How To Find DSS/DWP Tenants

How To Find DSS/DWP Tenants

It takes a lot to throw this morbid and delusional dome off course, but on the rare occasion it happens.

Last week, I received an email from a new landlord that posed a question that left me slightly mystified and strangely curious. I took a double-take just to ensure I read what I thought I read, and not what I wanted to read.

The email was short and sweet…

Hello I am new landlord and would like to take on DSS tenants and not sure who to contact about this?

Mind-blowing, and I’m not referring to the lack of “please” or “thank you”, although equally as mind-blowing as the question posed.

It’s pretty unusual for a new landlord to specifically sought after DSS tenants, but perhaps this chap knows something I don’t. For example, a new charitable landlord incentive scheme, which means DSS accepting landlords don’t get completely screwed over by the existing legislation and polcies.

But more worryingly, maybe he’s just one of those hopelessly naïve victims that’s been led astray; poisoned to believe that DSS tenants equals ‘guaranteed rent’. A vicious rumour that has been making its way around the circuit for many years, and often lead to the downfall of many good men, and a rumour I’ve actively attempted to squash.

Typically, new landlords that end up with DSS tenants do so because of circumstances led by inexperience, and not necessarily because they went to the nearest correctional detention centre to help the local community. Relax, I’m joking.

My point is, new landlords generally don’t go looking for DSS tenants. Rightly or wrongly so, most newbies want working professionals with an impeccable credit rating, which for whatever the reason may be, is completely the opposite status of a DSS tenant (hence why they’re “DSS tenants”). Experienced landlords, on the other hand, are more able and acceptable to dealing with higher risk tenants.

I’ve already made my position clear on DSS tenants, although it’s mostly misconstrued by already frustrated DSS tenants, and only manages to fuel their rage and frantic finger-wagging. Obviously I know where I’d like to shove those fingers after I’ve hacked them off with a blunt spoon. Anyhow, the bottom line is, I feel the system is broken and doesn’t protect landlords at all, leaving them extremely vulnerable. My gripe isn’t with the claimants, it’s with the system.

In any case, here are my tips for any landlord that wants to find/accept DSS tenants…

Understand DSS tenants

First and foremost, truly understand what a DSS tenant is; evaluate the pros and cons, and then make your decision on whether it’s the right path for you. I’m convinced the author of the email hasn’t got his facts straight, and requires a better understanding.

Don’t just take the word of your local DSS friendly letting agent or your mate, Bob the Landlord, who happens to be DSS friendly.

After doing your own research, you may sway either way. Here’s an entire section dedicated to DSS/DWP tenants. Enjoy.

I’d just to clarify, this post isn’t meant to encourage or discourage anyone from pursuing DSS tenants, I just think it’s important for every landlord to fully understand the implications of having DSS tenants.

Don’t pay for DSS tenants

Don’t part with your cash for a DSS tenant, there’s no need. Or at least, don’t pay a high-street letting agent to find you DSS tenants, and don’t accept one if they offer you one.

Let me try to put the situation into perspective.

As a consumer, you need to put a value on every product you buy, and that includes the cheap after-market condoms you acquire, down to every last service/tenant you use.

Letting agents will charge a fixed fee for any tenant they find, despite the tenant’s desirability. But in reality, tenants can and should be valued on their own merit because they aren’t all the same; some come attached with greater risks than others. Ultimately, some tenants are worth more than others.

For example, if a letting agent is charging you £500 for a “tenant-find” service, and they find you a ‘single parent DSS tenant’, do you think you’re getting value? You’re not. So tell your agent to keep searching.

Yes, the DSS tenant may pay on time, and may conclude to be the perfect tenant, but that’s not the point. The point is, for the same money, you could obtain two working professionals with immaculate credentials, which would be a significantly less risky alternative.

So if you had the choice, which tenant would YOU choose? It’s a no-brainer. You should always be trying to get the most value out of your money.

My first ever tenant was a DSS tenant, and it ended in an epic disaster. In retrospect, my naivety and stupidity was pretty amusing. At the time I didn’t even know what a DSS tenant was, all I knew was that my letting agent guaranteed I’d be getting rent directly from the Government, so it was a win/win situation. Getting payment from the Government sounded amazing, because obviously they’re going to be reliable payers. Of course, if it sounds too good to be true… well, you know the drill.

Inevitably, it didn’t work like I was led to believe- the tenant quickly ended up on my ‘shitlist’ after falling into arrears. I eventually had to start an eviction process to get her dumb-founded arse out of my property. My only saving grace was that I had rent insurance in place, and that was only by pure luck, because the agent arranged it as a ‘freebie’- otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered.

Needless to say, the entire exercise was an expensive mistake. Besides from losing out on rent, I paid the letting agent £700 for the privilege of finding me that donkey tenant. It soon became clear that I had my pants pulled down by a slimy snake-oil agent.

Fair play to him. Hope he’s rotting in hell with his penis tightly wrapped around his neck.

But my mistake was I didn’t value my money. I overpaid for a product that I knew nothing about.

Contact your local Council Benefit/Housing Department

Housing Benefit (or ‘Local Housing Allowance’, whatever you want to call it) was introduced because there weren’t enough Council Houses to accommodate everyone that required housing, so the Government looked upon landlords for assistance. You could say, landlords that accept DSS tenants are Knights in shining armour. Yeah, that’s precisely what I’d call them. Really.

Many local authorities are desperate for housing, so I would contact them directly to see if they can source some tenants. Unlike letting agents, they won’t charge you for the… I want to say… “privilege”, because you’ll be doing them a favour.

Put an Advert on Gumtree

Seriously, Gumtree is swarming with DSS tenants. The place is notorious for being a breeding ground for DSS tenants seeking accommodation.

Even when I place a “NO DSS TENANTS” disclaimer on my Gumtree advert, I still get several enquiries from them, attempting to encourage me to unearth my humanitarian side by reconsidering. Unfortunately, it never works, because I’ve been scarred too deeply by the system. However, just imagine how many enquiries I’d generate if I placed a “DSS WELCOME” disclaimer.

Here’s a guide on how landlords can put an advert on Gumtree. I don’t cover it in the article, but in this particular scenario, I would put “DSS WELCOME” in the advert title and description.

Use an Online Letting Agent

As said, I wouldn’t pay an high-street agent to find me a DSS tenant, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t use an Online Letting Agent for as little as FREE, and get my property marketed across the biggest property portals e.g. Rightmove. But then again, if you’re going to stick your property onto Rightmove, you may as well find a tenant that’s not dependent on benefits.

DSS specific portals

I’ve recently noticed a few property portals specific to listing only “DSS friendly” properties/landlords. I haven’t spent much time on them, but it might be worth listing your property on those websites.

If anyone has any experience with any of the websites listed (or any other DSS portals), I would love to hear your story.

Always make it clear that you’re DSS friendly

DSS tenants have it tough, there’s no denying it.

In my opinion, there’s two main causes for it. Firstly, as already said, the system isn’t practical or helpful for landlords, which makes the prospect completely unappealing. Many landlords are initially warm to the idea of dealing with DSS tenants, but are then totally mortified and repelled by the concept once having dealt with a rogue DSS tenant, because the council are utterly useless/helpless when shit hits the fan. There’s absolutely zero support or accountability, and that’s usually enough to scare landlords away for life.

But also, probably which has caused more damage, is the copious amounts of criminal scum-bag claimants that have ruined the reputation for all genuinely deserving claimants. It’s important to note, a common misconception is that everyone receiving housing benefits are lazy bastards, that participates in antisocial behaviour and/or is walking around with dirty needles hanging out of their arses. But in reality, many are just genuinely disabled and/or suffering from chronic conditions.

Whether the claimant is genuinely deserving of your property or worthy of a cardboard box filled with decaying urine, they’re increasingly finding it tough to find DSS friendly landlords, so when they get a sniff of one, they’ll generally chew the landlord’s arm off.

If you’re DSS friendly, make it clear as day in all your marketing campaigns. I AM DSS FRIENDLY!

Landlord Protection

Efficient and thorough tenant referencing is ALWAYS necessary when dealing with any type of tenant, but it’s especially crucial with high-risk tenants. Like it or not, DSS tenants are grouped within the highest of highest risk brackets.

It goes without saying, all the regular checks and safety procedures should be in place, which includes, but not limited to, keeping tenancies short (6 months), rent guarantee insurance, tenant Guarantor, and tenant referencing. Be warned, many insurers may not cover DSS tenants, so sift through the ones that do. You may have to pay a premium price to get covered, but it’s worth it.

Here’s a more in-depth guide on referencing tenants.

BTL Insurance & BTL Mortgages

I also want to make a quick but crucial point.

Many BTL mortgage policies and BTL insurance policies don’t allow landlords to let to DSS tenants. So before getting a tenant receiving benefits, check the conditions!

Got anything else to add? Let’s hear it. It will be appreciated as always.

33 Join the Conversation...

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Benji 11th June, 2014 @ 14:16

Worth mentioning Council private landlord incentive schemes such as the following(personally I wouldn't touch them with a very big stick).

Some councils will even give landlords a brown envelope stuffed with used tenners to take on their 'selected' tenants- wonder why?

Letting Your home

Private Sector Leasing & Management Services

Our experienced team manages over 900 private homes we have acquired from private landlords. We have over 15 years of experience in this area and have established a successful track record as property managers.

While we have the use of your property, you receive a GUARANTEED MONTHLY RENT and a worry-free management service.

In addition we offer:

• Rent paid directly to you each month
• No tenancy issues, no involvement with court action
• No court fees
• Full professional management service provided by our specialist team
• Internal day to day and out of hours repairing service
• Regular property inspections carried out by experienced Housing officers/Surveyors
• Utility bills/water rates/council tax paid by tenants
• Annual Landlord Gas safety Record (LGSR) and boiler repairs up to the cost of £400 per year
• Full vacant possession at the end of the lease at no cost to you

So if you have a property that you would like to let, contact us for a no fee, no obligation inspection.

We are currently looking for properties in Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich, Bexley, Croydon, Bromley, Chichester, New Forest and Southampton.

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boboff 12th June, 2014 @ 06:20


Cornwall have a unit which will actually manage and guarantee you rent for between 1 & 3 years with an option to renew at the end. a £400 1 bed flat you will get £350 for.

Recently I have been letting a place, and the people ask "can I pay the deposit in installments" The need to register the deposit makes this impossible, so the scheme works against tenants.

(If I have had to find the £3000 to do the bloody place up, even if it is on 0% credit card, you can find the sodding £700 deposit up front!)

Lastly, the last two places I have rented out privately by putting some signs in the window, "TO LET" and my number, the response is pretty good.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th June, 2014 @ 07:23


Do these "Rent Guarantee Schemes" mainly house DSS tenants as occupants? How do they even source the tenants?

I've never used these schemes, but I've heard mixed reviews!

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Mr. Alex 12th June, 2014 @ 08:19

Read your post and glad I did because my wife and I are new Landlords and we were talking about rent to DSS tenant, after reading your post I believe we will start off with working professionals. I like to know were to look for rent guarantee insurance sound like something all landlords should have.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th June, 2014 @ 08:51

Hi Mr Alex,

I used a company called But there are many other companies available, which will probably surface after a bit of Googling.

One point to remember: if you make a claim, you will be expected to pay an excess fee, just like if you make a car Insurance claim. So make sure you find out what the excess fee is, as they can often be extortionate.

Good luck :)

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emma 12th June, 2014 @ 09:24

I have always had problems with DSS tenants but I have learnt by my mistakes. I still put in my adverts that HB is accepted with conditions. One being that you are in receipt of HB because you have fallen on hard times that you are trying to work out of (i.e single parent, works part time received HB or someone with illness having treatment who receives HB but with a working history) not that you can't be arsed to work and expect all the other hard working people out there to support you.
I always insist I am contacted by email first to weed out the dossers, a huge time saver - and you can tell by the first contact what type of person they are and I have had some right inbreds. As you can imagine "hi luv im interest in in ur property is it still available" did not get a call back !
Before this, I had numerous people ringing me and without even seeing the house, asking me to sort out their HB with the council???? Of course, I would love to be your PA whilst you sit on your lazy dole dossing arse!
But I would say to anyone - HB is NOT guaranteed. Infact, the council will stop the payments for any reason and you have no rights to speak to them about why or if they will ever start again. And then you are left with someone with no means of paying your rent................and who the council will advise to stay put until they are evicted which could take months at a huge cost.

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Mark 12th June, 2014 @ 12:06

Dear Landlord,

Thanks for your comments as usual. Well worth a read and I like the different style you use ;)

Dear Benji/Boboff

I would suggest a quick call to the local council may demonstrate a scheme they have in place (like a rent deposit scheme) where they will provide the deposit in the form of a bond so you don't need to protect it and the tenant doesn't have to find 100's of pounds. Oh, that and the fact you'll keep the full rental value instead of giving any of it away ;)

Dear Mr Alex

Good business call! It's great to help new benefit people but I'd wait until you had a bit more experience before dealing with housing benefit tenants.

Dear Emma

I would suggest you, or any other landlord that may accept housing benefit tenants, get the new tenant to write and sign a letter to give the landlord or agent permission to discuss their claim with the housing benefit team. Data protection counts for everyone ;)


The right council will supply you with tenants that you still get to vet if you wish to. Councils have more information on these people that, although they aren't able to share all of it with you, puts them at legal risk if they give you the complete idiot whilst telling you they are an angel. They may do a deposit bond which saves you having to use a DPA scheme (and avoid supplying the prescribed information on renewal/periodic. A good council will have a tenancy support officer who will help if the tenant has issues during the tenancy (after all it is suggested that a homeless person/family will cost a council £5k on average to sort out!)

Have a great day everyone :)

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emma 12th June, 2014 @ 12:24

@ Mark. Unfortunately, my local council WILL NOT speak to a landlord regardless of permissions. They don't want to, infact they don't have to.
They only offer one months rent bond and you have to jump through alot of hoops to get it back.
The council DO NOT act in support of the landlord. When you need help with a tenant there is "nothing they can do" but when a tenant who has trashed your house, refuses to pay rent and turned the place into a drugs den goes to them and complains about the state of the house (despite it being newly refurbished only two years prior and the state being due to her being a scummy whore) they will treat you like a kitten killer!!
I am fully aware and have alot of experience of the councils system, DSS tenant issues etc.
Oh, and the scummer I described above - Came from one of the councils homing schemes!!

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th June, 2014 @ 12:45

Thanks for the comments, it's appreciated! :)

I've experienced everything you discussed, regarding the tenant's payments being stopped, and then being advised to stay put by the council, until evicted etc. I've discussed my experience in detail in other posts.

It's unbelievably frustrating, and the reason I refuse to deal with DSS tenants.

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Benji 12th June, 2014 @ 12:58


"and the tenant doesn't have to find 100's of pounds."

..So doesn't give a damn if they trash the property and don't pay the rent (depending on scheme).

I checked the end of year accounts of a local bond scheme.
Out of hundreds of tenancies, they paid out less than a grand.

Either the tenants were all wonderful or the 'bond' schemes are not worth the paper they are written on.

Determined, malicious tenants can (and do) cause tens of thousands of £'s of damage. A six weeks council bond, riddled with caveats, won't go very far to cover it.

As for a council helping a private landlord with a problem tenant, well, there's always a first time.

"Oh, that and the fact you'll keep the full rental value instead of giving any of it away"

You forgot to mention it is capped at the LHA rate, which was the lowest 30th percentile of market rates. Due to the way annual increases are worked out, some areas are now the lowest 25th percentile. If it continues it could soon be only the lowest 10% of properties. Hardly "full rental value".

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Mark 12th June, 2014 @ 13:54

Wow, my happy bunch ;)

Well, it's obviously different in my neck of the woods as our local council has paid out where proof has been demonstrated (no more or less than DPS would require). A quick freedom of information request to your local council would clarify which ilk your local council are.

Our local council will go out and advise the tenant what needs to be done before the end of the tenancy in order to get the deposit claim reduced if they have a bond .. after all, the tenant still has to pay the council back for anything claimed, it's not free like some people think. Likewise, our local housing benefit team will discuss the basics with a landlord or agent if it's written into the AST or they have an appropriate letter. Things obviously vary from council to council ..

It's a bit like (notice I said a BIT like) buying a car. I know people who have bought a Citroen, had nothing but trouble and swear they'll never buy another one. The question is, was it the individual car, the make, or the way it was driven/serviced?

Oh, and regarding LHA, the council will only pay up to LHA but a lot of people pay that bit extra. Please bear in mind that a lot of housing benefit people are working and need a bit of a top-up ... and the landlord can choose who he or she wants to deal with which is great :)

Yes, there is some idiot tenants out there but likewise we also have idiot landlords. The great thing is, both species are in the minority of their majority group!

Some landlords have presented an inventory with 7 lines (carpet thoughout)! Some landlords supply no inventory at all! Some landlords cannot afford to pay for basic repairs (why are they landlords?)

I can't abide people who tar everyone with the same brush .. all Scottish people aren't tight drunks, all Welsh people don't interfere with sheep (probably very few, if any, to be fair?) and all housing benefit people don't trash properties.

Love to you all x

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Mr. Alex 12th June, 2014 @ 16:06

My wife and I new landlords sign the paper on 5/14/2014 receive the letter from the lawyer stating we are the new owners, we give tenants the letter and we talk a few days later, they say they will like to stay so I say I will draw up the lease, they old lease expire 6/1/2014. now I copied a lease from Law Depot days earlier read it over my self make sure I put everything rent increase all that, we talk on the first of June their old lease is up and I give them the new one, O.K. it is a few pages like 14 they ask can we read it over sure but now it have been two week and they still have not sign the lease. What should I do or is they trying to pull a fast one on us? Thank for all your help and information. Mr. Alex

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 12th June, 2014 @ 16:43

Hi Mr Alex,

Hmmm 2 weeks is a very long time, and I would be extremely cautious. In my mind, alarm bells are ringing and the tenancy will start on a bad note. And it kind of already gives you an insight on what kind of tenants they "might" be...

Has there been much communication from their end? Have they given you a legitimate reason why they're taking so long?

My gut instinct would tell me to find alternative tenants! But that's just me.

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Smithy 13th June, 2014 @ 03:59

Don't forget that if the landlord manages to get the rent paid direct - if there is the slightest suspicion that the tenant/claimant is not entitled (boyfriend staying more than three nights per week, tenant has undeclared part time work, for example)the Council will suspend benefit payment and come after the landlord for repayment. The fact that the landlord did not know about this is immaterial.

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Benji 13th June, 2014 @ 07:58


Although Councils target soft touch landlords for repayment, they shouldn't (and they know it)

Taken from the DWP manual;

4.233 Following the April 2006 amendments to the HB Regs, LAs must recover an overpayment caused
by a misrepresentation or failure to disclose information from the individual/s who actually
misrepresented or failed to disclose information.

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Mark 13th June, 2014 @ 09:14

@ Benji

Absolutely correct so thanks for being factual. The reality is we have some councils in this land who do things wrong and should be pulled up for that. Housing benefit have been challenged on this before with some good results.

It's all about proof.

As I said before, this crap happens rarely and it isn't always housing benefit clients that mess it up.

That said, lettings is a business and you have to minimise risks in business so all landlords should take a pragmatic view on all their business dealings.

I recently had a landlord who I was discussing service charges who advised a plumber came out to the property and the agent paid for the work. The invoice was for £240 whereas the invoice to the agent was £99! Sheeeesh!

It's a nice day so far everyone, don't forget to watch your skin ...

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Helen 13th June, 2014 @ 16:28

We run a small rural letting agency. At any one time less than 5% of tenants are in arrears, but of those 5% the massive majority are housing benefits tenants. Sorry, but it 's a fact.

We will consider benefits tenants if the landlord is happy with that, but ALWAYS insist on a guarantor. Having a guarantor makes a huge difference, because the tenant knows they are letting down a friend or relative.

Regarding councils, ours will talk to us if we have written permission from the tenant, but they will not go out of their way to be helpful. They will pay the rent direct to us, if the tenant is 2 months plus, in arrears. They have sometimes paid the rent arrears if the landlord agrees not to evict the tenant, because that keeps one more claimant off their housing list. Keep in mind that the councils' main objective is not to add to the huge number of people they have to house.
They will always advise tenants not to make themselves voluntarily homeless, which means that if we give the tenant notice, they will tell them to stay until the bailiffs arrive, which adds to the landlords costs.

On the subject of bonds, we are only aware of bonds (deposits) provided by charities loosely allied to the council. We naively accepted a few of these at first. Don't go there! These tenants were the dregs! Nothing but trouble and complaints from neighbours. It turned out that most of them had been in prison, something the charity does not tell you and a credit check will not show.

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Mark 14th June, 2014 @ 17:32

Thanks for your comments Helen. All you've proved is you are a great business woman. You've seen the risks and you are managing those risks so asking for a guarantor makes perfect business sense. I wouldn't expect anything less than what you do from a successful business woman ;)

Regarding councils, yep, they're all different. The local council here works with landlords and a large number of tenants and a few letting agencies accept the local council bond. Yours sadly doesn't :(

Likewise, our local council very rarely tell people to stay in their property past the S.21 but then they have sensible temporary housing ...

Anyway, the one thing to remember is we could all be a housing benefit client at any time. Our council deal with ex-landlords, ex-police, ex-planners, ex-letting advisors and ex-council workers who were all on top of the world at some point. So, proper business sense aside ...

... how would you want to be treated if you suddenly became a housing benefit client?

Be thankful for what you have, be mindful of others and pay something forward once in a while.


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Benji 14th June, 2014 @ 19:46


Do me a favour.

Ring up the council you are working for/connected to on Monday morning and act as a mystery shopper.

Make out you are a landlord with a HB tenant problem. Any problem will do, make one up. Don't ring direct to your mate in the Department Of Get Things Done. Call the council switchboard and work from there with no knowledge of the system or of landlording. Maybe even put on a foreign accent!

Post back on Wednesday (it will take you that long if you play the game properly) and let us know how you get on.

If you come back with the same views and claim it was a helpful, pleasant experience, then the next time I contact a council, I will try to go in without any preconceptions.

Top tip:-

(As a jaded Housing Benefit landlord of many painful years, working 'with' various councils, having a knowledge of the system, battered, bruised, cynical and devoid of all emotion.)

This is what I do before having to phone the council;

I find somewhere quiet and peaceful, sit down and have a little cry.

Then stiffen up the sinews, summon up the blood!
Cry God for England, Harry and St George! ..and start dialling.

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Mark 14th June, 2014 @ 20:15


You're right, I do work for a council. I'm proud of it and I love my job.

At our council, we help any landlord that calls up to discuss a tenant who has rent arrears or has other issues. The customer service team will talk customers through the housing issues and advise them accordingly.

If I'm honest, the council USED to suggest people stayed in their homes until eviction but that is fire fighting rather than being pro-active and that stopped over 3 years ago.

All my previous comments still stand :)

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Mark 14th June, 2014 @ 20:24

Oh, and I don't believe the tenant is always right ... private renting is a two-way street where the landlord and tenant need to respect each other ...

... it doesn't work otherwise!

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Benji 14th June, 2014 @ 22:00


Good for you and thanks for doing a thankless job.

But if you ever get chance, try playing the mystery shopper. Sometimes I despair when I have to get in touch. Lord knows what first time landlords think when they contact councils seeking help.

Actually, I do know what they think- "Never again" and so the spiral continues.

Anyway, England are on the box and are on the way to winning the world cup. (More chance of that than a council deposit bond paying out).


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shirley clement 2nd February, 2015 @ 00:59

In 1992 my son bought a 6 bed ex guest house. He signed on with a charity for young homeless people. He's a nice caring lad my son. It was a nightmare. They thought it funny to piss in the kettle/teapots and shit in the oven/microwave. They put plugs in and left taps running in bathroom. They smashed windows and ripped of doors. They smashed holes in walls/ceilings. At 3 o'clock one morning we had a call to say the house was on fire. The house was burnt to the ground. No roof/no upper floor/no lower floor. Totally destroyed.
Don't be sentimental/caring/friendly/a nice person when renting. Its a business. Be a real hard bastard and be very very careful who you rent to.

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Martina 7th July, 2016 @ 15:24

I have been trying to find tips for tenants and came across this.. It been a bit like finding out Santa is not real and rather upsetting to read some of the "horror comments" ...

I am a middle aged (4 years of 50) lady.. I have two children 10 and 9. Feels wierd saying that "middle aged " thing ..
I made the classic mistake of giving up my Accountancy Career to live in the shodows of my ex husbands... (Military background) My choice..don't want sympathy thanks you!!

One never thinks your going to end up a single parent, I stuck out the abusive shit for fear of being desolate and here I am "on my ass " so to speak " but alive and happy, could I get a house ..

I didn't think for a minute it would be quiet this difficult.. Didn't think that I was seen as a group and not an individual .. HELLO PEOPLE.

I Grew some balls and kicked the shit to the kerb...nobody puts Martina in the corner (well not forever)..

I find myself in London wanting to move my little family back down South to be near family and friends. Isolation is a head bake.. and a demotivator!!!

I have built up a very good dog walking business and have been rebuilding my accountancy carreer working in a practise and studying hard. I am in a very good position to get a good job and or build up both businesses.. Which is what I really want to do...I am a Employer not an Employee... Or possibly unemployable haha

I have always paid my rent on time .. Even when the asshole ex used to laugh and say "He is am not paying it "..control freak !!!!

I have a great relationship with my landlord...he says " you have been the perfect tenant" .. He had given me permission to claim a top up of DSS.. .once I had split. I am so Thankful or I would have been in the work house for sure !!! (The controlling ex said "if you can't afford it move out " ... Charming concidering I pack his kids up with nice clean clothes all washed and respectable to off for nice happy jolly weekends with his new life... )

Moving on .. I will leave his house spotless and make sure I tell any potential tenant how great he is as a landlord.
.I have been a landlady myself (never had any issues with the DSS tenants that I trusted on every month !! I know I am very lucky from the horror stories on here make me sick :/ unfortunately I regrettably sold the house to buy something else .. We didn't and the rest is history :(

I have 6 months rent upfront , I get £760 per month maintenance (which is NOT taken into concideration as income .. Which baffles me??????
Most decent people are not going to give up their jobs to not pay maintenance for their kids for gods sake .. Maintenace is provided to support the children and their living expenses .. Rent food and so on ..why is it not concidered ???????

My annual income From self employment would be = "sky's the limit" ( well higher tax bracket haha)
working employed about £25k to start with ..

I know I am in a fairly good position compared to most single Parents ..I genuinely feel quite concerned for many middle aged women or men who must be trapped in unhappy abusive controlling relationships for fear of being talked about like some piece of shit single parent who may need to claim a top up of DSS.. It's quiet humiliating to constantly come up against brick walls and that stigma..;( Good job I am thick skinned

Mention The Three Capital Letters DSS and it's like I have Ebola people are running away from me the minute I say " I MAY " need a top up for housing benefit for a while ' ....just Untill I am on my feet , example built up my two businesses or until I get a pay rise !!

No self respecting hard working person WHATS TO BE CLAIMING BENEFITS... But in the real world its there to help most people get to a better position so they are self sufficient.
I want to be Honest about who I am and what I am doing ...But can't even seem to get a look at a property !! So should I lie ..

Not all claimant of DSS are scum bag scrounges..
Many of us are hard working professionals that in the short term could do with a little bending of "imaginary rules.. Laid down "aka No DSS ..

Many of us are the potential long term , great paying , descent and respectable tenants that any landlord dreams of having .. And that makes good business :
Less admin
Less costs
More loyalty
Smoother transactions for the landlord
Happier life for those genuine hard working people ..
Maybe someone could rent me a
House ??? Or at least look at the bigger picture when I apply

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Mark S 8th July, 2016 @ 21:41


Tenants only need two tips, Pay the Rent, Look after the property as if your life depended on it, I would say as if it was your own, but I have seen some pretty serious damage done by people who were trying to make homely touches.

I started to read your post and at first I thought that you were just giving unnecessary information, then I thought it was a bit of a joke, perhaps from a spammer; but having read it all I feel I have to engage you on some of the things you say.

First of all congratulations on managing to breed, amazing thing the uterus and the whole reproductive system really. I do not know why people seem to think it is such a great thing; world population is probably the biggest issue facing the planet.

Now come on, Accountancy is not a career, I mean seriously, other than being boring as hell you can dip in an out even while you are bouncing offspring. I mean it is not as if you were going to head up PwC or another top 4 firm is it? (“I’ll have you know……” Yawn)

What is wrong with people with a Military background?

I mean putting aside their role at defending this cuntry (sic) or spending a lot of money on shit they do not need (2 million MS office licenses). They get posted all over the place so you do not have to put up with them at home or clean up after them, sometimes you go along too with moving supplements that can buy a house. Or is the problem that the bloody sod had the audacity to come home

Do you think anything in that paragraph earns you sympathy?

Just to be clear, you did not stick it out! I know people who have had REALLY awful relationships, but they did not break up their family leaving their kids hurt and confused, they actually waited till the youngest went to Uni. Of course there are some relationships where the couple should not stay together because it would be detrimental to the kids, but sorry I do not get that feeling from what you have said.

There is nothing wrong with being a single parent, what really matters is that you do not EVER fight with your Ex’s and you must never EVER put them down, in fact even if they ask you difficult questions you have to try to explain positive reasons for their decisions or learn this phrase “I don’t know dear, speak to your father”.

Funny how it is always the men who perform the “abusive shit”, we have to take your word for that, but I suspect the Ex’s might have had to put up with a little “shit” themselves, based on my conclusion of this one post (posted in numerous placed because your ego needs a quick response to such diatribe).

What we DO know is that you are getting £766 a month, be grateful for that, it is not very abusive to be receiving that.

Then you feel bad because you are in a group, what being on DSS, well that is the Government, you see they figure if they can get their mouth pieces (Barclay Brothers Press and Murdock press and TV) to write vile shit about “people you should hate” every day you would hate those groups and not the real culprits, the Government!

I do not think you really grew some balls, I mean they are tedious things, they get a bit smelly even if you are very good with personal hygiene. Shaving them so that Oral things can happen is very tricky and if you happen to get kicked there it can be very painful!

So what probably happened was you had some female friend or a woman’s group that told you just how well off you would be if you dumped the hubby and took the kids.

Of course you do not try and find somewhere reasonably cheap to live, no it is London for you, I am sure that the family are regretting that decision already.

It is GREAT that you build up “a very good dog walking business” it is such a highly skilled job and I think even UKIP were going to allow immigrants with dog walking skills in. So reality check here, you are an employee, you may aspire to be an employer but you are not there yet, but you are right, you definitely sound unemployable. Do not get me wrong, that is no bad thing, in the end we will all be Self Employed, whether as contractors or on zero hours contracts. You can be a self-employed accounts clerk and use that money to build the next top firm and I hope you do.

The Ex’s are always “assholes”, but I have news for you, we are all arseholes, we are born with them and from just a few hours to that final breath when we let out our bowels, shit smells. The Ex is a “control freak!!!!” for not paying the rent, yeh right or he knew you had the funds and he was already paying double whatever your contribution was if you paid the rent.

Something tells me that one day your landlord may not find you so perfect, it is just that right now you need him. He does not need to give you permission to claim DSS, you can ask any Council to keep that private, just give them a copy of your tenancy agreement, they will check the Land Registry and see he is the owner. Otherwise they may come back to you and ask for more info on him.

I am sorry, but I am with the “controlling ex” IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT MOVE OUT, I am sure we will see you in the daily mail one day saying you just HAVE to live in Kensington High Street!!

PLEASE don’t use phrases like “in the workhouse” a lot of families died in the workhouse through no fault of their own. This Government seems determined to destroy social housing and will then bring it back or rather rename Job Centre Plus to Workhouse Plus.

What kind of mother are you that you think you are doing something special packing your kids with “nice clean clothes”, it is a basic thing, to teach them Self-Respect and to have some for yourself. It is not a favour and he does not need to be grateful.

You have no right to sponge off benefits just so you can live in London which you clearly can’t afford and why do you begrudge him a “new life” you have your new life which you instigated. I am sure he deserves it after the time he suffered living with you. Don’t take that personally, I am sure it was hell living with him, most of us have to make compromises when we live in a relationship.

Your Landlord will probably stitch you on a repaint which is fair wear and tear so not your responsibility, you will then call him the arsehole and sue his arse for not protecting your deposit or giving you the PI.

You are SO ungrateful, you have 6 months rent upfront and you have £760 a month, there are real people on ultra low incomes, their blood tests show they are under nourished even on food bank donations. They do not get a break on the £760 a month as they do not get it, but one family I know gets carers allowance of £62.10 a week for caring for a disabled child for over 35 hours a week. It IS means tested by their local Council who deduct 85% of it, so they are left with £9.31, it would cost the local authority £250k to £400k a year to look after this child and at 26.7p an hour I think that is the lowest rate for minimum wage in the country.

Oh but it baffles you they do not take it into account, well lady, you can always take it into account, do your bit for the deficit. See how the hoi polloi live. Hell go to, start a campaign to get local authorities to take it into account, deduct it from all benefits, then if any left over we can deduct it from Child Tax Credit that you get for your dog walking.

So yes, putting aside your personality disorder, you do come over as an ungrateful cnut, but that is just me. Just another arsehole, right, or is it "boo hoo this bastard troll on the web abused me by telling me some home truths when I made a selfish inconsiderate and ungrateful post" please go give him some hate for me. You are already playing the victim in this thread, will not be so hard. Go for it I can take it.

What makes me think you have a personality disorder, oh just a lucky guess I am sure. Actually, it is good to have one, because then in DSM5 it will be clearly documented and we then at least know why we are the way we are.

Seriously, I accept you for the person you are, with the same rights as every other human on the planet, albeit that some people are more equal than others, like everyone in this country compared with say those in the 3rd world. I have no solution for that either.

I do not think anyone cares what you can earn, a few wish you would just get on with it so the ex has to pay you less and the benefits people can close your claim.

I would never blame any single parent for doing whatever they had to do to house or take care of their kids; some (like you) do abuse the system. Some get themselves pregnant again just to get a few extra pounds in Child Benefit and Tax Credit, albeit that door is closing. I bet all those mothers living in B&B or other temporary accommodation are really pleased that you in a good position as are the people “trapped” as you call it are actually just committed to their families. I have about a trillion times more respect for them than I do you.

There you go again talking as if you really understand what hardship is for most single parents, I am sure it must be scary reading the Daily Mail or is it The Express? I saw one bloke get into £100k of personal debt trying to keep a roof over his family’s head, Local Authority would not pay for the fourth bedroom due to ages/sex of kids, so 25% of rent gone. Ex was doing her best with a low paid job but they deducted 85% of what she earned from Housing Benefit and Council Tax Credit. She eventually lost faith and stopped paying the rent (she held the purse strings). She got out intact, he was left homeless, so he lost his home and his kids (massive cause of depression), local authority told him they had no obligation to him and he took his own life after living in his car for 8 months.

So please do not talk about dignity, yours is intact, imagine the dignity of that father when he went begging for a bed and was told “we do not have an obligation to you”. He used to earn £150k plus, he did all the right things we are all told to do.

Knowing you are thick skinned I am sure you do not mind me speaking my mind about you?

Ebola is not a term to use when so many people died from it recently and so what if your condescending so called cnut “friends” think negatively of you. They are just as bad as you, the thing is anyone can fall off the ladder and when one of them does, perhaps hubby’s biz goes down because of Brexit they will soon see for themselves what it is like to have to go cap in hand.

“Hey don’t worry, it is just for a while, until I am on my feet and have built up my two businesses or until I get a pay rise”.

YES you should LIE, it would not even be a lie, “I have a private income of £760 and I am building two businesses don’t you know”. On top of that I get the usual things every parent does, Child Benefit around £33 a week, some tax credits and a few top ups I found I am entitled to. Isn't life wonderful?

You are wrong about benefits, they are a safety net for when we fall, not about getting back on our feet (or when we make ourselves intentionally homeless by breaking up a marriage), we have rules for those that jump deliberately and we have excluded just about everybody. We even gate keep people with mental health issues and COPD, but “they are all scroungers really aren't they”. It is still a benefits trap because once on them the precipice you fall down on Council Tax alone means you can’t take low paid work or you will get thrown out of your home for not paying your rent and that is making yourself intentionally homeless, even if you have kids, they will take them and dump you. I have seen it on numerous occasions, especially if the kids are close to 16.

In the real world madam there is very little self-respect for those on benefits, either they were never taught it or they feel bad about being dependent on it.

Do not use the Tory byline of “hard working” because as far as I can see you did no working and please do not call dog walking a business. A business is something you can sell or that at the very least provides an income that covers all your overheads without the need for benefits.

You will have gathered that I have no respect for you at all, what could change that? Drop the dog walking and go volunteer at your local homeless charity, even if you just make coffee and have a chat it will be something. You might actually learn some humility.

Oh and let’s clear something up, there is no such thing as a DSS “top up”, there is housing benefit which is capped on the benefits you earn at £500 a week, it will probably take into account the £766 at 85% so you may get a smaller amount. As far as DSS are concerned it is just JSA, ESA, PIP and tax credits. Hint, tell your friends you are having to claim tax credits, it is so much more acceptable deary, almost sounds positive, “hubby does tax things all the time darling, something about offshore trust I think”.

So benefit capped £2166 a month, for your London pad, it may cost £7583 a month but there is also the LHA allowance, if you lived in Hammersmith and Fulham that would be £1540.21, that would be your max rent contribution for 3 beds, perhaps that is what you mean by a top up.

When someone says “Not all claimant of DSS are scum bag scrounges.” It is usually followed by how much they paid in or how they never intended blah blah blah, this is not your fault, it has become a natural response from the conditioning of the Con Gov.

WTF is the Government doing paying you to break up a family home? oh yes, I forgot it was abusive, I mean the bastard actually expected me to be civil from time to time and he would not touch me (nor I him). Why is the government ignoring that £766 but screws disabled people?

I have tried, I really have but walking a dog and cleaning up the shit it deposits does not make you a professional and it is not hard work anyway, I love dogs, I do not have one because I respect the space and time they need and I can’t give. I have volunteered at my local dog charity and walked their dogs. For 3 hours at a time. I am sure you are studying your accountancy, much easier than actually working and a great excuse maker. It makes you a student not a professional.

So you want a rule, DO NOT MENTION DSS, as I said it is not a lie, it will be our dirty little secret! Ooh I am excited at the thought of it!

Sadly despite my strong feelings for social responsibility, only a very small number of people on DSS are viable long term as tenants, the thing is the biggest risk is from existing tenants who have more rooms than they need, a single dad with a spare room for his kids to sleep in, a mother with two daughter’s or two sons each with their own room. A couple with three young kids close in age. It is called over occupying.

These guys have bedrooms deducted from their claim and can only claim the LHA allowance for the number of bedrooms the council determines they absolutely need (they make them share). So 1 or 2 bedrooms may be deducted, the HB for 2 bed is about half of 4 bed, you can survive for a while if you really (and I mean really) cut back going into “heat or eat” territory, but soon enough, a car repair or some other unplanned expense will throw you off and your landlord will get the first shock.

Taking someone who is on benefits is risky too, it used to be that they were a safe bet, especially if disabled, but now the Con Gov, having killed 65,000 by cutting their benefits (gov own figures, the “Death Stats” Cameron lied to the HOC about), they have got a taste for it. All kinds of dirty tricks; how about reporting them for fraud at 65 weeks into a claim which will stop their benefit and really fuck them up. How about we change the points on PIP forms so people with a mobility car lose it and still have to pay for it. How about we bring out a budget where we take £4bn from the most disabled people in society and we give it away in corporation and capital gains tax, great idea.

Oh and before you bleat about the deficit, Osborne missed 29 of his first 30 target according to the OBR and they are going to spend an eye watering £7Beeeeelion on revamping the HOC. Not even Google would spend that, better to convert it to a museum and make it pay, then build a purpose built one in the sticks, (as they did for Scottish Parliament), no more 2nd houses needed for MP’s as they could include sleeping facilities. I digress.

In reality a DSS tenant is never less admin, even if you get the HB paid direct you have to wait 4 weeks past due for it so not really smoother is it? Less costs, no, time is money, the calls you have to make when the money is not paid with no explanation, cost money. As does the interest and charges when you can’t pay the mortgage because your tenant’s claim got suspended for 9 weeks because of a “clerical error”.

Not so much more Loyalty as more Fear.

Martina, I am with your Ex, I think it would be fine for you to have a small three bed in Aldershot or any other suburb at least an hour from London and surrounding places like Bromley that are just as expensive.

You have to get it into your head, you are not enTITled, not to live in London, nor to benefits you need to pay for that luxury London Living and most of all not to that condescending attitude you have!

I am going to think of you on my daily commute, they will not be nice thoughts, things like “they should ship ungrateful inconsiderate and selfish bitches like that to Hull or some other armpit or scrotum of the UK”

I think the bigger picture is probably more serious than you being on DSS.

PS. No I will not write your my single friend profile!

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Martina 8th July, 2016 @ 23:10

I have not laughed so much in ages - real seriously you are so witty and all my personalities agree each other for once !!

Kept me entertained for a couple of hours reading it hahaha thank you for putting so much time and effort into giving me all that advice !!

I didn't know I should have waiting until after uni .. What a bad Mother I am !! Still I am sure I will be able to afford supporting them once all my benefits come in and if I employ some immigrants that can dog walk for me I will be rich enough to be seen as a "worthy tenant" ... So I will be a employer as well .. Happy days !! Thanks again for that tip

I didn't know I didn't need to tell my landlord I was going to claim DSS either .. Thank you

Seems to me your all over the place with your empathy .. May I be so bold as to say possibly a tad "hypocritical" .. Sorry unlike you I don't have the time (or major desire ) to disect your blogs to pieces but I am sure you know what I mean ..your very clever after all .. Very articulate .. You choice of writing style is to be applauded.

Reading between the lines
I take it you have some deep rooted person issues. I do also have good Councelling skills if you would like to book in a session .. Not mates rates though sorry

I am going to get a bottle of Krug and toast you for giving me so much of your time and advise ..

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Mark S 9th July, 2016 @ 00:23


Glad you enjoyed it or at least pretended to and thanks for keeping it brief and succinct this time, can’t say I will do the same. It is an itch I find I must scratch.

Do understand I am not being harsh without reason, for you to get to self-acceptance you need to see your flaws as we all do. Besides this is a property investment site, start posting about your personal life and people will comment. I am just some git on a website, you can tell yourself I do not know you.

So Yep, can't go wrong with Krug I am sure you needed a bottle just to keep going in your unhappy marriage. A lot of people do, they feel trapped and if they were to leave they have to think about the kids, schooling and who the hell will pay for the Krug!

I hadn't thought it was a multiple personality, I am no expert, but I meant what I said, DSM5 will help. They do have a habit of calling things disorders but the PC way is to call them a condition. The thing is when you know it empowers you, answers a lot of questions. If you are going to write posts using different personalities can you be so kind as to sign them Martina AKA xxxx,

Your marriage ended, boo hoo or hooray, it should not entitle you to benefits and every penny of the £766 should be deducted every month. I do appreciate that the military can be quite harsh, but there are charities that help ex-military and the families. Go do that volunteering gig and they will fill you in.

Regarding empathy, I am not all over the place at all; I have sympathy for those in genuine need not those pretending to be or those that play the victim when they clearly have no idea of hardship, nor those that manipulate the system.

I have as much baggage as most people, no people issues, I think I made it clear which parts of your post I had concerns with; mostly the pretentious and condescending bits.

Dare I say that you yourself seem to be straddling two sides and seeking approval from both. "I used to be a Landlord but...." "I am just a good DSS tenant. Welcome to the ladder, it is a long way down, nearly half a century.

The Uni thing was not a tip, just a comparison. I am sure you took as much as you could and finally mustered up the courage to get out. If it were not for the kids I would admire that. In fact I would have no issue with it at all except you seek approval for it and play the victim by calling him abusive or criticizing him for his new life, a path you set him on.

Why are you bitter at him? Chances are you fell out of love, did not work at repairing your marriage, you nagged, he told you to piss off, you opened a quiet Merlot with a tear. He went and watched TV or went on the computer. Still you were both still in love with your children. Relationships are chapters, they end, cherish them for the good times and learn from the bad times. It is a NO FAULT situation with a 50/50 responsibility. Do not hold this bitterness, it will fuck up your kids because of the dichotomy, they love you both and they should never have to choose who is right or wrong, it messes with their self-esteem. If you want well-adjusted kids be Mrs nice person about him, do not bitch about him to your friends on the phone, do not criticise him to them or even if they are in the house.

Find a new place to get the approval (currently masked as sympathy) you need, just accept it is over, it did not end well but hold no malice whatsoever. You will heal quicker and find someone worthy sooner.

The fact is that in life nobody cares about your life story, or that your girls run a mile at the mere mention of the B word. I am serious, when push comes to shove nobody really cares, fall on real hard times and you will see how quickly they disappear.

No Landlord here is ever going to rent to you, best they can do is offer you advice and for that they need about five lines. I think I answered the actual questions, happy you liked the advice.

If you want to find a decent landlord then look on Openrent, they do not screw tenants with hidden fees (you save enough for a case of Krug).

Take care, if you really want to get the accounting businesses off the ground learn to subcontract for others and to subcontract yourself. Read books like the four hour work week and emyth revisited.

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Martina 9th July, 2016 @ 01:15

My my you are so much more damaged that you'll admit Mark .. Denial is a barrier to happyness ... I seem to have hit more than one of your nerves!!

I never comment on these type of blogs before and I didn't know I posted this twice as it wasn't 100% clear I had originally done a post ...

My original post was more of a reaching out to explain that not all DSS tenants are bad ...and to have a little "scream" in frustration..standing up and having a voice or opinion ..

It wasn't supposed to be seen as such a person attack on any individual per say...well not really

I said I MAY need a top up !!

But here we are enthralled in this barrage of you being really quiet abusive and making very distinct assumption about my break up .. Which you in some ways are right but mostly completely wrong ..

I was genuiny laughing with you not at you .. Hilariously funny bitchy childish comments. It's is funny !!! Rattled your cage a bit and I must admit I got a bit of a buzz hahah There is fire still in me

Mostly because I have obviously struck a cord and while your trying to put me down with your derogatory comments I fear in a way you are just confirming to me what I suppose I already knew about you from your "blogs" ..

I am not going to try and make lots of assumption about your personal life as quiet frankly .. Your spot on I don't actually care about you or anyone that would endorse your type of arrogance !! I wouldn't want to be any part of your "gang"anyway ..

There is a saying that goes " Be careful who you tread on on the way up because you might be meeting them on your way down.." .... I would not like to be in your shoes if things take a bad turn for you of luck

Anyway .. I already know your going to have another barrage of highly intellectually, hilariously witty , pointless , self mirroring comments to throw at me ..

Just remember I am neither your Mother or the she or he ex wife or husband so please don't take it out on me ..

I have now got a house and am moving away from London and back down To The South Coast ... Peace and goodwill have be restored..

Onward and upwards they say ...(2 bottles of wine for a tender in hand )

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Pete 27th January, 2017 @ 13:32

Screw you. Some DSS tennents are really nice people, its people like you who are the fucking problem

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Mark S 28th March, 2017 @ 13:29

I had not realised that Martina had responded and to be honest she is not worthy of a reply.

Interesting that there is now a legal case being brought against an agent for discrimination.

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S olivia 7th July, 2020 @ 17:31

Dear writer,
You say that you are not speaking against the dss tenants but you are. You call dss tenants really horrible names and always always you speak down about them, shining a bad light on them. You NEVER encourage landlords to do their homework, encourage them to look at people’s reason for being on HB, asking to see their evidence of paying on time, asking to see if there are savings in place in case of any problems with HB, having a guarantor in place or being accepted by rent guarantee scheme, or asking dss tenant to pay the difference for rent insurance premiumS. There are reliable dss tenants that don’t deserve to be spoken about like you do. Your posts discourage from taking on dss tenants. You shame landlords that might consider taking on dss tenants. Your posts are one sided and speak negatively about dss tenants. You are responsible for genuine dss tenants not having roof over their heads which cause small children stuck in the situation untold anxiety. Shame on you.

The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 7th July, 2020 @ 17:41

Dear @S olivia,

What horrible names have I called DSS tenants?

It sounds like you haven't actually read my blog posts, to be honest.

You NEVER encourage landlords to do their homework, encourage them to look at people’s reason for being on HB, asking to see their evidence of paying on time, asking to see if there are savings in place in case of any problems with HB, having a guarantor in place or being accepted by rent guarantee scheme, or asking dss tenant to pay the difference for rent insurance premiumS

None of that matters, because as I've said a dozen times, it's the system that is broken, not actual DSS tenants themselves.

The irony is, you're telling me what I am and I am not saying, when you clearly haven't even read what I have said.

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Izzie 17th February, 2021 @ 20:17

I'm a teenager who has a lovely mum who is trying to apply for houses as a DSS tenant. She is a very hard-working keyworker yet gets paid a low salary, which is something she can't help. I think the stigma attached to people on housing benefits is devestating. Many landlords are discriminating DSS tenants who are good people just like normal tenants. I appreciate that you are just informing landlords to be wary and understand the extra work that comes with taking on a DSS tenant, however I just wanted to comment to raise awareness that some DSS tenants are very trustworthy and would never miss a month's rent.
I hope any landlords who see this, consider opening their minds to the possibility of taking on DSS tenants.

















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