centre are not allowed to ask people in the Support Group to come in for an interview they started reporting them routinely for fraud at 65 weeks. (Google it).

This stops all benefits immediately and potentially for months.

David Cameron lied to Parliament about the existence of DEATH STATS, the ICO had already confirmed they existed. The ConGov tried to massage them but they showed that since 2010 they had killed an extra 65,000 people. There are a plethora of reports of suicide but for most families they keep it quiet because of the shame. I know one person who went to wilkinsons, got a tow rope and hung himself right opposite a councils offices.

If you take the time to read the thread you will see that Benefits are based on LHA, the lowest 30th percentile of rents in an area. So if as a landlord you are not renting a slum you might quite reasonably want more than that.

The madness is that anyone can fall off the ladder, they can lose their job, not be entitled to benefits for quite a while so does saying no to DSS mean evicting people who fall on hard times?

If a Landlord rents a four bed property to a family who by the Council rules only need three they will only get 75% of the rent, regardless of the square footage. You are literally better off knocking two rooms to get into one. I had one client who was paying a rent of £1000 for a four bed, they had lived there for 10 years. The market rent for a 3 bed was £1000, so kicking them out would have cost the same, but the Council figured they could get them into some shitty property out of catchment of the schools, so they paid £700, result, Landlord loses £300 a month.

The "SYSTEM" is not going to change, building more homes is the only answer. The Market will do the rest.

294
Guest Avatar
Paul 16th August, 2016 @ 11:05

@David
Very good post which I entirely agree with
As a LL I would like to see a substantially reduced PRS and a vastly increased social housing and homeowner sector.
Whilst we have open borders as a council house allocation based on need rather than where in the queue you are we will continue to have immigrants who have priority over British Nationals for social housing.
We need millions of social housing properties
ALL non-British nationals should be removed from social housing and they should be forced to use the PRS.
Social housing should be for British nationals only irrespective of need.
The SYSTEM is broken as is the market.
The market simply can't work with open borders.
The SYSTEM could easily be fixed, but Govt won't allow it to be as it will cost them more money
The eviction system being a classic example of the SYSTEM conspiring against DSS tenants.
We need to have a social housing building programme of about 5 million
Unfortunately most of these will be to house EU immigrants who will have the right to remain.
We also have a problem in that Commonwealth Nationals are allowed to take social housing
No dual British National should be allocated social housing
Govt needs to take lenders to task about some of their discriminatory mortgage conditions which prevents LL taking on certain tenants.
RTB should be banned across the UK.
But we have a dysfunctional PRS through no fault of most LL.
Just in case any LL is unaware there is an organisation called landordreferencing.co.uk which does facilitate being able to contact a fellow previous LL.
If EVERY LL joined as members which I think is £10 they could stop every wrongun tenant!!
£25 for a reference is inadequate and NOT fit for purpose
The LRS reference is far superior and costs about £40 but if passed qualifies the tenant for RGI
This current Govt has to accept that it has to rectify the past political mistakes made by numerous Govts; the biggest being open borders which now requires a mass social housing building programme.
Brexit will take some time to achieve and we will be suffering from open borders for years.
But it is definitely the case that those who fall on hard times are not being done any favours and unfortunately LL have little alternative than to evict or just not take certain tenants on.
The tax pressures on LL are now increasingly burdensome
They will cause rents to increase
Times are going to be very hard for sole trader LL and tenants alike in the coming years

295
Guest Avatar
Big Dave 20th August, 2016 @ 21:06

What a disgusting and vile website with mostly disgusting and vile landlords.

Society now places landlords up there with bankers, bookmakers, sherriff officers and Police.

Landlords deserve all the misfortune and malice ehich they bring upon themselves. They wish to rent their 5 bed villas to a single 'professional' person who does all their shitting at work and only inhabits their property to sleep for 6 hours.

I've rented 6 properties in the past 8 years all over the SW and I haven't paid more than a deposit for any of them. Quite a feet which I'm now even more proud of having stumbled across this website. Tenants don't care how long you've worked or saved or your bleeding heart stories about unpaid remt or damages, it ain't their problem. Until you have a proper system in place to manage tenants akin to the credit scoring system they were always suffer issues sometime. This won't happen however as it would involve effort and money to manage, both of which are bad words to the greedy fuckers who bleed people dry who are only trying to atain a roof over their heads.

In short landlords deserve all they get by way of undesirable tenants, they may think they have the upperhand but they don't. Clever renters like myself would be able to rent anyone of your properties the same way as most landlords convince their tenants that they themselves are nice, friendly and approachable people.

Coming to your house soon perhaps

Best wishes,

BDW

PS in the very near future all landlords will be forced to accept disabled people with income only from benefits. In the same way a hotelier cannot refuse accomodation to a gay couple for example. Landlords are running businesses, if you refuse a disabled person then you won't be able to operate as a landlord.

296
Guest Avatar
Paul 20th August, 2016 @ 21:59

Big Dave,
Oh dear!!
You are just the sort of tenant that LL do their best to avoid taking on.
You seem to believe it is your right to do as you wish with an asset which someone has worked and struggled for
You are typical of the feckless scroungers we good LL do our best to avoid.
You have got away with it because many LL do not carry out full checks on scroungers like you
As such it is their fault they end up with tenants like you.
The problem is scum like you spoil it for all the good tenants out there who have less than good references; but would otherwise make excellent tenants.
You are part of the minority that spoil it for the majority
There will NEVER be a day that LL will be forced to take on HB tenants; some of whom maybe disabled.
If the UK becomes a Communist state then you may get your wish; but would stake my life on that NEVER occurring in the UK for as long as I live.
I also guarantee that the idiot Corbyn won't ever be Labour Prime Minister!!

You are part of the deluded minority that believe LL should provide you with their capital to make your life easier
That is not how it works old chum!!
You really need to re-evaluate the way you conduct yourself as you have a completely distorted view of your own importance and your alleged rights
You have NO rights to occupy any of my properties UNLESS I choose to accept you.

All good LL want good tenants
You sound like the tenants from hell that I have experienced.
It is an indictment on society that there are scum like you that are facilitated by the system to get away with abusing good people.
You are the sort of person most would gladly put up against a wall and deal with courtesy of a few hollowpoints.
Unfortunately scum like you are protected by a dysfunctional legal system that is 100% in the favour of wronguns like you.
We good LL do our best to avoid tenants like you; but inevitably you slip through the net to cause untold grief to such good LL.
You damage the reputation of most tenants and cause LL to be very circumspect as to who they choose to accept as tenants.
One day a LL who is NOT so precious about abiding by the current legal system will be the cause of your comeuppance.
So if I was you I would be very careful what you do in the future
You could come severely unstuck!!

297
Guest Avatar
David 23rd August, 2016 @ 18:48

Big Dave is a wind up merchant hoping to get a rise out of you.

No point responding to anything he says because it is bullshit

298
Guest Avatar
Catherine 2nd September, 2016 @ 22:54

My landlady has no idea I am now on housing benefit after losing my job and my husband in the space of two months and I have no intention of telling her.
She gets her rent every month. Often early, in fact. Me and my son have a roof over our heads. Everyone's happy.
I don't know why so many LLs refuse to take DSS, when for all they know they could be anyway! Circumstances can change rapidly and the whole reason HB started being paid directly to the claimant and not to the LL was to enable the tenant to choose wether or not to tell their landlord and risk being evicted.
If LLs are so upset about HB no longer being paid directly to them, perhaps they shouldn't have spent years treating HB claimants like lepers and subsequently made them want to hide the fact that they are claiming.

299
Guest Avatar
David 3rd September, 2016 @ 16:35

@Catherine

Ignorance is bliss and as long as you have the money to pay I am sure there will not be a problem.

If you are in a 2 bed property you are fine, but if you had 3 to allow for guests or having another child they will not pay your full rent and it would only be a matter of time before you fell behind.

Even if you had 2 beds and they paid the full rent it is extremely difficult to last long on benefit. Even if you immediately cut out the luxuries, things like heating bills, a car repair can put you in debt. Even food costs are difficult, plus your son's expenses, a uniform for school that is only available at the most expensive shop.

The trick is to cut back early because it is getting back into work that will cost you the most. Your benefits will stop, you will have go to work expenses and you may get less pay than you expected. If you have an overdraft expect the bank to cut it when they see less money coming in. That can be a double whammy, they cut it by £40 a month but still hit you for £25 interest so it is the same as paying £65.

You are SO right that circumstances can change rapidly, as I have said above, anyone can fall off the ladder. The biggest risk to a landlord of someone going on benefits is over occupancy. If you had 3 beds and only needed two they would pay the LHA rate for a 2 bed in your area, often is can be 25% less. Nobody can last long with that sort of hit.

Landlords just want their rent paid and the property kept in reasonable condition, but you can never risk telling them if you want to stay.

Having said that, if you are prepared to go through a year of uncertainty, it may be worth your while telling them.

If they were really nice they may take a hit on the rent, but you would have to inform the Local Authority so no benefit to you. They may decide this is a time to issue a section 21 and put up the rent.

If they did that you would be housed as long as you did not ask them to make you homeless nor cause yourself to be homeless by not paying rent or being antisocial.

You would probably spend a year in temporary accomodation and no more than 2 years legally. You would get whatever Council/HA property was available, some have choice based lettings, but in reality there is no choice at all, you must bid on at least 3 appropriate properties and they decide which one you get.

Social housing areas vary, some are awful, some are tolerable and some are quite nice, but you never know who your neighbours will be. They can be lovely or the scum of the earth, In my experience few have any respect for themselves and evem less for others.

Still on the face of it I would still recommend it, because your rent could be around 40% less than commercial rents and after 3 to 5 years you may have a right to buy at a knock down price.

I have even seen some Councils putting people into part ownership properties, it depends on their ability to pay.

Depending on where you live you might spend a lot less time in temp accomodation, if you bid only on properties owned by housing associations that did not just inherit old Council properties you might get a modern house or flat.

The simple fact is that with demand so high and not enough houses being build commercial rents will continue to increase, so you are on borrowed time.

I wish you well, it must have been very hard on you but you sound like a survivor. Time to look after number one now!

300
Guest Avatar
Catherine 3rd September, 2016 @ 18:29

@David

Thank you for your kind words.

I have actually completed my claim and have just gone into my third month of being a DSS tenant and everything is going smoothly. I am aware I am entitled to only two bedrooms and thankfully, that is all I have. I paid my rent today and it is due Monday. Its tough but a childhood in poverty taught me to manage my money well. I vowed I would never again be in a difficult financial situation and my son would not have the childhood I did but redundancy and the loss of my husband has plunged us into it. Never mind. We will get to where we want to be again with hard work.

I didnt really want to decieve my landlady. She is a nice lady and I would rather be straight with her. Her original advert did say "no DSS" so I looked for somewhere else that did take DSS so I could give her my notice. Unfortunatly this was impossible as all the adds on rightmove and my local papers looked like this:

NO DSS
NO DSS
NO DSS OR CHILDREN
NO DSS

The feeling against HB claimants appeared so hostile to me that, feeling pretty vulnerable, I didnt dare tell her.

The council, stretched to their limits, put me on the housing list but strongly recommended I stay where I was. They said they would not leave me homeless but I would have to go in temporary accomodation for a minimum of 18 months. They gave me the address and told me to go and look at the place and then decide what to do. I did and what I saw made me sob. A tiny room for me and my son. People sitting drinking in the corridors.Rubbish everywhere. Notices in the communal bathrooms asking people to stop leaving their needles lying around.

What woman, worthy of the title of Mother would live there with a 3 year old, especially a 3 year old who has also just lost his daddy, when she had a choice?

My heart breaks for the people who do not have a choice.

So I have stayed put. But I hope that something can be done to change the negative attitudes towards HB claimants and each case judged on its own merit. Not just by landlords but by lenders and banks too. I am just someone who has accepted a little help for the time being. I am not lazy, greedy, untrustworthy or stupid. I am a hardworking woman with a degree I paid for and a strong desire to look after myself and my family.

Thats my two pence worth in, any way.

Thanks again Dave

301
Guest Avatar
Catherine 3rd September, 2016 @ 19:03

Oh and on a different note, I really enjoy these blogs! The blogger's style is direct, to the point and very funny.

I do have a sense of humour under all my sob-stories and secrets, so keep up the good work!

God knows the world needs laughter

302
Guest Avatar
Paul 4th September, 2016 @ 23:33

@ Catherine
I think you misunderstand the No DSS thing.
It isn't against HB tenants per we, it is the system that facilitates the HB that is not fit for purpose.
This is why most LL day No DSS.
You are obviously a very good tenant and through misfortune have had to become reliant to some degree on HB.
This shouldn't be a problem for the LL until you do not have sufficient monies to pay the required rent.
Rents will be increasing rapidly in the coming years due to S24 of the Finance Act.
Tenant Tax is coming though few LL even know about it!!
For existing LL who have now discovered that their tenant has now been on HB even though not at tenancy outset.
I don't believe any mortgage lender would require any LL to evict any tenant who wasn't on HB at the outset of a tenancy.
The requirement for LL not to take on HB tenants is at tenancy commencement.
Unfortunately the system is rigged against HB tenants
HB tenants don't deserve the system they have
They deserve one that works properly for them which currently it doesn't.
LL react to such system dysfunction by refusing to accept DDS system
No LL has anything against HB tenants.
Their money, if in sufficient quantity is just as good as anyone else's money.
Govt and banks need to end their discrimination against HB tenants.

Your LL is unlikely to seek your removal
That time will come when you are unable to meet your rent requirements.
That time will come eventually as the OBC is coming where the maximum is now reduced.
So you need to plan for reduced income.

303
Guest Avatar
Catherine 5th September, 2016 @ 09:37

Hi Paul

Thanks for your reply.

You are right. I did misunderstand the DSS thing and it did feel personal. For some landlords, I think it still is.

There is widespread disdain in our society for anyone on benefits. Programmes that seem to be on channel 5 every evening with "benefits" in the title do nothing to dispell the myth that everyone on benefits is a worthless, lazy chav who would sell their grandmother for their next swig of white lightning. The tabloids, particularly the delightful Daily Mail love nothing better than a story about a benefit scrounger. Personally, it baffles me as to why anyone enjoy these stories and programmes. They are mind numbingly tedious, but each to their own.

Letting agents visably look down their noses at you the minute you mention DSS but I guess I shouldn't worry myself about the opinions of those twats.

Having said all that, this very interesting and informative blog has shown me the LL's point of view, and I now see that it is the system that causes the problems and not the tenants and I can totally see the position LLs are in.

It is a crap system. I was in a better position than most as I had my husband's life insurance to cover the rent until the council stopped fucking about and helped a girl out. I was therefore able to make the to make the transition with my LL being none the wiser. But my god, did they fuck about. I have no previous experience of claiming HB and I had assumed it was just my bad luck. It appears from what I have learned here that no, they fuck everyone about. How depressing. I wonder why. Perhaps they enjoy it, or perhaps it's a deterrant. Most likely its because a load of people went into polling stations thinking it was a good idea to let a bunch of public schoolboys with no concept of reality run our country.

But I digress.

Thank you for the heads up about tenant tax. I will have to look into this. My plan is not to stay on HB but to get back to work asap so hopefully I won't have yo concern myself with it much longer. That will be a happy day.

Catherine

304
Guest Avatar
David 8th September, 2016 @ 20:15

@Catherine

You are doing all the right things and I hope you get back into appropriate work ASAP so you can rebuild your new life.

You seem to be very sensible, you can do a budget and you know you can cover rent, so all is fine, hopefully no bumps in the road for you.

Anyone can fall off the ladder, even Landlords who over extend themselves and end up in a bad market where they have negative equity and rents that will not cover mortgages. Of course when they end up on benefits it is a rude awakening.

What I hate is where the DWP or Job Centre play games with people's lives by suspending benefits. The roll on effect causes them to be evicted; they end up in debt with a bad credit record which pretty much means you are a non-citizen these days.

To be honest I understand the business decision why Landlords can't take DSS, what I do not forgive is the tarring all with same brush.

I think you were spot on not to tell her.

The housing people are stretched to their limits but as long as you have a child you are highest priority in temp accommodation. Most of the ones I have seen have completely separate singles and families areas. So chances are you were shown that to scare you. They have a duty of care to provide you with a safe place. Most family units are self-contained with own bathroom and kitchen, sometimes you share bathroom and kitchen with one other family. Do not get me wrong, they are not palaces and very hard to go through, but it depends where you see yourself. With Gov policy on right to buy it could be a way for you to get foot on ladder to your own place.

I have seen mothers with children in same area housed in 3 months or up to a year, there is no minimum, it all depends on what housing comes up. Fact is they are breaking the law if they have you there for more than 2 years so most turn the screws on your bidding if you are not housed in a year. By turn the screws I mean they bid for you. If you win bid and decline more than 2 properties you get thrown off bidding and you lose your place in temp accommodation.

I am not sure whereabouts you are, but these are two social housing property lists from different areas of UK

https://www.dorsethomechoice.org/dorset-homechoice/PdfFiles/PublicFreesheet.pdf

http://www.hertschoicehomes.org.uk/choice/PDFFiles/PublicFreesheet.pdf

Most mothers in your position would ideally want a 2 bed house and they do come around, but when you join the best thing to do is bid on the best 3 two bed places you can find because you will be banking bids, the average number of bids you make may be used later by you or Local Authority.

You will join scheme at a higher priority than say a single vulnerable person, but you are competing with every other person seeking a 2 bed place. That may include an already housed couple with a child and a baby on the way who may be in a one bed place. You might have a sudden influx of refugees, some travellers who work the system, a property that had a fire so all tenants were housed temporarily; anything can increase demand, at the same time properties get built all the time.

You should also look at HA's directly for their part ownership and similar schemes, is there any chance of payment from Ex?

I would hang about that temp housing place between 4pm and 5pm, speak to some of mothers returning from picking up their kids from school and ask them for real picture. Find out who runs it for HA call head office and ask them what family accommodation is like.

Councils will do anything to put you off because once you join their list they have a legal obligation to you. Sometimes those legal obligations clash, for example one might say they have to take certain needs into account while another might say they have to shove you into whatever because of a time limit.

You cannot make yourself homeless or you will not qualify to go on list, you have to have your tenancy end with your landlord not wanting to renew or you have to be evicted on no fault S21. Even then they will ask Landlord if they will keep you on. If your tenancy has 3 months to run you might tell your landlady you are now DSS as your circumstances have changed. If she is prejudiced it is better to find out at a time when she and you can part company amicably.

Facilities in temp accom vary, you usually get a room for your son and you sleep in living area, some are double size and you share a sofabed. If it was a really bad area they would be telling you that B&B is all they have to offer. They are only allowed to use that for 6 weeks but some break the law.

In would be difficult, but it is a stepping stone to a better place. It sounds like you saw the singles area. Most of these places now have quite strict antisocial behaviour rules and they operate a yellow card scheme. Basically everything you do against rules is antisocial behaviour from smoking in communal areas, shouting, litter and drugs. They can evict someone in 2 days and that person is banned for 6 months from bidding and a place in temp accommodation.

You make the point that people have a choice, but I saw a mother who got a private place with a rent she could not afford just to keep her daughter in her school. It was only one bed (she slept on sofabed), she fell out with Landlady when she required a proper gas safety inspection after finding certificate was faked. You may want to consider the area, is this the only place you have a “local connection” with, would you have better choices if you returned to where you grew up (if different)?

It is not about being worthy or having a choice to be on benefits, it is about taking a realistic view of where you will be 12m down the road if things do not improve or 5 years down the line if they DO improve.

I have no doubt you would do ANYTHING for your son, but at 3 years all he needs to know is you love him and that things will improve when you have finished your journey. At that age you can make everything an adventure.

I have seen people who did not have a choice take their own life when having done all the things we are told to do they still ended up on the scrap heap.

As a single mother you have to think of yourself and your son; will the private market rent situation improve anytime soon? Will you be able to get a job that gives you a chance to survive let alone thrive? Our home is our most expensive outgoing, getting into a social or affordable place may be the best thing you can do long term.

If you look at those PDF examples above you can see on page 4 of the Herts one a 2 bed house for £196 per week, just took a look on rightmove as I do not know the area and private prices range from £265 to £437 PLUS FEES. A 2 bed social housing flat in Welwyn is £113 PW plus £8 service charge and has a shared garden. You need to find the LHA allowance for the potential properties for you (2 bed flat and 2 bed house). Look at what properties are available on OpenRent and other online placed listed on this site (@landlord usually puts a link in when I say that). Figure out the reality of your situation, are you already priced out of the market or denied it because of referencing?

If you find the housing system website for your area you can download their list and see what your choices might be.

Nothing will be done to change the negative attitudes, the press just tell you who to hate, they rotate between those on benefits, immigrants, the disabled, Elderly, anything that sells. The Gov encourage this because their strategy is that as long as you are hating and blaming others you will not blame them.

They also have a mission to keep everyone believing in the system, a system that might see you save all your life for a home that does not go to your son, but gets sold off to pay for a care home where every ounce of dignity is taken from you.

Lenders, sorry you must be kidding, they could not change if they wanted to. Gov has demanded that they improve their debt to security ratios and at the same time they must make sure borrowers can afford repayments. Affordable homes to buy means a £40k deposit and a salary of £40k when average salary is £24k and who the hell has £40k in bank!

Even if by some inheritance or divorce settlement you could afford it then it would be too far from your job to make commute practical or affordable. Reality is it usually takes two people to afford it but I would not bother.

My property investment strategy would be not to buy in the UK, prices are just too high. I would invest in certain US locations where you can repay the mortgage rapidly from rentals and use the money to double up and add to your portfolio.

However, for UK your best bet in your situation is social housing, you get your place because of your circumstances; you did not cause them but you have to make the best of them and you may never have a chance again. In 3 to 5 years you will be back on your feet and have a right to buy your HA home and it will be sold to you at a subsidy albeit not as much as in Thatcher era.

You do not need to feel guilty for accepting a little help, you paid in, it is an insurance policy and unlike the scumbag insurance companies, this one pays out. You are entitled to claim and trust me if they did not want to pay they would find reasons to cut you off.

The thing is you are at a crossroads, it is not right, but the fact is that women are highly dependent on men and men to a lesser extent on women. A man would not have the chance for social housing by himself unless he was vulnerable which is pretty much impossible when they gatekeep people with severe mental illness an COPD.

Now I am sure that at some point you might consider a new partner, but that is way more complicated with a little man in your life, the criteria way higher! So you have to think about becoming independent, in private accommodation you may get a place for 6 months and then be evicted because the landlord wants to increase rent or sell up or whatever.

You have your degree and your inner strength, so now it is about deciding what is the best option for you and your son? Even if it were 18m in temp accom, which I doubt, it might be a price worth paying to find the right home where you can finally feel secure.

I was speaking to a guy a few months back, he had been a year in temp accom, it was bad because he did not know when it would end. It was clean and well maintained, yes there were a few undesirables, but they got rid of them quite quickly because of their behaviour.

He was so grateful to not be on the street and when he was finally housed he told me he would never give up the flat, except in a body bag!

In the current climate, even if the ConGov went on a massive flat and housebuilding program (which they are not) the market will not change in the next 5 years. Brexit is at least 2 years away and all that will do is replace EU immigrants with non EU immigrants, the only difference is we might get some control. Issue is not the immigrants it is the lack of infrastructure (homes, schools, hospitals, GP surgeries etc).

Anyway your two pence is worth hearing because you are just one of many decent people who are badly portrayed just because of a situation you had no control over. From what you have said I have enormous respect for you because of your attitude and resilience. I have no doubt that you can cope with any situation that life throws at you, but we all need some control. There is no security or control in a private rental market that can put you on street every 6 months. In social housing after a year you typically get lifetime tenancy, you can swap within system if your needs change. No agency fake charges, no abuse from landlords, yes some bad tenants come and go but you can report them and get them booted out. I have no doubt you can survive and get back on your feet jobwise but you will still have that axe hanging over your head.

I used to believe in buying your own place but unless you already have a property the drawbridge has been raised. We have a whole tranche of society denied the opportunity to own their own home, ever. I do not blame Landlords because they are in a business and I believe in free market economics, but that market has become distorted so that the ratio between earnings and ability to borrow is impossible to reconcile. The only solution is for Gov to go on massive home building programme so the free market will adjust (increased supply lowers demand and prices), sadly that is not going to happen.

I have always believed in turning adversity into opportunity; if you had just split with your Ex you would not have access to social housing, it is the combination of this and losing your job that has given you the option. Yes there is a barrier to entry, but there needs to be. If your circumstances change then you may always go back into private renting but you will not have this option to access social housing should that happen.

It is hard because of the stigma but financially with a social rent you will be able to give your son more because you will have a more disposable income. You could let fate decide by informing your landlady of your change of circumstance. Do not ever ask her to end your tenancy or you will have made yourself homeless and lose right to access social housing. You could say “based on what you have said to me before I will totally understand if you decide to end my tenancy but I will always try to pay the rent to the best of my ability”, then let her decide. In my experience you can only manage for a while, especially if you run a car or have any expenses that benefits simply do not allow for. There will be no increase in benefit in this parliament but prices will rise, they already are, I noticed ALDI are going through a price increase programme, a few items each week. They are doing this because of uncertainty of Brexit and because the Pound is worth less.

I wish you all the best whatever you decide; do let us know!

305
Guest Avatar
Paul 9th September, 2016 @ 18:23

Much of what you say I agree with.
However you must understand that you cannot force LL to do things against their will.
Forcing LL out of business won't do any favours for tenants.
Most LL could cash out of their business.
This leaves tenants homeless.
Not that I consider myself to have any housing obligations
I could easily cash out and leave 12 tenants homeless.
I do not care per se for those tenants if I choose to redeploy my capital by exiting the PRS.
If too many LL determine to make the same move to exit the PRS this will leave millions of homeless tenants.
I could just as easily deploy my capital to invest in holiday accommodation which would prevent me being subject to S24
By the stupid taxation measures being introduced many LL will be forced out of business.
LL do not prevent homebuyers from buying which was the alleged reason S24 was introduced, though funnily enough rich LL and those who invested via corporate entities who are not to be subject to S24 are deemed not to be preventing homebuyers from buying.
I fail to see how about 450000 mortgaged sole trader LL who are the poorer LL are deemed to be preventing alone FTB.
You obviously have an agenda and I would suggest that until you have experienced being a LL you don't understand what you are talking about.
This is a shame as you make you points cogently though mostly incorrectly.
Clearly a sensible level of debate could be had.
I just haven't the time to do so to rebut some of your arguments.
Perhaps others will take you to task over some of your incorrect points.
I do agree with much of what you state, just not the bits about LL
You are mistaken about LRS, they are a legally compliant business.
I will be using them in future to prevent wrongun tenants becoming tenants of mine.
LL need to ensure that tenants will pay rent.
Your lack of understanding as to the eviction process is something you could educate yourself by reading the previous posts.
You may then understand the LL dilemma!

306
Guest Avatar
Catherine 11th September, 2016 @ 21:27

This thread has now moved on and is a little over my head!

Thanks to those that have offered advice. In answer to questions regarding payment from ex, I am widowed, so no ex.

We were fortunate enough to benefit from his life insurance which does help and we are able to keep our apartment which is much nicer than most DSS tenants would be able to afford. I am only 29 so not eligable for a widows pension.

In any case, I was offered a job on Friday so things are looking up.

Thanks again for the replies, I have learnt a lot

Catherine

307
Guest Avatar
David 12th September, 2016 @ 00:24

@Catherine

I am SO sorry to not have considered that you were widowed, typical bloke!!

I am so glad you got a job offer.

All the best for the future for you and your son.

308
Guest Avatar
Paul 12th September, 2016 @ 01:33

For those interested in the issues concerning this thread have a look at the post on property tribes.com title

5 reasons the PRS is bleeding to death

The post highlights the issues that this thread has raised.
Essentially it will mean even more discrimination against DSS tenants due to LL being forced to make business decisions factoring in the new dynamics caused by various changes to take and benefit regulations.
Unfortunately the years 1996 to 2017 will be looked upon as the hey day for HB tenants.
Those days have now or are nearly gone.
If anyone thinks the situation has been difficult for HB tenants these past 21 years things are going to get a hell of a lot worse!
This is manifestly unfair on those that need to be reliant on benefits, particularly HB.
But LL are being forced by business imperatives to change their business models and unfortunately HB tenants are way down the list for many LL to consider bothering to let to.
This will become even more so as S24 effects etc kick in.
The property tribes post is a wakeup call for all those involved in the PRS and that includes the tenants.

309
Guest Avatar
John Allman 24th September, 2016 @ 03:53

How exciting, to discover a recent web discussion of the legalities of "No DSS", on a landlords' website, with would-be tenants participating!

I am presently a tenant, looking to move, on means-tested benefits, but I have also been an owner-occupier, a buy-to-let landlord, and a rent-to-let landlord.

I work as a freelance paralegal.

I was startled to discover that some buy-to-let mortgages require landlords to discriminate against applicants to become tenants who are on Housing Benefit. That is certainly an eye-opening revelation. It makes for some interesting case law in the offing, as others have hinted.

Firstly, "DSS" is an anachronism, like "MoT", for the same reason, for about half a cnetury (just like "MoT"). I am therefore construing the term "DSS" to be a quaint (if insulting) anachronistic synonym for "persons receiving means-tested benefits, such as those that entitle them to full Housing Benefit".

Legally, it isn't an offence or a tort to discriminate against a chap because he is on benefits, per se. Being poor isn't (for example) a "protected characteristic" in Equality Act terms. Nor is the ECtHR likely to rule that being in a phase of one's life when (in my case) one is claiming back from the state, in some desperation, some of the extortionate tax one paid during the years of plenty of one's career, preventing one from saving up for such a time as this.

However, what if one is entitled to claim a means-tested benefit called Pension Credit, because of one's age, as I shall be in November, and, because of one's entitlement to Pension Credit (as a former tax payer who isn't only poor, but also old - the benefit being both means-tested AND age-tested? Might not turning me down as a tenant, be *indirect* age discrimination? I think it probably would be. I have an inkling already as to how to argue a claim like that in court. Some of the lawyers lurking in this new-to-me forum might think likewise.

If you have a buy-to-let mortgage, and the terms of it require you to inflict indirect age discrimination upon elderly losers (like me), who claim back some of the tax they paid when they were working, as Pension Credit benefit, because they are allowed to do this, now that they are elderly, and are therefore entitled to claim Housing Benefit ... then the clever thing to do is to sign up the old geezer (like me) as your tenant, whatever the mortgagee bank says, and to fight the said mortgagee in court, if they ever find out, arguing that it was unlawful of the bank to try (in the mortgage deed small print) force the landlord to discriminate against old people indirectly, being as what many of us old people have been ripped off by the state, but at least have some benefits to keep body and soul together, and our landlords in funds, under a roof of our own, until we pass away.

310
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 24th September, 2016 @ 09:12

Totally agree with all your post except for the last paragraph
Despite my total agreement with all the previous there is simply no way as a LL that I am prepared to risk having my mortgage called by a lender irrespective of the meritorious case that a tenant in receipt of benefits presents
Lenders do not exactly state what they mean by a DSS tenant
I have seen some state that any state benefit denote you as a DSS tenant!!
Now that would be truly bonkers as most households in the UK are in receipt of some sort of benefit
However there is simply no way I would take a case to court to fight for the interests if a DSS tenant
I neither have the money nor even the interest to do so!
So I am forced by my lender to refuse DSS tenants
It is unclear as nobody has tested this in court as to whether when a tenant receives benefits when at tenancy outset they didn't whether they would be required by the lender to Evict!?
It is simply outrageous that lenders are allowed to have such a discriminatory mortgage condition the sane as insurance companies charging more for LL insurance if the tenants are on benefits
Again no insurance company will tell you what they denote a DAS tenant is!
This leaves LL in such a position that we make a business decision bit to take on DAs tenants accepting that we are potentially missing out on good tenants
We have little alternative than to comply with lender conditions
It simply isn't worth ny Rusk to take on my mortgage lender in court to fight the just uhfiled cause ok f a DEs tenant who once I gave list the case abs been repossessed will just move to another LL!
There is simply no way that I would countenance taking such risks
It is clearly iniquitous that lenders and insurers are allowed to discriminate against DSS tenants
The resultant effect is to then force LL to discriminate
There are many millions of DSS tenants being housed by LL in breach if their mortgage conditions
This mortgage condition along with the one that allows tenancy lengths if no longer than a year should be banned by the Govt
But fir that to occur the eviction laws would need to ve fundamentally changed so that a lender may still easily recover a property no matter how long a tenancy agreement is
It is the existing eviction laws which causes lenders to specify no longer than 1 year for tenancy agreements
'll are as much a victim of these stupid conditions as tenants
Many LL are taking massive risks in letting to DSS tenants which risks their loan being called by a lender
So unfortunately for DSS tenants some LL like me choose the risk free option if not renting to DSS tenants
Am I cowardly LL not prepared to risk all and defend ny tenants in court etc!!???
Too right I am!!!
It really needs say Shekter to take on the likes if the CML and the ABI to remove these discriminatory and iniquitous conditions from their product requirements

311
Guest Avatar
Lorna Lewis 12th November, 2016 @ 20:31

As a landlord and agent I find your attitude quite appalling and one of the reasons British landlords are often seen as 'greedy' by the wider community. Most working families are in receipt of some housing benefit. Even if working, they still qualify for BH on the basis that their income is too low to meet their monthly rent payment. Think about this: if a couple with children are choosing to rent, they will most likely be on a low income otherwise they would buy rather than pay someone else's mortgage!

We use Rent4sure for referencing. They conduct a thorough vetting process. If a prospective tenant has a good credit rating, is in employment and their previous landlord has given a good reference, I don't see why they shouldn't be accepted just because they receive HB. I'd rather a tenant receiving HB than a tenant who doesn't receive HB but has a negative credit rating. If their income meets the affordability criteria I (and my clients) do not give two hoots about the source of the income.

312
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th November, 2016 @ 21:26

@Lorna Lewis
It doesn't even seem like you read the blog post, because my main gripe is with the system, not the actual individual tenant. I've been in situations where good HB tenant's have had their benefits revoked over night... what's the cure for that?

Think about this: why does the choice have to be between a tenant receiving HB and a tenant who doesn't receive HB but has a negative credit rating?

I've never struggled to let a property; I've always been inundated with applicants. So I'd rather choose an applicant that has a full-time steady job and good credit rating.

I'm struggling to understand why choosing the most secure tenant is greedy. Oh well.

313
Guest Avatar
Paul 12th November, 2016 @ 21:49

Lorna you need to read all the posts on this thread to understand what you state us complete twaddle
As the LL has stated we LL have nothing against HB tenants per se who I am sure are fine and upstanding people.. It is the system that conspires against HB tenants.
Even more so that the OBC has been reduced for those lazy HB tenants who can't be bothered to get off their areses and do at least 16 HDS per week which then exempts them from the OBC.
LL make business decisions
That is why many of us refuse to take HB tenants.
There are presently just too many issues regarding the efficacy of such tenants which is of course a great shame.
LL and HB tenants alike are both victims of the system.
Change that and LL will return to letting to HB tenants.
No LL can he forced to take on a HB tenant
We are not social housing providers and I see nothing wrong with being a greedy LL if that is what you call a person who seeks to maximise profits out of an investment rental property.
The whole reason I became a LL was to achieve high rents and capital growth
To me that makes me the same as any other business.
Do you know many businesses that don't seek to maximise income and capital!!
If you do aren't proper businesses
They may well have some sort of social remit in their business model which is fine..
That is not my business model.
I seek to maximise my returns on my capital.
I do not wish to be a social housing provider which us why I refuse to rent to HB tenants because that can't give the returns that other private tenants can.
That is just tough luck on HB tenants few of the him would ever be able to afford to buy.
Things are going to rapidly worse for HB tenants with the now reduced OBC and with S24 starting next year.
Believe LL will be evicting HB tenants and taking on higher rent paying tenants or just selling up as the S24 tenant tax arrives
I feel very sorry for HB tenants but no way have I any intention of taking them on unless they can meet all my business requirements which none of them can!
It is great that you are prepared to take them on and have not such a profitable business model as me..It is up to the individual LL which model he wishes to operate.
I go for the most I can earn whilst still providing good quality rental property.
If this means HB tenants can't rent my properties........Tough!!
I don't owe them or anyone else a rental property.
My business my rules!

314
Guest Avatar
David 13th January, 2017 @ 11:23

It's absolute bullcrap. It should not matter whether a potential tenant is on benefits or not. As long as they pay rent, who cares?

315
Guest Avatar
David 13th January, 2017 @ 20:53

@David

You are right that it SHOULD not matter but the fact is that it DOES matter.

In July 2015 I said the following,

"It IS discrimination, but here is the simple reason why you can't blame landlords.

Housing Benefit is based on something called LHA Allowance

This is set at the LOWEST 30% of rents withing the area.

So in the first place, unless the property is a bit naff, the tenant will have to supplement housing benefit and in the current climate it is unlikely that a tenant could afford this because of heating and other bills.

The exception to this is disabled people and people with disabled children as they get non means tested additional payments for the disability. In fact these make the best long term tenants in my opinion.

The current lack of supply and excessive demand mean that LHA rates will increase over the next few years and housing benefit costs will rise.

This is why the Government policies are NUTS if they actually want to cut public spending.

But then a Governement that increases public spending from £670bn to close to a trillion pounds.

Osbourne failed on 29 of 30 of his own targets as provided to the Office of Budget Responsibility.

The solution to this problem is to build starter homes for young people, they would be social housing but they should then be sold to tenants who want them after 2 or 3 years with the income going back into the house building fund.

This would stimulate the market from the bottom up rather than top down with Russians, Arabs and Chinese as we have now."

My position has not changed, we need a million new homes per annum for 5 years to balance the market and population increase, we do not have such targets and the targets we have are not being achieved.

This is partly the housebuilders who are building in small quanties at a time, then selling those before building more to keep prices articially high, this despite them having planning permission on one site I know to build 3000 homes. They should only be granted permission if they complete the whole site withing 2 years and risk losing the land and all adjoining land they own if they do not build quickly.

What every Landlord needs to know is that anyone can fall off the ladder, in one area I know that 2 bed flats can cost £950 a month, the LHA rate is £625, so only high end earners can afford it, but high end earners are also high risk jobs and when they fall off that ladder the social security pay is £325 less than the rent so arrears grow quickly, in addition to that they may be contracted to luxury services like a full Sky TV package, an expensive car etc.

My feeling is that DSS tenants are better off in social housing because it is the only rent that is actually affordable, the so called "affordable housing" is an oxymoron.

Of course it does not help that this stupid Government scrapped the obligation to build 20% social housing on all housing developments.

That coupled with the right to buy for social tenants will put the housing associations out of business because to offer such low rents they need access to that 20% new build stock. Anyone who can use a calculator can tell you that if they have to buy and build at market rates they can't afford to provide social housing and so again, it will increase the cost of welfare. How stupid is this Government!

Landlords are also screwed when Councils tell tenants to stay put until they are evicted, this is against guidance after a huge enquiry, so now the law is having to be changed to force Councils to house everybody for at least 6 weeks. Quite how they are going to manage that is beyond me, but it is their own stupid fault.

316
Guest Avatar
Ellie 21st June, 2017 @ 01:12

I know a man who is over 35 he is single and homeless. He receives enhanced pip at 559 a month and enhanced esa of around 700 a month. He has seen rooms to rent all bills included for as little as 60 pounds per week so he could afford this without claiming housing benefit. He is a vulnerable adult with physical and mental health problems but he can't rent a place because no one wants to accept anyone who is not working and the council can't help because he has no local connection to anywhere. I am his Unpaid carer. I spend all my time speaking to estate agents, googling spareroom, gumtree, preloved for places for Him to live. It's sad though that people woukd rather leave him on the streets than give him a chance and the same for all homeless people
https://www.change.org/p/minister-for-housing-stop-landlords-estate-agencies-from-refusing-people-on-benefits-from-renting-properties?recruiter=615517049&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

317
Guest Avatar
David 21st June, 2017 @ 08:02

@Ellen

This is an emotive campaign, using the picture of someone who is homeless but you say

"I have IN THE PAST needed to look for a house to rent and I have been turned down by private landlords and housing estate agents as soon as they have found that I am in receipt of benefits."

This is confusing, are you campaigning because you are on benefits and need private accommodation or for the person you mention above.

Someone in that position would have a connection to SOMEWHERE in the UK, where they were born, where they are or have been registered with a GP, even where they had lived on the street for 2 years as long as they had engaged with a local organisation or charity.

At the end of the day the Local Authority has an obligation to house someone like that, but they have to apply where they have the greatest connection. Their local Council will have an obligation to house him for 6 weeks while they determine his eligibility and they may transfer him to where he does have a local connection.

If someone like that has mental health issues they can get support for their application from the people that treat their condition.

Let's face it, they would be better off in Social Housing because am HA will be more sympathetic when benefits are randomly withdrawn which happens regularly and is one of the reasons that Landlords will not take a risk on people with benefits.

If you read my comments on this thread you will see that I am supportive, but I think you are going about this in the wrong way.

You are effectively holding up a baby for your own benefit. You put this vulnerable man front and centre of your campaign, someone with mental health issues who may not even understand or be capable of understanding what you are doing. Something that may cost them what little dignity they have left.

People will look at YOU, they will see someone on benefits who can't work, but can be an "unpaid carer" and who can organise a campaign online. They will ask questions about YOU.

If you really want to help this person, take them to a local housing charity in in Boston Lincs.

http://www.centrepoint-outreach.com

http://www.bostonmayflower.org.uk

they will know how to assert the rights of the person to be housed or identify where they CAN be housed. This person will have to engage with the system, they either move to where they DO have a local connection or they live on street for 2 years and then gain local connection.

You say in your campaign you feel people on benefits are judged, well yes they are, they have to be judged on their ability to meet the obligations of the contract (to pay the rent, to keep the property in good condition etc).

Landlords have to pay the mortgage on properties, if they put in a tenant that can't service the rent they lose the property because they themselves can't pay the mortgage.

As I have said above, it is the system that is wrong, not the landlords. The simple fact is that a Landlord has to make a choice based on risk. The reality is that anyone can fall off the ladder and find themselves on benefits, it will not matter how much tax they have paid, they will be assessed on their status at that moment. If they have two bedrooms but need one, the system will pay the LHA rent for one bed. So a Landlord will look at the risk of this happening.

Maybe what you should be campaigning for is for there to be a national scheme where Landlords can put up a property for rent and that rent is guaranteed by the local authority in the event of a suspension of benefits. Where from day 1 rent is paid direct to the landlord. I know that some local authorities try to do that. Maybe such a scheme would offer tax benefits for the Landlord.

318
Guest Avatar
Jules 24th July, 2017 @ 21:28

Although I'm a private tenant claiming housing benefit, I don't believe it's the private landlords to blame. Fact is the Government has overcrowded our country. Simple as that. Council housing has been sold off,people are complaining these are not replaced. How can that situation go on forever. Where will they be building them when theres no land left but boat loads of people keep coming! Our councils are the ones discriminating. Where's the help for single people? Why are there never one bedroom properties built? Why are under 35 year olds expected to live in a shared property,like a bunch of students. Who is it that created local housing allowence, in most areas a weeks allowence wouldn't cover a night in a shit b&b. They have done that knowing landlords won't touch us with a shortfall in rent because it is impossible to live on. They pay rent directly to tenants instead of landlords, if your skint, starving & your rent payment goes into your bank account what you gonna do? Your gonna use it to eat. Anyone would. They say it's all to encourage people back to work, great. But what about the genuine people who can't just go back to work, like myself I lost a good job due to ill health and find myself on esa, trapped. To add to the pressure I've now got a shortfall in rent to worry about. If the Government expect private landlords to sort there housing crises for them they should cover the rent and their insurance otherwise you can't blame them for refusing. There causing financial suicide all round. Get the population of this country sorted then maybe people have a chance of getting a job, a home.Council housing was meant to be for the poorest,councils turned it into a business so I blame the Government entirely for this housing crises.

319
Guest Avatar
Ella 21st November, 2017 @ 05:30

Oh come on now, were no longer living in the dark ages, were living in the new age where real lives and real people speak a lot for the society we live in. What happens with all this talk about equalism in schools. We must be careful not to send the wrong messages out in society as a whole.Yes, it's fair to say Landlords have a right to concern. I believe it should be the councils who should take the lead in all this. First of all, people can become very ill by becoming homeless, Hense making it extremely difficult to go to work.This alone will be much more costly to the NHS. This can lead to a much more inhabitable society.Many people feel they don't have any civil rights in Uk and feel their much the same as the illegals in the Uk.I think it's time there was a new legislation out for insurance companies not to allow any place for any form of discrimination.Secondly for councils to become guarantors for tenants after all their the ones who refuse to house specific citizens.Everyone should have a right to live humanly.It cost councils a lot more, in the long run, to keep people in hostels and temporary accommodation.full rents should be paid to all refused housing from councils.Landlords, it's not DWP tenants fault it's the councils.

320
Guest Avatar
David 23rd November, 2017 @ 00:52

@Ella

Whilst it is true to say that SOME Councils are terrible at taking on their homeless obligations, most are just trying to get by with a clogged up system.

The majority are trying to get by do all they can, the terrible ones use loopholes in the law to avoid Government edicts and the law is now being changed to make them take on any homeless tenant for at least 6 weeks.

I think there are two aspects to taking DSS tenants, the functional and the dysfunctional.

There may be some debate about the definition of each group but for me the functional are those that can manage their budgets and do NOT have an underlying problem such as drug addiction, alcoholism, mental health conditions or terminal illness.

Remember all DSS tenants are only allowed to rent in the lowest 30% of rent in any area, in addition to that, if any tenant even non DSS has more rooms than they need according to Council rules then they will not be paid their full rent.

So for the functional tenants (and anyone else really) all it takes is a bump in the road and the Tenant will not have the rent. What constitutes a bump in the road? Well it can be anything, less regular hours on a zero hours contract, a problem with the tenants car that they need to get to work because they live in the sticks, loss of a job because their child is sick and the need to take care of them, a break up in a relationship or for the most part, THE DWP THEMSELVES.

Yes the DWP, what a cunch of bunts these people are, they have all sorts of dirty tricks to just decide to suspend a claim. For example falsely accusing thousands of people of fraud at 65 weeks into a claim, they still do this but now it is at random weeks.

Their latest cunning stunt is called Universal Credit, the political message is that "it will make work pay" but the reality is that it is just another way to pay tenants less who do you think is going to take the brunt of it? LANDLORDS.

Universal Credit stops their current payment for 6 weeks but it may be for 6 months, they will be moved from being paid fortnightly to being paid monthly. Remember this is a stunt to pay them less, so even after the delayed money the numbers will not add up, when they first get their new payments they may think they are better off, but that is because they now have their rent paid to tenant instead of directly to Landlord (4 weeks in arrears). Once they pay that rent they will struggle to manage. Some will think that they have more money than they actually do and so will overspend.

The Government is doing this deliberately, they could have easily tapered the payments, but then it would have become more obvious that they are pulling a fast one.

When you look at the failed IT project and costs reported in the Universal Credit system (£40m write off in stage 1 alone)…

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240212473/Analysis-The-IT-risks-facing-Universal-Credit

You have to ask what were the promised benefits of this project? In the climate of austerity I cannot see any real benefits, except perhaps cashflow at the expense of the poorest and most vulnerable.

The stated benefit was that it

“has the POTENTIAL to simplify substantially the working age benefits system, and to make it much clearer to people than at present how their financial position would change on moving from unemployment into work.”

Has the POTENTIAL?

Has the POTENTIAL?

Shit if that is all you need for a public spending business case it is no wonder we are so messed up

How this was worth what will end up being hundreds of millions of pounds on I do not know.

What most people do not realise is that there were already delays built into the previous systems, claims do not start for a certain number of days or weeks, there are all sorts of deductions for this that and the other. So really this is just a way of stealing from the poorest members of our society, remember the majority of people on DSS are the working poor.

One Landlord in Grimsby has recognised the danger of this and has written to their tenants warning them that they better prioritise their rent and issued S21's to 350 tenants just in case they don't.

http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/gap-property-director-defends-eviction-781838

It was reported that the DWP told this landlord "well you can always use their security deposit" which shows the complete and utter ignorance of the DWP.

This is the same DWP that tried to hide the "death stats" and is currently refusing to respond to FOI requests so again being forced by the ICO to comply.

Now @Ella you seem to think the Council should underwrite all this debt as Guarantor, WITH WHAT? The Council is you and me, yes a bigger cohort than Landlords but still the money isn't there.

This is especially true of the dysfunctional group; consider a drug addict or an alcoholic, put any money in their pocket and it will be spent on their addiction. Which is why most social housing landlords have their rent paid directly.

Within the dysfunctional group are those with a mental health problem and those who simply cannot budget. For the latter they may be easily classified as the suckers who buy any product from Brighthouse, but it is worse than that.

It could be anyone on lowish pay who buys an Iphone on a contract, hell, listen to blasé attitude of the person at 4m 50, of link below, she is 27 years old, works as a receptionist in North London on £20k a year and spends half her net income on rent. She has a joint account with a flatmate! WTF! Has she never heard of joint and several liability!

However the real issue for me was her buying a car, I know junior lawyers living in London on £42k who cannot afford to run a car because they are stuck renting a room at a price they can't afford.

They made a wise decision to not replace their tatty car as recognised could not afford to run a car in London on their salary, so how can someone on £20k and how can a finance company lend her that kind of money.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b098bsrc

If she gave the car back on day 2 she would lose 20%, the finance co know that they will get the asset back and still manage to lumber her with the debt.

Is it reasonable to expect a Landlord or a Local Authority to underwrite poor spending decisions or should we insist the banks set the bar higher when lending in the first place?

@Ella you may not realise it, but 80% of Landlords let less than three properties, typically they are a couple who each had a flats which they rented and got second mortgages on to buy their own home.

They are not massive corporations with deep pockets, when you do the maths, every Landlord is taking on some risk because anyone can fall off the ladder and end up on DSS, but only those with a larger risk appetite can take a chance on already on DSS tenants.

This is not the fault of Landlords but the system itself that seems to think that Landlords are a replacement for the bank of mum and dad.

You have only to read the comments on this site to see that Landlords have lost £10k to £30k for bad tenants that trash their properties, some have had to re-mortgage their properties to fund this, so why would they risk DSS when there is a shortage of properties and huge amount of tenants?

Every demographic has associated problems:

Uni tenants will only be around for 2 to 3 years

Non EU foreign tenants may have a limited visa or go back home for their own reasons

EU foreign tenants may not earn enough or go back home for their own reasons.

Young single tenants are likely to form relationships and want a bigger place.

Any couples may have children and want a bigger place or move to get into catchment of a school.

Young Professionals on high salary will be able to afford a better place

Divorcees may meet someone new and move in with them

Middle aged people are most common to face redundancy

Elderly people may get ill and even have to go into a care home

Each of the above has their own risks but none of them limit a Landlord to the LHA 30th percentile, a Council deciding they have one or two rooms too many, or the DWP messing with their income and ability to pay rent.

321
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 23rd November, 2017 @ 02:24

@David
Excellent post.
However on small point which you have incorrect. No tenant in the PRS is subject to the Spare Room Subsidy, commonly referred to as the Bedroom Tax.

UC or old HB for the PRS is based on the domestic situation of a tenant.
So it is perfectly possible for a HB tenant to rent a 3 bed property when they only qualify for the 2 bed rate.
Of course they have to source a LL who would accept the 2 bed rate or they would have to top up their two bed rate to afford what the LL requires.
There would also be the issue of Council Tax.
If the HB tenant only qualified for the two bed rate then any Council Tax assistance would be limited to a two bed property with the tenant having to make up the difference.
It is only in the social housing sector that the SRS applies.
Of course all this is fairly academic as few LL would let a 3 bed property for the two bed rate; but you never know!!
It is up to the LL to make their own business decisions.

322
Guest Avatar
David 23rd November, 2017 @ 14:20

Thanks @Paul

That is right and what I meant, that any PRS Landlord who lets a property that is under occupied risks the tenant not getting the rent as HB.

For example a Landlord rents a 4 bedroom house for £2000 a month to a couple with two boys aged 7 & 9, the father is a project manager in public sector and earns £85k a year, the wife volunteers at a local cancer charity. He works from home a lot so has one room as a study, the boys each have their own room and the parents use the master bedroom.

On the face of it they are solid tenants and can afford the rent.

UK 21c Recession V2.0 hits and there are cutbacks, so he loses his job along with a lot of other public sector workers.

He sends a message to Landlord to assure them all is OK, the Landlord know the LHA rate is £417.02pw or £1807.08 per month, so she figures the guy can afford to make up the close to £200 a month.

The Local Authority inform the Tenant that he does not need the 4th bedroom as a study and for bedroom purposes the boys can share so he is only entitled to Housing Benefit at the 2 bedroom rate of £302.33pw or £1310.09 a month, close to a £700 a month shortfall.

How long a Tenant could realistically pay this £700 per month with their £73 (ish) Job Seekers Allowance, £33 Child Benefit is anyone's guess. They may have phone contracts they can't get out of for 2 years, a gym membership where they are liable for a year and an 18 month obligation to Sky for TV and Broadband.

This is the danger of occupancy I was referring to, not the bedroom tax specifically.

So my point, in the context of the above blog post is that any tenant presents a risk and anyone can fall off the ladder.

Also that it is not really discriminatory to avoid DSS tenants, just that the "system" means that the Landlord is taking on substantially more risk with DSS and for what, a much poorer return on investment.

I am very sympathetic to the plight of all people on DSS, I think zero hours contracts should be abolished because they undermine self employment, putting all the risk on the employee and trap them.

To me there are different organisations who meet different needs, Small Private Landlords, Large Private Landlords, Landlords formed as Social companies, Housing Associations and a few Council Landlords which may have also transitioned into HA's.

The Con Gov seems determined to kill off Housing Associations, at one end they have taken away their ability to get 20% of developments so cutting off their supply of cheap properties and at the other end they are forcing them to offer right to buy. Anyone can do the math, it is not sustainable. Now the HA's are being forced to offer so called "affordable rents" instead of the social rents. The social rents were around 40% below LHA rates.

The result is higher LHA rates and higher housing benefit costs and thus a higher social security spending.

It is like increasing the Bank Base rate to control inflation, it increases the cost of public borrowing, how daft is that when the goal is to get borrowing down!

I would bring back the 20% on developments and I would build 5 million new "starter" homes, not necessarily social housing but cheap homes for genuine first time buyers who live in the property. None of the Governments since Thatcher have met their goals on house building and the 5 million is less than the cumulative shortfall, it also reflects the increased population.

Socially it gives young people "buy-in" to their community, for Thatcher it created a whole load of Conservative voters in the highly fought over left of centre zone.

It would also make sense for Government because it would use the only thing that can control the increasing rents; Market Forces, increase supply reduce demand, it is economics 101.

At the weekend I had dinner with a colleague, he has been given the task of managing land bequeathed in a will for social housing. It is around 10 acres between edge of town and green belt.

He wanted to have built a 100% social housing project with temporary housing for up to 200 people and flats or small houses for the rest. However, putting aside all the crazy local authority obligations to provide facilities he has been advised that the best he can make it is 40% social housing because of build cost and no HA's having resources to fund the build cost over the long term (100 years). This conflicts with the objectives of the trust.

Again it is "the system" that is at fault!

323
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 24th November, 2017 @ 00:49

Yes you are correct about the dysfunctional system!
But in your quoted example had the two children been a certain age and been a boy and girl they would have been entitled to the 3 bed rate.
So make sure you have families with a boy and a girl of the right age and the state will pay the 3 bed rate.
It may interest you to know that if the tenant is working and not in a UC area then HB will be paid for the full rent for 13 weeks.
This facility will be abolished when UC is fully in place.
But whatever way you look at it as you have so well illiterated
UC remains a nightmare.

324
Guest Avatar
David 24th November, 2017 @ 15:29

@Paul Barrett

Ha Ha, you need to put an exclamation mark when you are joking.

Can you imagine Landlords having to check the sex and age of children, maybe they can ask if daughter has had her periods start so they can be entitled to their own room!

This is another example of a policy for the provision of social housing being imposed on the private sector.

325
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 24th November, 2017 @ 21:41

Yeah it is bonkers
Look at this example
Say two children male and female are below the age to have separate bedrooms so receive the two bed rate
As soon as the girl is old enough then the family qualifies for the 3 bed rate.
Even if they stay in a 2 bed property!!

326
Guest Avatar
Naima 28th January, 2018 @ 20:12

I agree on both parts. While it is discriminating to refuse dss tenants you also can't deny the facts. dss tenants are more likely to fall in financial difficulties rather than working proffesionals. Weather this be intentional or non intentional being on such a low income puts those receiving dss in a vulnerable financial situation.
The HB system do not help as they pay directly into tenants bank accounts if this wasn't the case I'm sure LL would be more likely to accept dss.
You really do have to consider LL in this they are not charities they have mortgages, bills and homes of their own to manage. Obviously they are going to go with someone who is financially stable, someone who is more likely to have some savings, or is more likely to be accepted for a small loan if financial difficulties were to occur. you can't blame LL for wanting reliability and stability.
I am not claiming all dss tenants are unreliable some may even be more reliable and organised than working professionals, but again LL go with stability.

There are also many crooked LL who pay high interests, leave homes in unsafe and appalling conditions and then refuse to repay bonds for the smallest of things, they are not easy to get away with these things when accepting dss as the local councils are involved.

LL cut the middle man out and get there money from A to B

I'm on the fence with this subject I have seen LL go threw legal battles and great losses due to dss tenants not paying them refusing to leave

However Iv also seen decent families struggle to find accommodation because dss is so frowned upon.

I think the answer could be so simple.
Background checks, direct payments to landlords, guarantor.

The ppl who make this the most difficult is actually the housing benefit system

327
Guest Avatar
David 29th January, 2018 @ 01:33

@Naima

Whilst I understand both sides I do think that overall the Landlord has the better time.

Go to the agents of any London borough and the in the window is says NO DSS, being on the end of that is soul destroying.

It does not matter what referencing you do anyone can fall off the ladder, they say most of us could survive around 2 months before going into debt, some a lot less.

A guarantor is a nice to have but how many people do most people know that would underwrite their rent? Not many I'll wager.

When you read the posts some have made on here is it any wonder that a tenant who has struggled to get a place does not want to advertise if they lose their job and have to go on Housing Benefit?

When you apply so many days are not covered, then there is the delay before it comes in, then they tell you that your rent is higher than LHA rates, then they say you have a 2 bed flat and only need a one bed flat so they will pay the LHA rate for 1 bed. So is it any wonder that tenants get into arrears?

For some tenants there is a failure to understand budgeting, their rent may be £1250 but they may get £750 for that one bed place, they get their HB drip fed in arrears, so they need a spreadsheet just to work out what is what. Then the DWP decide to routinely accuse all claimants of fraud, just to pause claims, this automatically stops housing benefit for up to 10 weeks. Quite how they are supposed to eat, pay bills and rent is anyone's idea.

Now we have Universal Credit rolling out, now even though they were being paid in arrears, they have to wait 6 weeks more for this and it is paid as one lump sum. So the tenant will have to work out what is the HB element when they finally get paid. It really is despicable.

Most tenants who refuse to leave are doing so at the explicit demand of the Local Council who tell them if they leave before bailiffs come they will have lost their right to temporary housing by making themselves homeless.

One of the big problems is the ratio of rent to income, a friend of mine recently took up a role in New York, there the Landlords demand your salary is 40x your rent. Their rent was $5200 for a one bed apartment, so they needed to show they earned $208,000!

My nephew in London earns a decent salary as does his partner, yet still they could not afford to buy a place in London, finally the bank of mum and dad stepped in with an equity investment, but most people are not so lucky. £470k for a one bed flat in London.

For me the issue is not going to be solved with direct payments for guarantors, it is only going to be solved by building a huge number of social housing, I do not mean the so called affordable homes the ConGov says it is going to build.

Because all governments have failed in their housebuilding targets we are about 5 million short of homes, this has created a massive problem with supply and demand. At the same time time the ConGov has virtually signed the death warrant for Housing Associations by removing the obligations to build 20% social housing in new developments, as if that was not enough they have brought in a "right to buy".

You can do the math on the bag of an envelope, HA's are only able to offer social rents because they own old stock, they have to replace this with the so called affordable properties, if they are forced to buy at market rates, they will have to charge market rates or go bust.

Add to that the demolition of social housing sold off for a penny by Councils and replaced with swish new apartments for the Chinese, Arabs and Russians, these are not even rented out, but left empty.

They are also screwing with the tax offsets for Landlords which is making many pack up and sell, thus reducing rental stock.

The ConGov needs to bring back the 20% social housing requirement, they need to JV with housing associations to build build build, literally 5m homes. This will force rents down with the increase in supply which in turn will reduce LHA rates and thus reduce the welfare cost. (Note the vast majority of people on HB are the working poor, their income is so low that they qualify).

They need to give Landlords a way to move their properties into a company without paying stamp duty, as long as they then become the shareholder and perhaps put a penalty on selling the company shares for 5 years, or else pay the stamp duty they would have paid.

I do not blame Landlords for avoiding DSS, because in most situations the LHA rates simply do not cover the rent. I think that as the interest rates go up this year we may well see some BTL landlords forced to sell up because they were on shaky ground to begin with.

Yes there are a few bad tenants, but probably no more than there are bad landlords.

A lot of Landlords at that low end are renting out dumps, but the law is changing, this new legislation is going to give some teeth to existing law:

https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/homesfitnessforhumanhabitationandliabilityforhousingstandards.html

Summary of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19

To amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; to amend the Building Act 1984 to make provision about the liability for works on residential accommodation that do not comply with Building Regulations; and for connected purposes

PDF

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0010/18010.pdf

328
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 29th January, 2018 @ 04:33

I believe it is a dawning realisation amongst DASH tenants that they are no longer wanted or needed.
This is obviously a most important state of affairs as if things weren't difficult enough for what should really now be called UC tenants.
Due the the OBC and HB freeze UC tenants are for many LL no longer worth taking on.
Tenants won't like it but all they are to me is a commodity.
There are more than enough of them for the supply of rental accommodation though this is a situation which really just pertains in the SE.
There are empty rental properties up North.
These are very cheap to rent.
So for example £750 will rent a 4 bed house!!!!
The fact is that UC tenants are no longer profitable and the PRS exists to make profit.
LL cannot be expected to be social housing providers.
That isn't why they exist.
There are now more than enough tenants not on UC who are prepared to pay more rent than a UC tenant.
So this is not to denigrate a UC tenant but they are no longer worth letting to when a LL I know is able to charge £150pcm more than a UC can afford.
Of course UC tenants suffer from all the disadvantages of being one which is why so many LL make a business decision not to let to UC tenants.
It isn't anything personal it is just business.
The vast majority of UC tenants pay their rent but a significant proportion don't for a cause variety of reasons mentioned here.
UC tenants just have to accept that unless they can match the new higher rents that LL are now requiring then they will not be able to rent where they wish.
SoUC tenants need to consider relocating to areas that are affordable.
There are many such areas where the market rent is only just slightly more than the HB rate and in some cases the HB achievable is more than the market rents!!!
For those now reliant on c they will have to accept moving their total domestic circumstances to cheaper areas.

This is what tenants not reliable on UC have to do all the time.
Effectively tenants have to economically cleanse themselves from areas they can no longer afford to those they can.
This will remain the case for decades until it if ever there are sufficient social homes being built.
As Niami has identified there is a massive shortfall of social homes in the UK as a whole.
It will take decades for this situation to change and that is only if they start building at least 300000 social homes per year.
Of course as has been suggested the more social homes the less demand on the PRS.
But we are decades from that situation.
Of course as more LL leave the sector because of things like S24 then there will be even fewer rental properties and this will continue to put upward pressure on rents.

So those who can't afford to rent on UC will have to move.
There is going to be no magic wand waved by councils to contour up social housing.
As an immediate easing measure Govt needs to abolish S24 and the SDLT surcharge for second properties.

This may slow down the rate of LL selling up which is what accounts for many homeless tenants.
But irrespective of all the well known difficulties of UC tenants the fact is LL can now achieve significantly higher rents from other tenants
So you can't really blame LL wishing to get rid of lower paying UC tenants to be replaced by those who seem willing and able to pay the higher rents.
Of course the OBC could be avoided if tenants bothered to work just 16 hrs per but they can't be bothered and therefore their HB is insufficient to pay required rents.

Tenants on UC have to accept they will need to move from the expensive SE to cheaper areas of the UK.
London UC tenants in particular must realise that they have effectively been priced out of the London market.

Many homeless London tenants insist on remaining in TA due to their refusal to accept that they aren't wanted by private LL anymore and they won't stand a chance of social housing.
They should just accept this is the new paradigm and make efforts to move to more affordable accommodation outside the SE.
London really isn't the be all and end all.
There is a better lifestyle to be had out of London.
Of course it is a major domestic upheaval but UC tenants have to accept that they are now subject market forces and London is no longer affordable for them.
As a result they must leave.
But for some bizarre reason UC tenants have a mistaken belief of entitlement that they should be housed in a social home or private rental where they have always lived.
This is simply not the case.
The only reason they have been able to stay was because welfare and available properties were there.
This is no longer the case.
Unless there are major changes in govt policy then this situation is only going to get worse for LL and tenants alike.
Govt will not accept that people want to rent; they don't want to buy and even if they do they can never hope to afford SE prices.
These people need rental accommodation.
Forcing private LL out of business is exactly the wrong thing to do.
It will NOT generate more FTB out of those tenants.

Many of the rental properties being sold up by S24 LL are being so not to FTB but to downsizers etc.
So there is no levelling of the playing field occurring.
All that is happening is tenants are being displaced by buyers leaving the inevitably poorer tenant homeless.
Whenever Govt's attempt to interfere in markets it usually goes horribly wrong.
The PRS is shrinking even though there is no lack of demand.
It is simply unviable for many LL to remain or even enter the PRS.
Yes rents were expensive as that is what the market generated but invariably there was sufficient rental property available.
Well that isn't now the case!!

Even expensive rental property is no longer available.
LL will refuse to take on UC tenants unless they can or choose to afford the rent and can qualify for RGI or their possible guarantor can.
Such circumstances are as has been suggested all but impossible for UC tenants to achieve.
This is just TOUGH!!
LL are after good paying paying tenants who qualify for RGI.
It is no surprise therefore that UC tenants are no longer wanted by LL
Tenants just have to face up to and accept this new economic reality.
So start looking at moving to more affordable areas.

You will be surprised what quality f life and property you can achieve on UC outside London.

Time to widen those horizons.
Birmingham seems a popular place for London UC tenants to move to.
More canals than Venice!!

329
Guest Avatar
David 29th January, 2018 @ 11:47

@Paul

I will not respond to the comments you seem to have put in to annoy people, they say more about you than anything.

Despite your derisory attitude to tenants there are a lot of truthful aspects in your post, but your suggestion that they should all bugger off up North is not really practical.

Sadly, there is already social cleansing going on for social tenants.

However, the capital needs people to do low paid jobs, they can't commute because rail prices are extreme to say the least and no Paul we can't have then 10 to a room on mattresses.

The London economy has depended on and abused economic migrants for years, but even they have had enough, soon you will have nobody available to serve you your Tall Triple Venti Decaf Half Sweet Non-Fat No Foam Soy Caramel Macchiato Latte mix with an extra shot of Cream with Vanilla Essence!

As for move up North, well the places where there are jobs are just as unaffordable and the last thing the UK needs is to make the North a ghetto.

I will remember to use the words THIS IS JUST TOUGH next time I hear you complaining about your tax or your obligations as a Landlord.

Much as I despise Corbyn it is worth having 10 years of his mob just to see what it does to you.

Meanwhile we have two new laws which will at least mess with you; the one I quoted above and the other is Tenant Fees Bill.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-tenants-fees-bill

This will put to an end the fake fees generated by Agents and Landlords alike, no more passing on your "costs of doing business", yes you may increase your rents but those will be subject to competition. You will also be banned from requiring the tenants pay a third party.

I think this will help Landlords, one of the reasons tenants are loathe to move on is the huge cost of fees. It will also put an end to the double charging that goes on with some agents. I think it will cause a big shake out of crappy agents. Now all we need is to force agents to put their deposits in a custodial scheme to avoid them using it as cash flow for their business.

What surprised me was the limit on the amount of deposit, I would have expected it to max out at 8 weeks but if the amount of the tenancy deposit exceeds the amount of 6 weeks, the amount of the excess is a prohibited payment.

Some pretty heavy fines here which I think are necessary as we have seen with deposit protection, Landlords will either abuse the system or are just plain lazy unless there is a financial penalty.

330
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 29th January, 2018 @ 16:24

Not sure how you think I did regard tenants.
Far from it.
I regard good tenants highly.
I just don't wish to risk my business on the less well off tenants.
Such tenants would ordinarily be housed in social housing but of course the stupid Tories sold a lot of that off.
As for low wage workers being needed in London's well yes they did used to commute to work.
I'll give you an example
Used to be a lot of East End ladies who worked for a cleaning company who had a contract to clean the Waldorf Hotel on the Aldwych in London.
They were replaced by cheaper Romanians who relied on Working Tax credits for viability and who rented illegally in overcrowded properties in London to avoid commutes.
We really don't need cheaper workers costing a fortune in WTC
If that means the coffee shops in London aren't viable when cheap workers are no longer viable then good sit them down and send the migrants home.
We don't want or need them.
It costs the economy billions just to provide these expensive coffees.
We don't need or want all these coffee shops which are only viable because of cheap East European migrants.
As for referencing fees.
You have obviously never heard of the LRS tenant Referencing Passport.
Yes it is a third party but this is how it is .
going to work with no LL requiring a tenant to have one.
So any advert I place will state that for any tenant to be considered they will have to provide their own TRP
Now this won't be a requirement of mine as of course the tenant would be perfectly entitled not to have a TRP.
Which is fine just that they won't even be considered by me.
Tenants will realise that without a TRP they won't be able to rent.
No LL is obliged to reference anyone if they don't want to.
But they may well look upon those tenants who do have their TRP as good prospects.
A TRP only costs about £60 and is valid for 3 months.
This can be routed round to as many LL or LA as the prospective tenant wants.
No more referencing would be required.
As for fees I don't charge any apart from the fee for mydeposits which is the insurance scheme.
No way would I put deposit monies in a custodial scheme as there are too many problems with that variant of protection.
However with all these circumstances you seem to believe that I have some sort of responsibility towards UC tenants which of course I don't.
It is not social cleansing as you are using emotive language it is economic cleansing.
Nobody had the right to live in expensive areas on govt welfare.
I have myself had to economically cleanse myself from various areas to cheaper areas.
At no point did I consider I was being socially cleansed from those areas.
It was just basic economics that forced me to move.
Just because you on welfare shouldn't be an excuse to ignore economic realities.

It would be no bad thing to get rid of of the scroungers up North.
Far cheaper for govt and that would leave more rental property available in London for those prepared to work.
It is just a fact that govt should not be paying vast domestic to keep welfare claimants housed in London.
K won't take them on because the rent they are prepared to pay doesn't meet my requirements.
Plus there are all the associated business risks.
In short I don't want Govt money to pay my rents and it is not enough and insufficient for my requirements
Nobody can force a private LL to take on a UC tenant.
It really does not concern me that I won't let to UC tensnts.
Mostly govt policy causes this as if things were different I would consider UC tenants.
It is perfectly possible for uC tenants to avoid the Other bC if they bothered to work just 16 hours per week.
But they can't even be bothered to do that.
Meanwhile millions of migrants flood in to do those jobs the lazy IC tenants refuse to do.

On principle I refuse to let to the UC scroungers.

Unless you are GENUINELY sick or sufficiently disabled enough not to be able to work then there is no excuse not to work.

Millions of migrants seemed to have found jobs easily.
It would be no loss
if all the welfare scroungers were shipped out of London.
Indeed many have been offered placements in Cardiff but refuse to go.
Why scroungers seem to think they should be immune from everyday economic realities that those not on welfare have to face beats me.
If you are on a welfare wage then that must mean you should not be allowed to live in expensive areas.
It will definitely facto happen anyway as LL increasingly refuse to let to UC tenants.
There are of course many LL up North that are prepared to let to uC tenants.
That is where these tenants should move to irrespective of any domestic upheaval.

331
Guest Avatar
David 29th January, 2018 @ 21:54

@Paul

It is not really worth my wasting my time on you or your disgusting views so I will keep it brief.

Once again you use this blog as an advertising platform, you also seem to espouse the same vile comments as Paul Routledge (in videos of him online) the founder of the company you are promoting, maybe you are Paul Routledge?

The good news is that the thing you refer to will be illegal under the Tenant Fees Bill, so PLEASE go ahead. I can't wait to see you fined.

Just to counter a few statements you made with actual facts.

Over 68% of the welfare costs in this country are on the elderly and that is set to increase to nearer 80% with the costs of social care for the baby boomers. Whilst the majority of the 32% is claimed by low paid workers and even that has been reduced substantially.

So no matter how much you cut the 32% until you cut the 68% you are not going to make a dent in the welfare costs in this country.

Now if you look at Mrs May's election, she made a mild attempt to get the elderly to pay for their own care and it damn near cost her the election. Now she is running a limp wrist Government and she has to cow tow to both sides of her disloyal cabinet.

As for the rest of what you say, thank you for demonstrating that your views ARE in fact social cleansing and for your racist views on Eastern Europeans and others who you consider "a commodity". The views you have stated say everything about you.

Through the ages we have always seen these sort of small minded ignorant views from bigots; usually they say "send them back" when they were born here, sometimes they want to put them in camps, kill them before they are born, etc.

You just want to send people you do not like up North, hilarious if not so pathetic.

332
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 29th January, 2018 @ 22:25

Oh dear you are a sad little man.
You are one of the many naive idiots that LL have to deal with. We avoid people like you who are so full of their entitlement rights.
You will find that my views are realistic and shared by the cast majority of workers.
The welfare classes won't like it but they have no say in the matter as they contribute nothing.
They will do as they are told and if that means moving their lives to cheaper areas then that is what must occur.
Private LL will not let to the welfare classes as there isn't enough money in it anymore plus dealing with HB types is a right hassle and simply not worth the effort.
That is why LL don't want hB tenants anymore.
Tough if you don't like it that is just business.

333
Guest Avatar
Paul Barrett 29th January, 2018 @ 22:41

You are sadly mistaken to believe that I would be fined under the new Tenant fees act.
As I have stated I will not be letting to anyone who doesn't have their own TRP.
I will not be requiring anyone to pay for referencing but if they don't I won't be letting to them.
That is completely different to be requiring them to have referencing.
If they don't however I won't be considering them.
There is no way I will be fined for anything as I do not require a tenant to have their own TRP but if they don't I won't be considering them
Simples!!!!
As for LRS I totally support the founder and the whole LRS service as it prevents LL taking on duff tenants.
Everything PR states is correct.
Just because you can't handle the truth is your problem.
We LL need to prevent wrongun tenants from exploiting good LL like me.
This mostly means excluding HB tenants.
We don't want them or need them.
They are simply too much hassle

334

Please leave a Comment...

Nobody

Nobody

Landlord

Landlord

Tenant

Tenant

Agent

Agent

Legal

Legal

Buyer

Buyer

Developer

Developer

Enthusiast

Enthusiast


Popular Landlord Categories