Tips For DSS Tenants That Can’t Find A Property To Rent

I’m usually writing about DSS tenants in bad light, but that’s because I’ve had shitty experiences with them. However, I know there are a lot of genuinely decent DSS tenants out there struggling to find landlords and letting agents that will accept them because of the damage the piss-taking DSS tenants have inflicted.

It would genuinely take a lot for me to consider accepting another DSS tenant because of what I’ve experienced, but I know what would work in their favour if they were ever to try and convince me. Sadly, DSS tenants are in a position where they have to convince landlords. To stand the best chance, here are a few tips:

1] Rental History

Rental history for a DSS tenant is vital. If you have positive rental history as a DSS tenant, it will show you’re still able to pay rent and respect the property and neighbourhood you live in.

Present your landlord with references and contact details of your previous landlord.

2] Get a Guarantor

Arrange a Guarantor that has stability – a well paid job and a home of their own.

3] Rent Guarantee Insurance

Offer to pay for rental insurance, so your landlord is reassured he/she will never lose out on rent. This option could involve a premium of a few hundred pounds, but it could be the safety net which will convince a landlord.

Fair warning, it might take a little bit of hunting to find an insurance company that covers DSS tenants! But they are out there.

4] Get the council to pay directly to landlords

By default, tenants receive their housing benefit directly from the council, which they are then expected to pass onto their landlords. Of course, that wasn’t always the case- landlords used to receive the rent directly from the council. When that was the case, landlords were a lot more willing to take on DSS tenants. Some local councils will still pay direct to landlords under special circumstances.

See if you can get this arranged with your council, so your landlord receives the rent directly. It will be an extremely compelling arrangement for your prospective landlord.

5] Look in newspapers and websites like Gumtree

More and more letting agents are refusing to let DSS tenants in through the front door, so options are limited.

You’re best bet is to approach landlords directly, and the best way to do that is by looking in your local newspapers and websites like Gumtree, where private landlords market their properties.

6] Offer to put down a bigger security deposit

Typically, landlords will require one month’s rent to cover the security deposit.

The most a landlord can charge for any security deposit is the total of two month’s rent for an unfurnished property, or three month’s rent for a furnished property.

If you have the spare cash, offer to pay 2/3 months worth of a deposit.

7] Yes to DSS

I came across this website recently, DSS Move. It’s a property portal that lists DSS-friendly rental properties. Check it out!

Does anyone else have any other tips for the DSS community caught in the struggle?

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178 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 128 - 178 comments (out of 178)
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Jade 10th August, 2014 @ 22:44

I know it's no consolation and doesn't help your housing situation, OnTheOtherHand, but from reading your contributions to this thread you seem like a wonderful person, with a kind heart and I hope everything works out for the best with your living arrangements :-)

Benji, thank you for your information also.

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OnTheOtherHand 11th August, 2014 @ 00:03

Well, there's a turn up for the books. I originally posted in this thread to complain. I wasn't expecting help and support! :)

@Benji - thank you. Maybe the advice centre told me already, but with all the worrying I don't remember. Perhaps I will be lucky in the coming weeks and find somewhere. Here's hoping.

@Jade - thank you to you too! You have so much to deal with anyway, you are obviously a generous person to be able to spare a thought like this. I hope things look up for you too and soon. :)

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OnTheOtherHand 11th August, 2014 @ 15:11

Ha! lols. Just rang a letting agent re a 1 bed flat in London. Get this. They want a guarantor and... 6 months rent in advance + deposit. The total they want up front is over £13,000. I was too flabbergasted to enquire about fees.

Thought I'd share this. It's absolutely the worst example I've come across so far. It's a non-too subtle way of saying 'no DSS'.

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Jade 11th August, 2014 @ 18:09

That's a joke! I thought holding fee, guarantor, one months rent and a deposit PLUS admin and referencing fees was bad enough!

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OnTheOtherHand 14th August, 2014 @ 00:28

I know. I may have sent the story to the press... ;)

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Mary Davidson 26th August, 2014 @ 20:37

This may work: look up suitable properties online. Use Google maps street view to locate the exact property. Go and knock on the door and neighbouring doors. If you can find a direct route to the landlord and bypass the agent they might be open to discussion. I feel the agencies advise landlords that DSS (insulting seeing as there's not even any such thing, never mind all the other reasons) claimants will tear up their floors and render a property derelict. The landlord just takes this advice, seeing as she's paying for it. Meeting a decent, honest person, face to face can wipe this foolishness aside - then everyone saves paying fees; hoorah! Worked for me. Trying it once more now that I need to move again.

I work hard in self employment but earn a low wage so need my rent topped up. Housing associations won't look at me as I'm the lowest priority. And private owners scorn me for not making it big yet. The last house I rented was worth several thousand pounds more when I left it than when I walked in, thanks to me. But I'm treated like scum. Tish.

The killer insult is that, although I could afford a wee bit of land and have the skill to build a pleasant home to my own satisfaction, in which I'd be totally self sufficient... I'm forbidden to do that. Forcing my hand to apply for benefit. Tish.

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Kyria 30th August, 2014 @ 01:13

Unfortunately, I know the system too well and it seems like a sick joke. Within my county, the only 'DSS' properties are in the middle of nowhere. In the major town, everything is too expensive, or only for students. For the property that is available, a guarantor, a month in advance and a deposit is necessary. Overlooking the money which is needed up front is the insult of asking for a guarantor. Many people who rely on LHA are vulnerable, e.g., a single parent or mental health issues. A lot of these people are own their own and struggling to cope with the housing issues that are presented to them, which rules out being able to find a guarantor.

I've been reading through some comments, and I must suggest that one should not offer to pay a landlord direct unless there is a certain amount of trust. The situation of a landlord not fulfilling duties once the threat of divided rent is removed is terrible, but extremely commonplace. Once a person is in a property, not much can be done. Sure they can complain to the council that x,y & z is wrong, but nothing will be done if the landlord won't do it. The risk of this increases the more vulnerable the tenant is.

I am currently in a different situation to some of authors of the comments. I have actually been offered a place from a housing association. I was offered it in the middle of June, as I am homeless and priority (to the naive reader, no I am not pregnant). However, don't be fooled into thinking us lot aren't screwed over. The HA has made excuse after excuse of why I can't move in yet. They have arranged 6 different occasions where I was meant to sign the legal stuff and pick up the keys, none of those happened, 4 out of the 6 times I was only told 2 hours in advance. I may seem relatively lucky, and I suppose I am for someday I may actually move in to the flat, however I've been staying in a B&B where I feel very vulnerable.

Anyway, before my offer, I tried a lot of letting agents and private landlords. I called up one very rude man who laughed at me and told me that he wouldn't reduce himself to taking my type when I explained that I am 21 and on LHA, due to my disabilities. I've also been lectured by many agencies that I am only entitled to shared bedroom rate. This isn't true, as I receive DLA & I'm 21 year old care leaver, both of these situations would allow me 1 bedroom rate. I was looking for months and I covered a wide range of 'back of beyond' areas, but nothing came of it.

The thing that makes me miserable is the awful discrimination. If ever I mention it to someone out of the situation, I get told I have entitlement issues. Due to me having to rely on benefits, I am spoken to like a second class citizen. I've known a lot of bad neighbours who are in full time employment. There , sure as hell, are a lot of people who are on 'zero hour' contracts who end up in arrears because of the lack of work at certain times. Yet, Mr Zero Hour doesn't need a guarantor, or doesn't as quickly get turned down - why? Surely, they are more of a risk than a LHA tenant.

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Kelly 4th September, 2014 @ 09:01

I am discusted of some of the comments on here about dss tenants. I am a dss tensnt with 4 children. Am currently looking for a private property and cant find one. The sad thing is that until july 2014 i worked 6 days a week for the same company over 10 yrs. i am only unemployed and claiming dss because my son is terminally ill and rather than continue working and miss out on the rest of my sons life i decided to spend every last day with him for as long as we may have together. Not all dss tenants are bad. Some of us have actual reasons that warrant us being on dss. Some people and landlords need to be a little more open minded.

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Georgie 3rd November, 2014 @ 15:37

I have been reading some comments on this site and completely agree. It is so unfair how housing benefit tenants are treated; my mother is on housing benefit as well as suffering from degenerative disc disease. This has prevented her from working and earning some decent money, so we've had to rely on the government. Which has been useless, as nobody believes that she is unable to work. Now we are being told to leave the property due to Plexus taking back the property. And surprises, surprise we are screwed because hardly any estate agents accept housing benefit.
I just had to comment because sometimes it feels like we're alone with nowhere to turn. My thoughts and wishes goes out to all of you.

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J. Harrison 1st February, 2015 @ 14:08

I have been a trustworthy good tenant for 15 years and I am approaching my sixties. My rent has never been missed or late and I am a Housing Benefit tenant with multiple health problems and have had repeat surgeries over the years and live on pain relief and various medication. My landlord lives abroad and has decided to sell the rented flats. My flat and others are now up for sale and although we have not been given notice to quit, the future is uncertain. I was shocked to find the rental market has become virtually 'apartheid' to housing benefit tenants, many who are genuinely living with disability and even those working part time who top up poor wages with some housing benefit. The attitude of some landlords and letting agents is frankly horrifying. Many years ago, landlords where 'all too happy' to rent to anyone who put the rent on the table. However, due to shortages in rental property, many have taken full advantage by astronomically hiking their rents to dizzy heights and placing an 'assault course' of terms and conditions, including the return of ugly and unfair 'prejudice' creating the perfect 'breeding ground' for the return of the 'rogue landlord', feeding off the desperation and misery of those in vulnerable positions. It is wholly wrong and unfair to 'lump' all those on housing benefit for a variety of reasons be it disabled, between jobs or finding themselves at threat of homelessness because a landlord simply decides to sell up or evict because a tenant has dared to ask for essential 'often dangerous' repairs to be attended to. This is the reality for many who are now being openly discriminated against by letting agents and many landlords today. I have little doubt, that should the future see a flood of rental properties become available due to economic change, letting agents and landlords with property sitting for months 'unlet' would once again return to welcoming those on housing benefit with open arms and less red tape!

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J. Harrison 1st February, 2015 @ 14:31

Another extremely worrying issue which is causing an 'enormous' animal welfare 'mushrooming' problem in the UK, is the refusal of some landlords to accept a tenant and their much loved, often 'only companion' pet. It is reported that there is a growing market of 'single tenants', many elderly and some disabled who regard their pet as their 'sole companion'. Whether renting to a housing benefit or working individual, there remains a general reluctance to accept a tenants much loved pet. This in turn, is placing tenants in a heartbreaking dilemma of being forced to hand over their pet to overburdened 'bursting at the seams' charity animal shelters or risk becoming homeless. Thankfully, The Dogs Trust responding to this major issue has launched Lets With Pets website. This website has downloadable forms for Letting Agents, Landlords and Tenants and their pets. An additional deposit for the tenants pet is required with 'if required' a pet cv, providing evidence from a vet that the pet in question is innoculated, microchipped and seen regularly by a vet. This also provides proof that the pet in question has not presented any problems at the previous tenancy by way of a reference from landlord. This is undoubtedly the 'way forward' which protects Letting Agent, Landlord, Tenant and their pet. Essentially, it keeps tenant and pet together and all parties protected and an agreement of a professional 'deep clean' when the tenancy ends can be put into place. I appeal to landlords and letting agents to take a look at the Lets with Pets on The Dogs Trust site. Statistically, 47% of tenants are pet owners and this new approach promotes good responsible pet ownership. It is well acknowledged that tenants allowed to keep pets under this forward thinking new approach, aware of the difficulty of finding property that accepts their pet will be far less likely to be short term tenants and subsequently highly value any agreement with a flexible 'pet friendly' landlord or letting agency.

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OnTheOtherHand 1st February, 2015 @ 15:36

@J. Harrison - Yes, you're right. Tory policy has been detrimental to the vulnerable. Current guesstimates are 12,000 deaths related to the new ESA transfer per year. I don't think anyone is collating figures for how many deaths per year brought on by changes to housing, despite the fact it affects the whole of the UK.

In London, the scandal is that the wealthy don't need to let their properties. They can buy and just leave them empty and sell them within a few years for a tidy profit. There are 10 empty homes for every homeless person in the UK.

I also think you're right to consider what happens when things reverse. Because they will. Money has been siphoned upwards to cushion the wealthy, what goes up must come down, it's a universal law, so things will change in due course.

There was a march for homes in London yesterday, because as well as the vulnerable, (sick/disabled/elderly), also currently affected are people under the age of 21, low-paid workers (shops, restaurants, services, as I said in a previous post), and small-business owners, because tax-credits are considered a 'benefit' and come under the welfare.

Would you believe, teachers' pensions are also a 'benefit' and also come under the welfare budget.

Why? Because the Tories redefined what benefits are.

Why? Austerity. How much is that? £80 billion. Where's it going? It's to pay bankers their bonuses. Where are they taking it from? Welfare bill. Half of the welfare bill is pensions.

Shockingly, the old Tory spin of 'benefit scroungers' turned out to be a lie.

It's a smokescreen, propaganda, a bit like 'immigration', to get people fighting amongst themselves so they won't ask awkward questions, like where is the money going. £10 million per month is taken in benefit sanctions, but I can't find where the money is going. It's not back to welfare. £30 billion in NI contributions were withheld by Osborne, which came to light in the autumn budget statement. There are so many wrongs perpetrated by the current government, they beggar belief. Keep an eye on Twitter for news, everyone from economists, to universities, and now even the Tories themselves, are reporting the real truth, not the bull that's in the papers we're supposed to believe. There have never been so many food banks in the UK and homeless figures are astronomical, and yet we are supposed to believe crime is falling. Really? When starving people are sent to prison for stealing a bit of food. It's like we're living in 1984 where one thing is happening, but they tell us the opposite. Doublespeak.

I would be shocked indeed if any landlord still reading this thread comes back to insist things are not this bad. I would ask them to step outside and take a look around, not listen to the TV or papers.

There's a reason why there are so many programmes on benefit scroungers. The lie is - there never were any. DWP own figures show it's less than 1%. There are only about 3.5million disabled people in the UK. The welfare budget for them is hardly anything.

Landlords just need to think for themselves.

And you're right, it's funny how that red tape will vanish. And it's not too far off. I would even say within the next 12 months.

By the way, I still haven't moved. The stress is so high, my illness has become something else I don't even have a name for, and I'm worried that one day, I'm going to have a stroke or cardiac arrest. Perfectly reasonable worry considering what I am going through. You would too. People younger than me are being buried, so why not me. I'm nothing special, just another human being. And who cares about that right. The Tories tried to do away with Human Rights Laws. Funny that.

Meanwhile, yes, my landlords have become slum landlords. Just like pre-1960s. They are not doing essential, dangerous repairs. And they're not the only ones. Across London, landlords are not repairing properties and leaving them in uninhabitable conditions. If a tenant requests a repair, they are turfed out.

I don't think there's a landlord here who can come back with a "yeah, well". It's true that the landlord/tenant relationship is in severe jeopardy now housing benefit it routinely suspended for the slightest thing. Once again, the Tories pitting us against each other, distracting us from their activities.

By the way, the United Nations are investigating the DWP for human rights violations. By implication, they are investigating the Tories for breaking the law, which they have. The Tories have broken laws, tried to change the law to benefit them, only prevented by the House of Lords, but who knows what laws went through. The truth of what's happening in the UK is nauseating.

I am not at all defensive about the old lie that landlords here may have to say in response to me. That old bullshit about scraggy benefit claimants who are irresponsible. That was newspaper fodder to keep people occupied. My only comeback to them (landlords) would be - WAKE UP.

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OnTheOtherHand 1st February, 2015 @ 15:42

So in summary, we have a potentially fraudulent Tory government.
My landlords didn't pay their taxes, but they don't seem to be under as much pressure as I am.
My condition has worsened with the stress I'm under and is now unrecognisable, potentially fatal. And I'm the benefit scrounger. :/

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kathryn 8th February, 2015 @ 23:54

this makes me so angery how hard it is to move because we recive a little bit of help. the only reason im on benifit in the first place is so because the company i was working for got closed down so there was no job for me. i was living with my partner and because of this we had to leave the flat we were renting at the time and move in with his parents.
i was told when i was very young that the likely hood of me being able to have children was very low but was on the pill anyway and still fell pregnant ( best thing thats ever happend)
becuase of the fact that his parents already had 2 small children and one who is desabled we could no longer stay there and had to find a place of out own to rent so saved and saved and saved for my partners job whelst i was pregnent and had to take the place were in now as we ran out of time becuase of how hard it was to save.( moved in and 3 days later my son was born)
no would employe me whilst i was exspecting and now im in a situation where i wouldnt be able to afford childcare to get a job and my partners hours at work have been cut.
we now recive 1/4 of our rent in housing beinfit and pay everything out of our tax credits and his wages.
we deprertly need to move as we have to space and have all out stuff in stack a boxs have to sleep in the living room so out little on will settle as well as having our fridge and frezzer in the livning room as well. mold in everyroom in the flat no bath so we have to put our 8 month old in the shower which has no heating in it so he is shivering by the time bhe gets out because hes so cold , we have to share a washing machine with the other 5 flats in our block. there are only singal glaved windows in our flat that used to freeze on the inside so we have to put bubble rap on them for stop the frost and slugs everymorning in the living room.
ive applyed to the councile for help but have been told i would have to wait till me son is 15 before i would be helped because there is such a long waiting list, but yer it is almost imposiball to move because noone will takeone dss even though its only part of my rent that is coverd by dss and my partner works i just find it a very bitter pill to swollow when i cant let my son play of the floor incase he eats a slug or gets to hold of the walls into his mouth or something. i feel depressed and devistated every singal day due to the fact that a few unfortinate events now means i cant give my son the safe HOME he deserves.
and yer my landlord nos the problems and wont do anything about it :(
were not all bad people on dss and some of us just want a chance rather then al being tared with the same brush .

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OnTheOtherHand 9th February, 2015 @ 01:36

1 in 4 landlords are MPs. I hope they're reading this thread.

Labour plan to cap rents. I haven't seen anything on lifting the cap on housing benefit yet, but let's wait and see. Capping HB was a stupid thing to do in the first place, as is suspending rent on/off/on/off for no reason.

There's call to regulate landlords. We're a nation of renters again, so it needs to be done or we're looking at slum landlords like yours Kathryn. I am so sorry for what you're going through, it sounds post-war. :(

Email your MP and raise awareness. I did, and I met with mine last week. Labour MP, he's already angry because someone committed suicide. The whole country is so angry. Whether MPs use it as political leverage or not, we have to pick up Britain from out of the toilet and put things right.

The UK is a global embarrassment. The EU aren't impressed. The United Nations ruled on human rights violations. Imagine that, being on a list of countries like that.

Right now, the super-rich, worth billions, are helping the Tories BUY the next election. If they succeed, guaranteed, Cameron will step down, he doesn't want to do this anymore, not that he did much in the first place. Weak, cowardly and the most dangerous PM we have ever had. IDS has been his stooge, someone to blame for all the bad policies, which went through anyway, whilst tax payers paid for untold number of underpants. (he put new underpants on his expenses. Tons of money on underpants). As for Gidiot with his woodwork CSE... (George Osborne has no qualifications). A bunch of clowns who have done unspeakable damage, leading to the deaths of thousands upon thousands every year for 5 years.

A war on the vulnerable, because they didn't have the guts to go after tax-dodgers. Or rather, it was somewhat inconvenient to impose upon their buddies, they need them to pay for things like £100,000 a MONTH to get people to 'like' them on Facebook. smh

I should imagine landlords don't know what to do these days either. For one, housing benefit is unreliable, thanks to spurious suspensions. But employed people are a risky too, as low pay isn't enough to cover rent, so they too rely on housing benefit. Minimum wage hasn't risen much since my university days, 20 years ago. Then there's zero-hour contracts which is unreliable. And then self-employment, which is also usually low-income, and tax credits are benefits and people are 'failing' to get those too. The job market is volatile. Councils are failing in their duty of care when people are evicted, more and more people are ending up on the streets, including the sick/disabled, and especially those with mental health issues because they can't self-advocate. It doesn't even matter if a landlord is a good person with a conscience who'd like to help, with things as they are, how can they afford to?

Everyone has been well and truly shafted. Landlords need tenants as much as the other way round. So we're in this together. No point being divided, we all want the same thing - stability. I should hope by now the bullshit propaganda about benefit scroungers has been busted. With benefit fraud at 0.7%, it's fair to say any losses are negligible, (compared to billions uncollected from tax dodgers) and anyone on benefits is genuine. The majority of benefit claimants are employed anyway. There's about 3.5 million sick/disabled who can't make up any difference in shortfall, and only rare exceptions fake it. DWP tests have always been aggressive, there are so many hoops, only someone genuine gets through them, jeopardising their health at the same time as they are so incredibly stressful. The tests are so bad, they're leading to early death these days. Don't believe the media hype of rarities like coma-conman, and don't bother with Channel 4 or Channel 5, they're already doing shows on the super-rich, and they'll do 'exposes' on tax-dodgers next, whatever it takes to get us to watch telly...

Labour plan to collect from those tax-dodgers. Obama is doing the same. Some countries already did it ages ago, and one jailed the bankers too. There's your 'austerity', there was no money coming in, because the Tories couldn't be arsed to collect it.

It's never been more important to vote. Make sure you're registered. And write to your MP. Everything is under reform. Tell them what's wrong, and ask for what you want or need. Also, Shelter help with most housing issues, might be worth getting in touch. You'll find their details online.

And please nobody give up, hang in there. I don't know what's ahead for me, the court hearing for eviction is next month. I'm so overwhelmed, I'm just numb.

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FredScuttle 13th February, 2015 @ 12:21

Please note that I have been a 'dss' tenant for 15 years, both my partner and I being sick or a carer for each other at various times, and it was at its worst under the previous government. Then, I got my benefit changed or even stopped without notice. When I asked why I was shouted at by the dwp time and again. All this and landlords were as bad then towards dss as they are now. It will never change in my lifetime. Do not be hoodwinked by politicians that they have any capacity to do anything about this. We are the bottom of the barrel and will stay that way because we do not work and are thought by many voters to be a leach on society. Do not expect any change anytime soon. If you don't believe me find out from someone else. Anyone who has been in this position long enough knows the score.

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Santaslittlehelper 14th February, 2015 @ 02:06

I read pretty much every message here. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and in their mind they are right. Maybe knowing that other ppl have the same problem makes it that little bit easier on me, not because they are suffering too but knowing I'm not alone(if that makes sense). We are a couple with an 8 weeks old baby, unintentionally homeless as the local authority found. Needless to say we were made homeless days after we had the baby. Landlord heartless, did not want babies in the house. Yet we were not offered permanent housing (council house,housing association). We are to be made an offer of PRS (private rented sector) which we are ok with, except it would be roughly bout 300 miles away from our area (where I've lived most of my life) where there's no prospect for employment of any kind. (I am constantly looking for accommodation but I am facing all the problems that everyone else has written about about agent etc etc)question is, is that fair? Due to my medical condition I'm not able to work right now but I am taking part in voluntary courses to see what kind of employment I could take up in the future.The missus is looking after the little one and we are in a B&B atm. Any advice? Anyone, anything...pls...pls The future is looking bleak.

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Freeman 15th February, 2015 @ 18:57

Check out www.help2findaproperty.co.uk for advice, tips and help to find a property to rent as a DSS tenant.

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OnTheOtherHand 16th February, 2015 @ 03:29

Check out Fight Back in Facebook, for help with DWP if your medical condition is such that you need help.

Benefits & Work also help with DWP issues.
Being shouted at by them is abuse. Not acceptable. They failed a 7 year old little boy with leukaemia (sp?) and only reinstated last week because the local press raised awareness. The kid's parents were feeding him with whatever was available in the food bank. DWP reinstated benefits after a good public shaming. Even Tory voters were sickened by this story.

There really is a huge shortage of 1 bed flats thanks to bedroom tax, because people were forced to move to smaller properties if they couldn't afford to pay.

It's true DWP were always abusive. We can thank Thatcher for that one. She took away livelihoods, destroyed entire towns (miners), put people in need, then started a nationwide campaign for the public to grass 'benefit cheats' and ending the 'something for nothing culture', which she started in the first place.

So she robbed the state, put people in need, and it was their fault. This is why she took social housing away too, anything to destroy what the people of Britain had worked so hard to put in place to eradicate poverty and rebuild country after the wars.

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Kowalski 19th February, 2015 @ 03:23

I'm a reliable housing association tenant of 15 yrs who wants to move, but is 'stuck' in the system because my needs are low as i already have a place. I'm considering renting privately. I'm on HB and WTC as I work for myself, but income isn't huge as I'm disabled.

QUESTION... What if I don't divulge Im on Housing Benefit & WTC to future landlord or agency? Who's going to be the wiser? Why not lie to the bastards? After all plenty of people lose their jobs soon after renting a place and claim benefits, but don't tell the landlords.. and they're non the wiser.

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OnTheOtherHand 20th February, 2015 @ 01:45

@Kowalski

Actually, my local council suggested that to me, that why not simply not tell them I claim HB.

Personally, I wouldn't because HB can take about 8 weeks to come through. In the past, it was a stable, regular payment no matter if your income benefits (incapacity benefit, income support, ESA etc) were being reassessed, so you could have quite reasonably not told landlords. But today, they keep suspending it for no good reason.

Working tax credits also come under 'welfare' as it's been redefined, which means more and more people are 'failing'. It's anti-business, but what do they care, it's a numbers game to them, hitting targets. (Teachers' pensions and judges' pensions are also 'welfare benefits', believe it or not).

If you earn enough to keep covering your rent for the periods HB payments are suspended, then you could reasonably not say anything, as in your case, HB subsidises your rent.

But if you rely on HB as your main rent, then I'd be cautious. (but then, I am guilty of being "too honest". I just prefer transparency over anything else, I let landlords make up their own minds about me. Foolish but honest).

This isn't advice, but I thought I'd share what my local council actually said to me. I also think some landlords don't actually care where the money comes from, as long as it's paid. 1 in 4 landlords are MPs anyway, they know all about the rent coming to them!

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karole 20th March, 2015 @ 13:24

Iam trying to find a house for my daughter and her three children I have been on a few sights and found that some landlords say they take dhss but when you ring them they say no dhss my daughter and her children have been through hell the past three months and just want a place to call home does anyone no anyone who can help

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Paul Hart 9th April, 2015 @ 08:00

Landlords may not be able to discriminate DSS freely much longer!

Anyone with a 'protected characteristic' (ie. disability) is protected by the Equality Act. Currently most landlords think that this doesn't apply to them as :

a) They have a right to decide who they let to
b) A persons fiscal position is an adequate non-discriminatory reason to refuse to let.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which side of the fence you're on) - The Equality Act is quite clear

19.1 A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if A applies to B a provision, criterion or practice which is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B's.

Okay, but is the practice (charging 6 months deposit to DSS) or the criterion (NO DSS) discriminatory? Lets read the next section :

19.2 For the purposes of subsection (1), a provision, criterion or practice is discriminatory in relation to a relevant protected characteristic of B's if—

(a)A applies, or would apply, it to persons with whom B does not share the characteristic,

Since the characteristic is disability - and NO DSS applies equally to the non-disabled, then this indicator for indirect discrimination is clearly met.

(b)it puts, or would put, persons with whom B shares the characteristic at a particular disadvantage when compared with persons with whom B does not share it,

As a disabled person incapable of work and thus reliant on benefits does not have the opportunity to take work. Thus all persons sharing the 'protected characteristic' are disadvantaged compared to those who are NOT too disabled to work. This descriptor is met.

(c)it puts, or would put, B at that disadvantage, and

It has, clearly. A 'NO DSS' practice applied to Disabled persons does disadvantage them as compared with working or work-capable applicants.

(d)A cannot show it to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

So, what is the proportionate aim?

Bearing in mind that single disabled tenants are often receiving more income than a working adult once one adds it up. ESA+SDP+EDP+DLA/PIP+LHA. I have a tenant who receives £1600 per month as a single disabled male with no dependants... he's the best tenant I've ever had. Even when his LHA stopped suddenly, he continued to pay his rent before due until it was re-established. He can afford to. I have many working tenants who barely manage.

Also bear in mind that once you offer a property to a person upon some condition - you can no longer say that you're simply exercising your right to decide who you let to. By admitting that the person is suitable if they meet a condition (one which you would not impose on others) - then you could be taken to court for discrimination under the Equality Act.

The Equality Act also considers 'circumstances arising from' a protected characteristic. So, whilst you may not be discriminating against disabled persons directly, you may very well be discriminating indirectly.

Would it play? Who knows. Hands up any landlords who would like to be a test case! Yeah, thought so... me neither : )

Solutions

It's about time the government changed the HB regulations to be fair to both DSS Tenants and Landlords. No clawbacks from landlords if a tenant defrauds... garaunteed rent protection... and a mandatory notice to landlords when HB is scheduled to stop.

At the very least, a clear rent garauntee for their disabled customers, coupled with reinstating the right to pay the landlord directly, would mean that our societies most vulnerable will become prime tenants.

From where I sit, both Landlords and Tenants should be on the same side of this debate. Both are getting a bad deal from silly regulations which ultimately serve to protect neither.

I am a landlord and, yes, I am very much prejudiced against unemployed tenants (thrice burned)... but disabled are very welcome and, in my experience, have been among the most consciencious and trouble free of my tenants.

Tenants don't realise how precarious the situation is for the small-time landlord who takes on a DSS tenant. If tenants want a better deal, and landlords want full properties, then something needs to change. Many Landlords would drop the 'NO DSS' stipulations willingly if the government provided a more sensible framework for LHA.

Just my two penneth

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OnTheOtherHand 9th April, 2015 @ 20:01

Great post, Paul. :)

That's true about disabled people being good tenants, well, true for me anyway! I don't know what the other letters mean, but I just passed ESA (the 'transfer' from IB took nearly 2 years, unbelievably), and I get LHA. LHA depends on postcode, so for mine it's currently about £800 every 28 days (I'm in London). I don't know my ESA award yet, they're still sorting it, I have been managing on just my DLA for the last 3 months. If I didn't have that, I'd have died by now.

Under Labour, councils didn't used to suspend rent during reassessment, but they do now because that's Tory policy, to pit us against each other, and for the needy to lose. We know their philosophy of putting people in need then blaming them for being in need. This is how it plays out between landlord/tenant.

I have a fluctuating condition, which means there are long periods when I'm stuck in bed. Months, or sometimes even a whole year or so, go by and I don't go anywhere or do anything. So my ESA (or IB as it was) + DLA gets saved. So now, when rent was suspended/reinstated/suspended/reinstated, I had the money put by to cover their shenanigans. My landlords didn't miss a day's payment, except for now, they reapplied to court to have me evicted, won, they rang me, hysterical, refused to believe there's a housing crisis or even that I am ill, were bullying and aggressive, and told me they're applying for bailiffs. So now I can't be arsed to cover the rent out of my own money when it was suspended again recently (DWP were waiting for a letter from my GP, that was the reason for the suspension), why should I if the bailiffs are coming any day? Rent was paid to me on 30 March, but nothing has reached my account yet, nearly 2 weeks later.

It would appear nobody is arsed about paying landlords, certainly not our "we know what we're doing with the economy" idiot Tory government. They don't want DSS tenants paying, though they could. They don't want to help anyone on low income, though they could. They don't want to help anyone. They want to take the money and run to the nearest tax haven.

I agree, Paul, and I was trying to make this point earlier too, that landlords and tenants are both being royally shafted by the government and that we are actually on the same side.

One reason sick/disabled people make good tenants is because they don't do anything or go anywhere. They are less likely to move anytime soon, because relocation is a big deal and impacts on health. I am moving after 10 years because I have to. My health has gone down the pan.

My problem has been the landlords. They took over from the previous one when they bought it off him with me as a tenant. My original landlord knew what he was doing and things were great here. The current pair are typical Tories, tax dodgers, trying to be clever with money, except now they've got caught. They were perfectly happy to take LHA from the state. Take the money and run. While they have been my landlords, they have let the property fall apart. They failed to maintain it and then they didn't even do essential repairs, because "no money". They are without doubt the most incompetent landlords I have ever had. Which is why I was saying earlier about a landlords register of some sort, and also references. Because I am one of the vulnerable, I can't go through this again, it's not fair.

Paul, I think it would be worth emailing your MP, or at least your local Labour and Green MPs, as I know this is high on their agenda, and they are listening. I have been emailing mine and I have been to see him too. We are in a time of dramatic change, everything is in flux, now is the time to speak up for the change we want. Hopefully, we're looking at a coalition of Labout+SNP+Greens or something close to that, and we all get what we need. If the Tories are back in for 5 years, I for one won't make it. I already know. If my illness doesn't take me, I might act on my feelings. What the Tories are doing is much too hard for the vulnerable to survive, and if I look around, nobody is doing well.

One further point I want to make is the gentrification of our cities. My area used to be quite run down and forgotten, I'm not far from Brixton which used to be rife with crime. Now, you wouldn't recognise it, it's all beyond fancy. (nauseating in my opinion). I have been looking for a letting agent who accepts DSS and haven't found a single one, they're all chasing the money. Meanwhile, and this is hilarious, all of a sudden, about 100 new flats have suddenly been built just along my road alone, which means a glut of new properties, all for sale, and no buyers. They're sitting there empty. That is causing property prices to fall. So, haha, my landlords won't get what they could have got if they had just sold this place with me as a sitting tenant ages ago. I don't think it will sell anytime soon, not with all these shiny new flats going up! Talk about karma.

Hopefully, I'll be lucky and get through this. Shelter are helping me, although nothing suitable has come up yet, but fingers crossed. It's all down to luck, whether I make it or not. That's a horrible position to be in, to stare death in the face and wonder...

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andrewa 9th April, 2015 @ 20:18

@ Paul your solutions make common sense (which is probably why none of them will be acted on by government)

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Lokie Young 13th April, 2015 @ 22:44

The situation we are witnessing in the housing sector is just mind blowing. Greed is the norm and discrimination has become a breeding ground in the housing rental sector. A law is required right now to stop this Scrooge in it's track. Landlords using the term no DSS should be banned from letting. It's discrimination in it's worse form that is allowed to escape without punishment. Anyone in this day and age could be getting for DSS for a number of reasons. It should not be the business of a landlord if they are or not to afford them the means to discriminate. If rent is paid, it should not be their concern. The situation we are seeing with many families being denied a home because of the stigma of DSS being made a dirty word is against human right. Many people are homeless due to the Tories attack on HB cuts. The poor are being used to make the rich richer and to pay off the banking disaster that brought this country to it's knees. Those banker's are still being rewarded for their failures and they are bank rolling the Tories. Landlords today are seeing £££'s due to unrealistic property valuations and rental demands created by the shortages in affordable rentals in the housing sector. Homelessness is increased by the NO DSS thus helping to keep the housing shortages going, which in turn raises the Rents and costs of housing. It's true many landlords are putting money before needs. It's not called the housing market for nothing. Just like the stock market, housing is now an investment where stocks can go up or down. Many landlord don't accept DSS because they are tax avoiders. They prefer private tenants who pay them directly, because they can hide any rental income. It harder when the tenants pay with DSS because there would be a record of such payments, which makes it harder for said landlord to avoid paying tax on the rental income. The only way is to keep lobbying MP's and get voices heard for change. Action groups are far more effective than lone voices. Good Luck.

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Lady Laura 19th May, 2015 @ 16:45

I have been looking for a home for myself and my two daughters, one of whom recieves DLA and I am her full time carer. Before I had my children I was working 6 days a week right up until the 34th week of pregnancy. After my first was born i returned to work until I found out I was pregnant again and it was around the time my second daughter was born that my eldest daughters condition developed. Now I look after her full time, which many people, myself included, wil deduce that this is not an actual job. The many, many, many times I have mentioned to my HV, SW, Community nurse and even my daughter OT and SLT workers about me looking for work as I could have a childminder and this would mean I was not only working but creating a job for another person, they downright scolded me for suggesting such a thing! Like no - you stay home dont bother about a job, these people are insane and I am still going to look for a job!

All this is beside the point, I have been looking for a private let property for the past 12 months and came up with diddly squat due to my above circumstances. I'm also bidding with the council but anyone who lives in edinburgh and has partook in this ridiculous housing war you'll know how helpful that really is (which is absolutely not one ounce of helpful at all for our non edinburgh friends). How is this fair? Even if I had a job it has to be part time due to all the classes, assessments, therapy appointments, doctors visits and so on that my daughter needs I'm still not going to meet the income bracket for an agency (lets face it most of them try rip you off with ILLEGAL fees anyway) and no private landlord with a decent house will let us let!! My daughters condition won't ever improve so it's more than likely I will be her carer for life. Do we not deserve somewhere to live where we can be happy and my daughter can settle in comfortably knowing she's not going to be uprooted again in a year or so?

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stacey 5th June, 2015 @ 14:31

sam u ovb think yr better than e.one else were scum cos we claim benefits i fell very ill and claim for my 3 girls u aint better than me or any other person on benefits iv worked b4 i was ill my whole family do you sound like a heart less stuck up peice shit with no life to even comment on here its for people looking for help not to be bad mouthed from little mr or miss surperor and yes i spelt tht wrong...... dogggggggggggggggggggggggg

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Alex 13th July, 2015 @ 23:36

I have read all these post and while I can understand the difficulties of people with disabilities. My situation is different I work as a teaching assistant and my partner is a delivery driver,two children. We claim housing benefit to top of her wages still can't find anywhere to live. Coz of the age gap in children we have to have a 3 bedroom. We are being made homeless at the end of August as my landlord has got custody for his children and wants to move them back into this house. We are planning on not telling the we are in housing benefit as can cover tent with wages but would leave nothing else for food or anything. Rents in this area are over £1200 for a 3 bedroom.

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Dayle 11th August, 2015 @ 20:46

i really understand how landlords must feel as i've seen loads of wrecked properties that "dss" tenants have left behind. not only does the landlord not get the rent but someone trashes their property costing money to put right.
ive been renting since i was 14, 15 years now and i've lived all over england. wherever there was a job and a house i would move rather than be unemployed. i have however been unemployed 3 times now and have had to leave my rented property because i could no longer afford the rent and as such, have been homeless 3 times. i've spent over a year altogether on the streets because no one will touch me with a barge pole because i have the label "dss". no one is interested that i've never missed a rent payment ever! that i've always either redecorated before i moved out or paid the landlord to get someone to do.
what kind of country do we live in where disabled people like me have to sleep in a car or on the streets because of a 3 letter word?
sure i have been offered hostels but i've had my room broken into and things stolen, drugs and violence at my door just so my council can put me down as a figure of "found a home".
please landlords, ignore the "dss" word, it means nothing. references from past landlords and affordibilty guides including benefits should mean more surely?

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OnTheOtherHand 13th August, 2015 @ 17:18

So I was evicted eventually, although I know I could have requested a stay and bought more time. I couldn't wait to get out of there, the front door no longer closed properly and I saw a mouse in the kitchen. It wasn't safe anymore, the landlords had neglected it so much. There were rodents in the loft which didn't seem to concern them, despite the fact they were damaging the masonry. Unbelievable.

I was homeless for about a month, then I found somewhere. No easy thing when you're middle aged. Listening to other tenants in the building where I live now, I understand the landlords are slum landlords. Great, so I'm out of the frying pan into another one. It's not secure, the roof leaks (flat roof), the floor is so rotten I'm worried I'm going to fall through, etc etc, lot of problems structurally. It's an old building but still. The previous tenant was a drug addict who also was a dealer and sounds like was a pimp as well. So I have had the police round two or three times looking for him. All the people in the property (old building converted into flats) are really nice, hard-working, decent, family types, none of us deserve the lazy-arsed attitude of our slum landlords who can't be bothered to maintain the place or make sure utilities work properly. There's no phone line because they cut the wrong cables. So as far as I'm concerned, it's a pit stop and I will be looking to move again asap. I want a decent landlord who appreciates me and I couldn't give a monkeys about being on DSS. It's a regular rent payment, what's not to like? FFS. Isn't half the country on housing benefit these days? All those people on average wage or zero hour contracts? Sainsbury's don't pay anyone properly, I hear the Queen doesn't either. Landlords need to get over themselves and join us in the real world.

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Benji 14th August, 2015 @ 11:22

@ OTOH,

DSS. It's a regular rent payment, what's not to like?

But it isn't, that is part of the problem.

It should be. It should be a government guaranteed rent of a good long term tenant in return for a landlord charging a bit less.

But rent payments aren't usually paid direct to landlords and they can be stopped at anytime, even when it is through no fault of the tenant.

On top of which, now DSS landlords won't be able to increase rents for at least 4 years due to a freeze on LHA rates.

It doesn't make sense anymore for decent landlords to take on even the best DSS tenants.

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OnTheOtherHand 20th August, 2015 @ 23:26

@Benji

Sorry, just saw this in one of my open tabs, I didn't get the email alert.

*sigh* What you say is true. I was convinced the council where I lived before actively went out of their way to suspend rent payment because... no reason. Because. When you challenged them, just like the DWP, they had no answer.

Rents can't continue to rise above what people can afford to pay, landlords will just price themselves out of the market. There's a natural limit anyway. But the government refusing to pay the average rent for an area isn't on, agreed. And freezing it for 4 years. Yay, Tories. Although it doesn't really make sense (to freeze LHA rates for 4 years) seeing as so many MPs are landlords themselves. But then, the intention is to kill as many people as possible. People are disappearing from official stats. Funny, that. (DWP)

Looks like housing is in turmoil right now, political hot potato. How things settle, I don't know. But it's not right that increasing numbers of people are homeless. It's shameful that the 6th or 7th so-called richest country in the world can't afford to house its people. And London is the capital of homelessness. (Guardian)

My dystopian vision of the future I imagined above, a year ago?, seems to be coming true. London as we knew is it disappearing, and quickly. It's like a bomb went off and there's this expanding radius of devastation. We can argue and fight amongst ourselves till we're blue in the face, we landords and tenants, but that's the distraction we're meant to have. The problem is our rulers. They're not our elected government, they're our rulers.

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amani 22nd September, 2015 @ 14:04

hii guys
Was just wondering if anyone would know of any landlords that does accept part dss in this borough???
i have a 2 year old son, and am looking for 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom flat no more then &1500 pcm
i've been looking for 6months now and I have no clue what to do...
If anyone has any advice please let me know

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Becca 6th November, 2015 @ 20:09

I was evicted from my old property 5 months ago recieving the section 21 papers on my daughters 3rd birthday. Told by "royal" stupid borough that i have to look for places for myself. I have 3 children and ended up in a tiny 2 bedroom flat in blackheath with the rent being £1200pcm. About 1month ago i recieved a note through my door from my landlord asking me to ring him in which i done only to be told my rent has been cut by £269 a month. For the past 3 months. I contacted the council who has told me my rent has been cut due to the benefit cap. I now have rent arreas i am paying off but also now have to find a place for £663pcm as that is all i will be entitled to in april 2016. Now i am paying off the rent arrears as i dont want to avoid paying it as it is what is owed to the landlord but i have been told by a member of housing allocation that i should never have been moved in to that property anyway. Landlord has now given me notice to be out by 30th of november and on top of it being 2 of my childrens birthdays and xmas i have to try and find a property. They told me i have to look for one out of the borough as that is all i will find and none in london. But i am struggling as i cant find anywhere that accepts dss. I also cant go into work as one of my daughters is only two but they have told me i have to go to work and put her in a nursery now. But i just dont see the point as she along with my two who are already at school will all have to be moved when we have to leave the borough. I just dont know what to do or where to look. I would much appreciate any advice/ help that can be given. HATE BEING LOOK DOWN UPON AND DISCRIMINATED AGAINST JUST BECAUSE IM ON BENEFITS.

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Charthesmall 20th January, 2016 @ 21:21

The problem we're having is we moved a town over from I used to work into our first rented flat. I don't drive and I have an 11 month son, I would of been actually losing money on travel and child care alone, so after my maternity leave ended I couldn't go back to my job. That and I couldn't stand for more than 5 minutes due to a misplaced bone after the birth of my son which I have only just recovered from.

I used to pay half of the rent and council tax as well as food, that's a good sum of money even though my job was minimum wage.
My partner while having a job doesn't earn enough to support us and pay rent now, it'sall getting too much cost wise and we're barely scraping by.

We've paid out rent on time, for over a year but now are at breaking point and really struggling. Having housing benefit would help so much until I can find a job good enough to be able to pay for child care, we're getting desperate but I'm too afraid to approach our landlord about it because of either their insurance or fear of prejudice from them.

We live in a small town and only a few properties are ever available, any that are will always state no DSS. I'm talking about a property comes up every couple of months and no more than 2-3 at a time. This leaves us pretty much buggered and it all feels terribly unfair. If we did have to want some help with the rent, we might have to find somewhere else to accept and the chances of that are well... too slim for someone with a child to be comfortable.

These situations are horrible, your life revolves around them and every moment of the day is spent worrying about money instead of enjoying being a mother.

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OnTheOtherHand 20th January, 2016 @ 23:55

Well... hello again, hello. There wasn't much that I said in the last couple of years that hasn't come true, was there.

2 in 5 MPs are landlords. They fix the law so it benefits them. What rent is paid, housing benefit or not, disappears offshore, out of the country, out of the economy. That's why the law is the way it is.

Any landlord here who thinks things are in their favour is fabulously deluded. Oh no it's not. Tenants today, made destitute, losing everything, you're next.

A Conservative MP was prosecuted for being a rogue landlord. How many of us in this country have strong cases against arsehole landlords who took liberties? who took the piss?
Business, was it? That's going to wash.

For tenants who are worried, join any activist movement, join anything that fights this disgusting, destructive government. There are initiatives forming to help those who need it, but it's all still just beginning and there's nothing formal anywhere. Keep an eye out via social media for local initiatives, start with Shelter, and also look at Anonymous, search the hashtag #opsafewinter in Twitter for helping the homeless.

Philanthropy is starting to make a return to the country where the rich are letting people stay in empty properties for the winter. Look out for that too. If arsehole landlords don't grow a heart or brain anytime soon, there's alternatives beginning already. Look for shared housing, there's new ways of doing that. And know those arsehole landlords have it coming to them bigtime in due course.

I know it doesn't help anyone in need right now, and yes, some people won't make it. Once you're out of the system, it's extremely dangerous. Not that arsehole landlords particularly give a shit, too busy counting their money, evicting tenants and putting the rent up so that even the very well paid are struggling now. Imagine that. You're on a salary nudging the next tax bracket and you're evicted and can't find anywhere to live because you can't afford the rent. That's how it is in London. Don't for a second believe it's just you, or because you're on benefits. It's got f*** all to do with that. It's abuse of power on the part of landlords, they do what they want because they can. The law is on the side of landlords and there is no stopping them. Not yet. But that tide's turning and I will cheer for every dick landlord put behind bars. You know you had it coming, dear landlords, you can't take the piss and get away with it.

Harsh words? Blunt? I haven't even started. Your (landlord) actions have led to deaths. How many? Nobody even knows. My guess tens of thousands, and I'm being cautious. You have blood on your hands. Grow a conscience. Sort your priorities and step up, before you lose it all.

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Elaine 6th July, 2016 @ 17:26

Landlord sold property, need to be out 17th Jul (lived there 26 years, 9 years as tenant) - time and reliability counts for nothing .. looking for 3 months (23/3 advised, 13/5 S21 issued) .. virtually impossible to get anywhere with dss tag .. we are self-employed with own business, low income, receive HB and WTC too .. Council no help .. told us need to give up our beloved senior pets to get a roof over heads (or live on streets if we don't) and advised us to hang it out until get possession order although all this does is give them more time to find you somewhere, but not the beloved dogs. Read somewhere that DIG carried out survey in London on 50 letting agents and found them to be biased against DSS, how many others?

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Karl Gookey 12th July, 2016 @ 19:09

I've recently just come across DSS Move (the other half and I aren't DSS tenants however) and a lot of it just seems too good to be true! We've seen 1 and 2 bedroom flats in the middle of N1 London for between £600 and £800, which is just insane. We can't find flats that cheap here in Essex.

There has to be a catch, right? Are they offering a room, not the flat itself and just not including it in the description? There must be something untoward going on here, we just can't figure it out!

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OnTheOtherHand 13th July, 2016 @ 00:50

@Karl Gookey Be careful. No, they're not genuine listings. They are after your personal details. Data is worth a lot of money. When I was searching, the amount of spam I received was incredible. I still receive cold calls 1-2 years later. When I ask where they got my number from, they hang up.

These people harvest your details and sell them on. Which are then sold on, and on...

Some will harvest your details at registration or even if you just call to ask a quick question. They will want way more information than is reasonable. Then they'll tell you the property is no longer available, "oh it's just gone". But if you watch the listings, the same property will be back again, and stay there for months and months.

It's ok for landlords and letting agents, they can do what they want, the system is designed for them. But for the rest of us, we have to be really, really careful.

DSS Move is a good site, but there will be properties listed as DSS accepted when they're not at all, and landlords/letting agents will have no idea. It's because it's an aggregator, the listings are posted elsewhere and this site gathers them together, but makes mistakes sometimes. You can see who the properties are listed with. It's worth giving those letting agents a ring and signing up with them, after you've checked in Google they're ok. Look for customer reviews, complaints, court cases.

Also call your local Shelter and other resources for housing/homeless, to see if there's anyone they can suggest. Sometimes, some property services don't advertise because they work with councils or something.

Good luck! Hope you find somewhere soon.

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Lokie 21st July, 2016 @ 23:49

Careful on DSS move. If it’s too good to be true then you know it’s a scam. A con was advertising a place there, to which I replied. A place in Hampstead. 2 Bedroom and lower than usual rent. To cut a long story short, this chap said he was off overseas and needed someone to look after the place as if it was their own. He asked me to supply refs etc. Seem legitimate. Then he asked for money, deposit and rent in advance. He tried to do this through Air B and B. At this point alarm bells began to ring. I contacted Air Band B and they said they never advice or ask anyone for money upfront, before even seeing the place. So be very weary of private landlords on DSS move. Crooks have no conscience taking money from desperate tenants. When I had not transferred any funds, he was onto me making rude language and saying I cost him money. Fucking crook. I also got him removed off air bnb. You guys should report any dodgy ads even to DSS move, because they do remove such ads. Don’t let them profit from desperate homeless people.

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Lokie 22nd July, 2016 @ 00:02

Really feel for some on here trying to fight the system that is against us. It’s becoming ridiculous now and something has to be done to end this craziness in the housing and letting sector. It’s built on greed and nothing else. They are fucking counting their money whilst people are being made homeless. The very ones paying off their mortgages and making them wealthier, whilst they will never have anything for their hard sweat that’s paying that monthly extortionate rent. And it pee’s me off that they state no DSS. They only want your hard earned sweat money. DSS money will know they are getting an income and will expect them to pay taxes. No DSS means they can hide their income and not declare it. The Tories will never end it. Corbyn may be the man to end it, if the Labour idiots let him do his job and also back him.

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lei 21st October, 2016 @ 22:15

Nothings changed since this thread started, so sad
I'll be going in to B&B over 90mins away from family with my youngest child as no one is willing to give people a Chance, last year I gave my deposit to a lady who was happy to accept DSS and was yay we got a place! Then she spoke to some friends and came back to me and said no she didn't want to take the risk, (fair enough business is hard) left me living in shared accommodation with kids, where the landlady has had regular weekly payments on time every time for the last year. Now I have to leave and can't find anyone else willing. It is so frustrating, and sad I didn't intended to be 40 in shared accommodation, single parent and a low income, I am trying to get out of this situation by being self-employed but my Gawd that makes it harder! I do understand why people are reluctant but honestly not all of us a lying bankers! (Haha meant to say Wankers but auto correction got in, seems appropriate so I'll leave it 😁)

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OnTheOtherHand 22nd October, 2016 @ 08:55

@lei Best of luck at the new place, I hope things start to look up for you soon.

Some things have changed. I was reflecting on some of my predictions earlier in the thread, which have turned out to be true. Workers being driven out of towns and cities by rising rents causing problems both for themselves and employers for one.

Homelessness is set to continue to increase, predicted to reach a million in the not too distant future. It has already doubled since 2010.

What's changed is social attitudes. When this thread started, it was a hideously arrogant attempt to continue the lie that benefit recipients are feckless and to be demonised, and landlords are holier-than-thou. That script has been debunked and now entirely flipped, to the degree that landlords are ashamed to admit what they do.

Let that sink in. Landlords are ashamed of themselves. Some won't even admit what they do.

The default response from any landlord is: I've got a business to run. Except they're running the country into the ground. They are utterly abusing their position and no better than slum landlords we all thought were consigned to history. Which is why there will be regulation of landlords at some point, and rent control is very likely too. It has to be. Because what's the alternative? The entire country homeless? Then what?

If landlords think there will always be someone better off to rent to, think again. Wages are stagnant. The average wage isn't much above £20k. Businesses are being shut down. And that was before we Brexit. If things were down the toilet before, now it's been flushed.

I said it before, landlords and tenants can work together on this. Cooperate. We *are* all in this together, and we *do* need each other. We are going back to being a country of renters. Instead of hanging their heads in shame 'boo hoo poor me I done a boo boo', they can pull their fingers out and and start thinking about how we make things better. Because if everyone's on the streets, their properties are empty. Who's doing the renting then?

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jane Kennedy 22nd December, 2016 @ 22:43

Hello I am wondering if anyone has any idea if it is legal for a letting agent and their reference agency to now insist that housing benefit can not be taken into account as part of your income. We have been told this now on 2 occasions in applying for a private let.

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stu w 4th February, 2017 @ 18:18

i`m currently looking for a flat :-| i have a 2 bedroom place right now, but terrible neighbour problems. dss move is a useless site,i wrote to 3,4 places on there,with messages back saying "this flat is no longer available" such an out of date site..never found anything current on their. I work part time,but really dont know if this will go in my favour...some of these private landlords want £75 up front for cred checks and refs, seriously it is NOT going to cost that. its laughable, and cruel. I`ve had 3 private landlords now,NONE of them charged me for cred or ref checks.some of them are taking the p!ss

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Coppertop 21st February, 2017 @ 00:16

There probably are some very gray and confused areas about what the policy actually is regarding housing benefit claimants and renting. I have rented a few properties and never had to seek out a specified DSS welcome ad. Agencies have often told me they do not accept DSS end of. But sometimes the agents have told me they will need to contact the landlord to see if they do..very often it is all done through an agency and you never even see the landlord. I am currently renting now through a very vigorous agency...one that s policy does inspections every 2 months..but i have still met the landlord once, as did i meet the landlords in previous properties. I have a disability and i will admitt many DSS claimants do pose a risk..but if it is just down to that, rather than some lack of insurance or higher risk...common sense must come into play. I for one, am not even physically capable of suddenly upping annd doing a flit on my rent, nor have the energy it would take to trash the place. The dss payments are secure. So what would happen if a person in a full time job was suddenly made redundant then claiming dss...would they be evicted because suddenly their rent was coming from social security? I have a guarantor- i think sometimes you still need that, even if in work but- so yes, there may be a worry over what happens if someone's benefit suddenly stops? Well even if they do a flit, is that not what the guarantor is for? I just fail to see how it can still be a higher risk, particularly when you can just as easily lose your job (and it can take weeks for benefit claims to kick in) ..even if in work, if your renting there is a high chance your also living pay cheque to pay cheque.

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OnTheOtherHand 21st February, 2017 @ 01:09

@Coppertop "i will admitt many DSS claimants do pose a risk"

... what's the risk? Genuine question.

With more and more people in precarious employment, ie zero hour contracts, gig economy, etc, are they 'not risk'?

Many people can't get a guarantor. I couldn't and I asked friends I have known for years. It has completely ruined our relationships, they resented me for asking, and I resent them for letting me be made homeless. They didn't even ask how I was or where I was during those weeks.

It was never necessary for benefit claimants to have a guarantor before, it's an arbitrary whim on the part of landlords (who don't know what they're doing). What does it really guarantee? Nothing. Also, with the cost of housing rising, there are fewer homeowners to ask. I only knew two. Everyone else I know rents.

At this point, housing benefit from benefit claimants is a more secure rent, particularly from the sick/disabled, than from those working, as so many are either in precarious jobs, or may lose their jobs in the near future anyway because Brexit, as many people already have. If not Brexit then automation.

Basically, landlords in the buy to let game are in a losing position if they keep a hold of their right wing Tory prejudice towards benefit claimants. And if you think you're left, if you have the same prejudice towards benefit claimants, you are right wing. Benefit claimants are not 'riskier', that's propaganda. If landlords can make allowances for the employed when they have to wait till they're paid (whenever that is if they're not on contract), then they can make the same allowance for benefit claimants. Perhaps lobby government and make the waiting period shorter. Shouldn't be hard, seeing as 3 in 5 MPs are landlords and also rely on housing benefit from tenants as income. Yes, you heard right, landlords who are MPs accept housing benefit, so the system is geared so they don't lose out, because who else makes the laws.

Rents are going up and up while greedy incompetent landlords cash in. Short term thinking. Stupid, and absolutely no social conscience at all, not even a thought for their own future. Because how many people are there in the country who can afford those rents? And there will be fewer still as EU immigrants choose to leave (before being forced to?), those immigrants including well paid professionals we kind of need, like you know, doctors. Oh and I'm not going to mention the elephant in the room, the tens of thousands dead because of Tory welfare reform. Another 30,000 dead just in the last 12 months because of cuts in social care. Fewer young people are going to university now, because of the fees, and those that have are struggling to eat. From an employer's point of view, this means a massive skills shortage, and from a landlord's, a massive drop in highly paid professionals they can fleece. How many empty properties are there that landlords 'can't rent' because the asking price is too high, ie there's no one around who can afford it?

The number of people in secure work and paid well is getting smaller by the year, and landlords are chasing the same group, at the expense of everyone else. Stupid much. Benefit claimants are not the problem, landlords are.

If landlords can't handle their responsibility they shouldn't have it, and those properties should go back to councils or something. The whole housing market is ripe for reform.

I wrote earlier in this thread that there was an opportunity for landlords and tenants to work together, that we're in this together, we need each other, why not cooperate. Now we're past that. That was a crossroads, and landlords chose the wrong option. They want ever higher rents, and seem perfectly happy to see thousands and thousands of people homeless on the streets. Barely a week goes by without another homeless person found dead. The press bury the news faster than the dead are, but it's getting harder to ignore. And journalists are tenants too, even if they can't write for their papers (because some of our news is suppressed), they raise awareness in social media.

So where is this heading? That thing I predicted a while back is coming, either the bubble bursts, or something changes. Because it can't be that a government allows so many of its citizens homeless or as good as. Change didn't happen when people had a choice, so now change will be forced upon us. How exactly, who can predict, but it's not hard to see it's coming. All you have to do is look at what road we're on, then look ahead. Take your blinkers off and really look...

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carly watch 28th February, 2017 @ 12:21

hi there me and my partner are living in a private accommadion in Basildon working house hold but what happens when your partners work has gone down for a while extra staff agency has cost me and partner and our landlord has told us we must leave the home by this sat it aint right people in need should receive support in there own rights this is my complaint

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4yearslooking 21st March, 2017 @ 23:27

im currently living in shared housing
been here for around 4 years looking to move
currently have enough money to move and even pay 3 month rent in advance
but due to being out of work finding a place to take dss is impossible
my rent has always been payed for 4 years and any problems its sorted

im unable to have my kids in a shared house so having them overnight is a no and i miss them to much its killing me, why are things so hard for people in such need ?

pointless post but thought id give it a go

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OnTheOtherHand 22nd March, 2017 @ 00:29

@4yearslooking it's not pointless, every one of our stories is making a difference. Bear in mind, people think benefit claimants are like the clichés they read about in the press or see on TV which do nothing but reinforce prejudice. When we share our stories, it's powerful, because real life is nothing like the fiction people have been led to believe. Everyone is one pay cheque away from being a benefit claimant.

Look at how this thread begins, with one shitty experience, and that's it, that's the whole country tarred with the same brush. From a tenant's point of view, can't we say the same for landlords, all the equally shitty ones we have to deal with? I can't report a problem where I live, all hell breaks loose. My landlords take housing benefit and do as little work as possible for it. You can bet your last penny I support the new reforms being proposed.

If you haven't already, write to your MP. Housing is one of the top issues right now and some MPs are taking people's views to read out in Parliament. Up to you if you want to give your name or ask to remain anonymous. Just email your MP or local councillor (if you're stuck with a crazy Tory or Blairite). Tell them you are forced to live separately from your children. I am pretty sure that violates your human rights, and your children's, to live as a family.

Also contact Shelter and speak to the council housing team. Even if the council can't help (there's no funding these days), they should be able to give you information that might help.

I would also like you to contact the Samaritans, just to talk.

Wishing you lots of luck!

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