Reasons Landlords Don’t Accept DSS Tenants

Before anyone gets firmly on my tits about this, let me just clarify, this is a follow on article from The Positives Of DSS Tenants. So please, no angry hippies or DSS tenants start protesting, this is just a simple flip of the coin.

But I must confess, this list is longer than the pro-DSS tenants’ article! My bad.

1. DSS Tenants have financial difficulties

Whatever the case may be, whether we’re talking about genuinely sincere and deserving claimants, or piss-taking parasites that prefer to leech off the Government than make a real effort of climbing out of the system, all DSS tenants are shackled by financial restraints. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be claimants. That’s what makes them ‘high-risk’

Being a landlord is about managing risk, specifically, minimising risk. And since this is a business based on cash, we need to do whatever we can to keep the cash flowing, and that’s easier to do when you’re dealing with tenants that don’t have financial restraints. But for a better example, we can use banks and their policy for loaning. Would a bank give a loan to someone receiving benefits? Very unlikely. Why? Because it’s unlikely they’ll have the means to make the repayments.

2. Landlords no longer receive rent directly

At one point in time, DSS tenants were somewhat sought after by private Landlords because the council would pay the rent directly to the Landlord, meaning the rent was reliable. Unfortunately, that changed a few years ago – tenants now directly receive rent. Apparently the change was put in place to encourage claimants to become more responsible with money.

Historically, many DSS tenants caused anti-social problems for Landlords, but we tolerated it because rent was sent directly to us, so at the end of the day, despite poor behaviour, we knew we would still receive rent. But since tenants have been responsible for their own allowance, there’s been a predictable rise in tenants failing to pass on the rent, and presumably spending the money on other things.

Ultimately, the only real security and compelling reason landlords had for accepting DSS tenants is no longer present. Or at least, not as easily accessible. There are certain circumstances whereby it’s still possible for landlords to receive payments directly, but it’s not a ‘default’ arrangement anymore. It needs to be arranged with the claimant and council, and from what I’m told, it’s ‘possible’, but not guaranteed.

3. Rent from a DSS tenant is NOT Guaranteed

Following up from my previous point, and adjoining with some of my upcoming points…

I’ve heard many people claiming that rent is guaranteed when DSS tenants setup direct payments to landlords. That’s nothing more than a vicious rumour. Of course, it’s usually tenants on Housing Benefit (HB) that are spreading the rumour in order to sway landlords into thinking DSS tenants do have their perks.

I agree, taking on DSS tenants do have their [extremely limited] perks, however, saying that “rent is guaranteed” is total bullshit.

Firstly, most DSS tenants have a shortfall to cover each month, which the tenant is expected to cover on time every month. That shortfall is NOT guaranteed. Secondly, and most importantly, the council have the ability to seize/alter anyone’s benefits at the snap of a finger, and there’s nothing a landlord can do about it.

4. DSS tenants need to cover a shortfall

DSS tenants will typically need to cover a shortfall each month. For example, if the tenant’s rent is £500pcm, they may receive an allowance of £400 per month. In that case, the tenant will need to cover a shortfall of £100. Bearing in mind, a lot of DSS tenants aren’t working, so it’s important to recognise that the benefits alone may not be enough.

I’ve had a tenant in the past that had to pay £150 in shortfalls. It was often late, and frequently required constant chasing. This may seem trivial, but believe me, having to keep track of multiple payments for the same tenancy every month is bloody annoying.

5. Difficult to get Landlord Rental Insurance

Rent Guarantee Insurance (RGI) is always a useful policy to have in place, especially if you’re not 100% sure of your tenants credibility.

If your tenant fails to pay rent, your rental insurance company will cover the costs. However, many insurance companies won’t insure your rent if you have a DSS tenant. And if they’re willing to, they may ask for a higher premium than a private tenant.

If insurers are refusing to insure DSS tenants, or demand a higher premium to do so, you kind of have to put the dots together and realise that their figures show high claims when DSS tenants are involved. If that wasn’t the case, they’d happily insure.

These insurance companies aren’t fools, so it’s safe to follow their lead.

6. The Council are useless

I’ve already raged about how useless the council are when problems occur with DSS Tenants so I won’t drag on about it too much. Basically, on various occasions throughout my involvement with DSS tenants, I’ve needed to contact the council in order to resolve outstanding issues. It goes without saying that they have been less than helpful and outrageously rude. You can read a more in-depth discussion on how the council are rubbish when it comes to providing Landlords with support.

For a quick summary;

  • The council don’t give a shit when tenant’s don’t pay rent (even though they are giving them an allowance)
  • They actively screw landlords over when the tenant falls into arrears by telling them to remain in the property until they can be legally evicted (e.g. after they have fallen 2 months in arrears)
  • They randomly start and stop providing benefits to the tenants, and give no fair warning to the landlord. Then the landlord is effectively left with a tenant that has no income.

7. Even Letting Agents refuse to deal with DSS tenants

A letting agents job is to find suitable tenants for their landlords’ as quickly as possible. If they don’t find tenants, they don’t get paid, it’s that simple. So it must say something about DSS tenants if more and more letting agents refuse to deal with them.

When a letting agent prolongs filling in vacant properties by denying a certain type of tenant, alarm bells should ring. I’m sure letting agents have dealt with DSS tenants at one point, and on the back of their experiences, they’re now refusing…

8. Claimant allowances can randomly change

I’ve been in the situation where my DSS tenant’s allowance randomly changed overnight. I didn’t get any warning from the local housing association, no notifications, just an unexpected phonecall from my tenant informing me rent would be short this coming month because their allowance had been slashed, and there was nothing they could do about it.

For several months she was receiving £400pcm, the next month it had been slashed down to £300 for some reason that will never be disclosed to me. It’s not even uncommon for claimants to completely lose their housing benefits overnight.

You’d think the landlord would be entitled to a warning from the council, but apparently discussing their clients’ personal finances is a breach of data protection regulations. Do me a favour, seriously! Meanwhile. I’m left with a tenant that can’t afford the rent.

Most landlords take on DSS tenants on the basis that they are receiving regular financial support, and the council know that.

9. Claimants receive their benefits every 4 weeks

You’d think the council would want to make it easy for DSS tenants to receive their benefits and pay their rent on time. They don’t, which makes it a terrible proposition for landlords.

The council pay every 4 weeks instead of per calendar month (which is when rent is typically due). This may sound like another trivial issue, but it can get terribly messy when enough months have passed and your tenant starts receiving rent on the 15th of every month and rent is due on the 1st. You’ll soon find that the tenant has spent the allowance long before rent is due.

Anyone else got anything to add? If so, blurt your stuff…

815 Join the Conversation...

Showing 765 - 815 comments (out of 815)
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Andrewa 11th June, 2020 @ 15:36

I just checked gumtree and you can filter out estate agents and filter in dss accepted. Presumably other sites work the same way?

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Deborah 16th June, 2020 @ 13:26

@ Stealthbomber, Andrewa and John.
Thanks for your replies and advice I will definitely go around the estate agents when the restrictions ease, I am one of the vulnerable, so need to be careful. I didn't think about the rights a person has with a disability, but the amount of estate agents that say we dont take no one on benefits is ridiculous even when I have said I am claiming pip and if i get better I'm a qualified nurse, there would be no problem with me earning enough money then, so i really am risk free, my landlord is happy to give anyone a reference, he's in Australia and has left me to sort out the selling of the house, well just the house side of things, obviously not the financial side lol, but helping with viewings and all the gas checks and surveyors etc. I will also put a message on gumtree (do you think that would be the best site? I'll explain that they can view my bank statements, do a credit check and can get a brilliant reference, hopefully there's someone out there who actually believes me, that's the hurdle I have, once I get over that hurdle it should be pretty easy. I've searched and searched dss on gumtree and they are either just one room or the house is very basic and they are asking more money than average, if you could advise on any other websites it would be greatly appreciated.

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S olivia 7th July, 2020 @ 14:58

I came across this website and I was really disheartened to see the view of dss tenants. Up until few years ago I was a homeowner, working for an estate agent and whilst working there I came across Dss tenants that paid their rents as well as those who didn’t pay and I was the one contacting council and getting the payments redirected to the landlord. I was dealing with private tenants who paid their rents but then I was dealing with private tenants who didn’t pay their rent for some reason but with those private tenants we couldn’t get any payment until they resume paying or moved out. In the meantime my circumstances have changed and I had to sell my property to get away from dangerous drugs gang and started renting where it is safer. But sadly I fell seriously ill myself and my husband got medically retired, we ended up claiming dss and here we were on the other side of the two worlds where we found ourselves to be dss tenants. However despite that for the past three years of renting we never had a single missed payment. We are immaculate with the property. And even during the pandemic, our rent is fully paid including the shortfall that we are responsible for. Since we moved in we had increased the value of the property by painting it all white, making necessary repairs and updated the bathroom. I look at all those private tenants now during the pandemic who are either living on furlough or lost their jobs suddenly not having enough to pay their rent whilst dss continues to pay my rent on time and we continue to pay rent on time. The writer and other landlords might have had bad experiences with dss tenants but that’s because you guys don’t do your homework. Do you ask to see their bank statementS to see what your prospective tenant was like with paying their rent in previous property? Do you ask to see evidence what type of tenants they are? Why don’t you ask to sign a document that they agree to having their rent paid directly to the landlord? We are now looking to move as our landlord due to mismanagement and defaulting his mortgage we have to look for another property. The mortgage lender is receiving every month evidence from us showing payment of rent we make to the landlord but the landlord is the one defaulting. We are reliable tenants, we have been accepted by deposit Guarantor scheme and can pay up to six months rent in advance. We are even happy to cover the extra insurance premiums for taking on dss tenant. We have credit cards that we pay off the full balance so that we save on interest. There are dss tenants that are reliable and there are private tenants that loose their jobs and have nothing much to fall back on. Why don’t you landlords look at each individual case and want to see evidence before you flatly refuse a dss tenant?

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Stealth Bomber 8th July, 2020 @ 22:34

S Olivia. Maybe you should read all the previous comments before telling us your own story. INSURERS are making the rules for not granting policies on benefit claimant rentals, full stop. Also the Government changed the rules on claimants receiving their benefits directly, so as a landlord there's nothing you can do if the tenant won't allow it. I've had tenants go down the 'intentionally homeless' route, that's up to them. As David Cameron said, it's your money!So they spend it and get emergency housing 6 months later.

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Deborah 9th July, 2020 @ 13:20

S Olivia, you definitely should have read the above posts. Unfortunately we are all being screwed, tenants and landlords. I'm still looking,I put an ad on gumtree, I've got no where. There's good and bad in all walks of life. The estate agents don't want to know. Unfortunately even today I phoned up for one and I was told that a lot of people have gone for it and they know the landlord will choose someone working than me. Like you I have paid every month for the past 10yrs, I have dealt with just my landlord for aprox 7yrs, but now my landlord is selling. It's very hard, I will probably end up back at my family home. Like you I have 6 months rent in advance and I am now considering saving more and buying a house, I've learnt that even though I don't work due to disabilities I can still get a mortgage, so I think that's the only route I can take now.

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Fred Ferret 14th July, 2020 @ 07:12

Interesting thread. I stumbled across this while googling "landlord insurance tenants on benefits" and there are plenty of insurers who accept tenants on benefits.

Let me say a bit about myself. I am 69 years old, in receipt of State Pension and a small self-employed income. When the coronavirus thing started, my self-employed income disappeared overnight so I applied succesfully for Housing Benefit therefore I am currently renting. I had been a home owner most of my adult life from the age of 23 in 1974 up to 2006 when I effectively lost everything through a marital decision and have been in the private rented market ever since. I have recently moved house within the same local authority and been successful in transferring HB to my new address.

It is now illegal on the grounds of discrimination for agents/landlords to bar tenants on benefits (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53391516)but whether this will make any difference in the long run is to be seen. As you have to show affordability and prove your income, it would be easy for the agent/landlord to know that you are in receipt of benefits and reject you for some false reason (oh, we've had several applications and the landlord has accepted someone else). Refusing so-called DSS tenants does not only discriminate against women and the disabled, it also discriminates against the elderly, but now that agents/landlords are not allowed to refuse at the outset, it would be hard to prove the real reason.

I am fortunate that I now rent from a family member, but on a tenancy at a market rent that fulfils all the criteria to qualify for Housing Benefit and help with Council Tax.

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John 14th July, 2020 @ 07:38

@fred ferret
Thanks for the link.
I heard few years back it was meant to be illegal but they got around it by instead of saying 'no dss' they now put things like mortgages restrictions won't allow housing benefit.
We will see if this ruling makes any difference but from my experience the agents just say we'll get back to you as got someone else interested or something similar then ignore you completely after that. would be difficult to prove in court they discriminated if they ignore you.
The places I've asked about are well within the housing benefit limit so rent is fully covered, makes no sense to me when they won't even consider looking into my situation. Incase missed my post few weeks ago I've Never been a day late on rent all shows on my bank statements for years, receiving PIP, Esa +support group, +disability premiums, and obviously housing benefit. It's one more added (unnecessary) stress for something that should be really simple, just a Look at my finances and rent record, do the tenants check thing, even ask my current landlord how well I look after the place.
Also I have a guarantor (mum), but seems that doesn't help.
It's really frustrating as years ago when I could work would be in out keys in no time, even though when I worked i barely survived on my earnings, was just the saying you work made difference.

Lets all hope this new ruling makes a difference, but I will believe it when I get an agency that treats me like a human and looks at my details.

Fingers crossed 🤞

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CRA 23rd July, 2020 @ 09:27

I totally agree.

Only because they had a good paid job when they completed the checks, we lost the count of how many people are working or claming benefits now.

This is nothing to do with... where the money coming from, or more about the person who will be resposible.

Money its money in the end.

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Esther 23rd July, 2020 @ 10:10

I just found this to try and figure out why it’s been so hard to find a DSS property and now I understand why. Thank you so much for posting this as it’s really informed me.

I’m a single mother who was hoping to go back to University and study Nursing, however where I currently live would make it hard to do this as my family live in London and they’d be the ones to help me with childcare.

I’ve been searching for a flat on DSS around their area but find it difficult. Thank you very much for this as it has genuinely helped me understand why.

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Stealth Bomber 23rd July, 2020 @ 10:53

@John Unfortunately it won't make any difference I'm afraid. Rules, guidance and non statutory regulations, still fall foul of actual Law, and that's where things come to a stop. Proving discrimination is as impossible as it gets, unless someone makes a serious boo boo in what they say or write. The bottom line is you can't force landlords to take tenants not of their choice, discrimination works both ways.
I do see where the DDA regs should help those on PIP, but its a route they shouldn't need to take. Anyone in receipt of disability payments should not be lumped into the same category as those on unemployment benefits. This incompetence and ignorance has come from the Government, and filtered down into an industry which is out of tune. I've had tenants on DLA, and would do so again. Those who are unemployed from day one, for other reasons, NO NEVER AGAIN. And yes I'm fully aware that sometimes claimants have their benefits stopped for no reason or fault of their own. Then it takes months for them to appeal, and get their benefits reinstated, which in most cases they are successful. That's the nasty system for you, but those on disability have a more secure process, and that's a big difference in perhaps choosing a PIP tenant over other benefits. I also note above comments on 'insurers who will take benefit tenants'. Yes I'm sure there are plenty, but is the policy worth the paper it's written on? I'm dealing with the most expensive things I own, so I choose my insurance provider for the terms and conditions which are agreeable to me, not to revolve around a specific tenant!

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CRISPY 27th July, 2020 @ 08:38

Dear @Andrewa I had to laugh at your comment about Hitler and the Nazi party being socialist. Fascism and Socialism are Extreme opposites in ideology.

North Korea is called the ‘Democratic people’s Republic of Korea’ Does that mean that North Korea is not a communist dictatorship and is instead a flourishing democratic republic? By your logic it must be....Because of...you know, it's name 😆

Also no DSS is now illegal , which makes sense because it is indirect discrimination. I can’t see how landlords can say that all DSS tenants are less reliable to keep up with rent, when we are in a gig economy where most working people are struggling to hold down any sort of stable or reliable income.

To the landlord who asked the single mum to move out of London, please consider that this person probably has family and connections to the area, her kid might be at school and his/her education disrupted. Having to move parents and their children from one place to another part of the country is one reason we have a problem with crime and deviants.

local communities suffer and landlords end up with tenants who don’t respect their properties because they are waiting to be moved on again and again.

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andrewa 27th July, 2020 @ 08:51

@Crispy
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? National Socialists, Republic of Zimbabwe, Peoples Republic of North Korea? They are all socialist states . You even state that North Korea is a Communist Dictatorship and therefore a socialist state by definition.

In Communism and socialism both philosophies advocate economic equality and state ownership of various goods and services.

Why laugh at something so true and blatantly obvious it stares you in the face? Nazi socialism just didnt include Jews and other untermensch in its particular socialist philosophy but it was socialist nonetheless.

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John 27th July, 2020 @ 08:54

Well upto now this new law has not sunk into the small brains of many letting agents as I've found dozens of properties newly added adverts since last week saying 'No Housing benefit'. Who will actually do anything about this, it's a complete joke.
And thats just the adverts, what about the ones, likely many more that simply won't put in adverts but simply will refuse or continue to ignore as always have in my case.
I reported the adverts but its unlikely to make a difference since
On Housing benefit = I'm scum.
I'm disabled = I'm worthless.
Crazy world we live.

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Sumc 10th September, 2020 @ 11:50

Good luck. Have a nice read.

https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1333462/housing-benefit-uk-dss-unlawful-court-renting

3 courts so far said No DDS is discrimination and unlawful .

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The Landlord 10th September, 2020 @ 12:49

@Sumc
I don't think you really understand what any of that means :(

It's been ruled unlawful in court that landlords/agents aren't allowed to openly say "no DSS" in their marketing or blindly reject "applications" from DSS, it doesn't say landlords can't choose who they pick as tenants.

Also, the ruling does not set a legal precedent.

I fear you're the one that will need more luck than me. Good luck.

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andrewa 10th September, 2020 @ 14:04

@SUMC

So the courts compulsorily placed the complainants into the property's that were advertised with NO DSS on shorthold tenancy leases?
Didn't think so.
Good tenants have good track records and usually should have no problems finding good landlords.

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Elysia 15th November, 2020 @ 07:47

As someone who is a claimant who is desperately trying to find somewhere to live as I am due with my son in a few weeks it really is so so difficult to find somewhere to live. :( I have been trying for 3 months now and constantly keep getting turned down by landlords and landlady’s. I offer the rent in advance but it doesn’t work. I am on benefits through no fault of my own and more than anything would love to have a job (Which I am going to work hard to find one) I just wish there wasn’t this constant discrimination. I feel like everyone has this mental image of claimants that we are all scroungers who drink alcohol all day and cause trouble. But that’s far from truth, I couldn’t be anymore opposite than that stereotype. We’re all tarred with the same brush and it’s unfair. Please give us a chance, we are not all bad and I would definitely pay the rent no matter what.

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Elysia 15th November, 2020 @ 08:10

I must add too that I receive PIP and ESA. I have disabilities but would absolutely love a job. Through these trying times, it’s much more difficult with
Covid. I even had a company called Halo who tried to help me rent from a private landlord. They are a company who help people like me with special needs. But even the landlords said “We don’t want to rent to a disabled person”!!!! That wasn’t just one landlord it was 7 landlords who all said it. That is pure utter discrimination and disgusting. So what if someone is physically or mentally disabled? As long as the landlords get their money why do they care if you have autism or a learning disability? It seems you have to be able bodied and minded, You have to have a job, You have to be a couple, you can’t have children (Because yes, many landlords refuse children too) which I am pregnant with my boy and I just want to put a roof over his head. I don’t want to go into a council house as then I am put with riff raff and I shouldn’t have to resort to going there because a landlord won’t give me a chance. PLEASE landlords, change your mindsets.

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Julie 3rd February, 2021 @ 19:01

Whatever the opinions on this site, the fact is this. It is illegal to advertise 'no dss' and to discriminate against people on benefits. By a High Court ruling.
I am making it my mission to report any landlords that do this. I'm disgusted how many are still breaking the law. Landlords have no right to ask personal questions, other than those required to do a credit check. Everyone has the right to a roof over their heads, especially those that have always paid their bills, rent and kept their homes nice.
There are plenty of people that work that don't take care of their rental properties or pay their bills.
Credit checks are the legal way to find your next tennant, not ask personal questions about where their money comes from or what disabilities they have.
Being a landlord is a business that involves dealing with all types of people, who need a home. Don't breal the law.

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John 3rd February, 2021 @ 21:23

Hi Julie, they now use other words and say it's because of the mortgage terms, which if that is true then it should be against the law for mortgage companies to have this in their terms.
In a lot of times for me they won't advertise that fact but will ignore you once they know you have any benefits, including pip and esa support group, even though my income is higher than when I could work, have a working homeowner guarantor, non smoker, no pets, no issues with places I've lived, I'm quiet keep self to self, never complain unless it's something I can't fix myself, but they never know because their fingers go in ears soon as they hear anything to do with benefits.
They simply ignore you or let you know later it's suddenly been let.

Thats time after time after time for years now.

Law or not, they'll find a way around it.
Breaking the law isn't enough, it has to be proven.

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andrewa 3rd February, 2021 @ 21:23

Very true Julie, just as it is every landlords right to ensure as far as he can that his rent will be paid and his asset not destroyed. It works both ways you see. So now the "dss" tenants can go through the rigmarole of applying before being refused thereby wasting their time I take it?

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John 3rd February, 2021 @ 21:30

@andrewa
The point you make there is a perfect example, landlords shouldn't assume benefits/disabled = bad tenants/non payers.

Many years ago when I worked as a manager of a financial company most non payers where actually workers.

As Elysia said, mindsets need changing.

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Stealth Bomber 3rd February, 2021 @ 21:48

@John You're right, mindsets do need changing. So instead of crying over private landlords, we should be asking why the Country is not providing accommodation for its subjects. Benefit claimants should not be falling into the hands of private landlords for their housing needs. Whatever Laws are written, you cannot force a landlord to take benefit claimants. We are governed by Insurers and Mortgage lenders, who play a huge part in how the planet operates, and they call the shots when it comes to no benefits. And you're never going to change their mindset, so you're on the wrong track.

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John 3rd February, 2021 @ 22:06

@Stealth Bomber,
As my other point, the law should change to stop insurers/ mortgage lenders having this in the terms, then theres no excuses.
You suggest its the government/Council problem, I partly agree but where do they magic these properties from, maybe stop private landlords buying all the property/land if they don't want tenants that don't quite fit in their perfect magical box?

Hopefully these private landlords never go bankrupt, life turned upside down and end up seeing from the other side.

"It will never happen to me" said the moron.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

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Stealth Bomber 3rd February, 2021 @ 23:42

@John I respect yours (and everyone elses) plight, but you're looking in the wrong place for where the problems lie. Private landlords are not like social housing, and should not be bridging the gap where this has failed.
Supermarkets for one, own masses of land which they've never built on, but they have the financial clout and far easier planning routes, than it does for a housing development and tenders, which cost a hell of a lot of money.
Most private lets were private houses in the first place, so it's not really landlords swallowing up all the housing at all, it's been paid for by someone somewhere down the line.
Councils have consistently built less and less housing over decades. They sold right to buy houses far too cheaply, so didn't even get a decent revenue stream to replenish the sold stock. Then we've had 10 years of lunatic Government cuts, while the population increases year on year.
Look at the bigger picture, while you're sat blaming private landlords, you're actually deflecting from where the real issues lie.
However, it's not all doom and gloom, I believe the change will come, in the form of modular housing. Quick to build, less complicated planning issues, and they will be owned by huge organisations, so tenants can have a secured tenancy, which I think is only right anyway.

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John 3rd February, 2021 @ 23:59

@Stealth Bomber
So what you are saying in short is private landlord should only be for workers? What about workers that suddenly become unemployed or sick and disabled, throw them out for the workers? Surely it shouldn't make a difference who owns the property, council, social housing, or private, the only thing that should matter is affordability and decent tenants that don't cause an issue, and those tenants are in all situations, working, disabled etc etc.
I think you're missing the point.
Passing the buck doesn't help change things, renting out a property is a business private or otherwise, businesses have responsibilities and should adhere to equalities.
If private landlords cannot be equal they shouldn't be allowed to run the business (own properties to let) simple as that.
Waiting for your modular buildings isn't the answer either.

The quick fix is very simple, property owners that let out should be more equal and stop discrimination.
No if buts or maybe.
Non of "it's them not me"
"Not my problem its theirs"
"Not on my doorstep"

Attitudes need to change.

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Stealth Bomber 4th February, 2021 @ 03:22

@John What I'm saying is, private lett's work better for those that are employed, and have a view to a short term tenancy. Stats show the average is around two years, then tenants move on. It's called an assured shorthold agreement for a reason.
Take the idea of the secure tenancy, yes, that's great, when property is owned by councils or associations, but its not something that fits the private lettings model.
Private lett's are governed by terms and conditions from various organisations. Councils don't have any of that, they don't give a monkey's, just shove people onto hellhole estates. Either take it or lose your place on the housing list, aint that great!
By the way they're not "my modular buildings", so don't be a twit when people are giving you good information. A rather large pension and life insurance company has built the largest production factory in Europe, and formed a modular homes division. So they obviously see it as part of the solution. And you should too, anything that gets benefit claimants into Government run schemes, and out of the hands of private landlords is a good day for all.

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John 4th February, 2021 @ 09:04

@Stealth Bomber
You're been very patronising and I'm certainly no twit.
I'm Not interested in the modular buildings, thats something possibly maybe could be in the pipeline!,
this discussion is regarding the discrimination many people receive by private landlords/letting agents and is relevant to now, something that can change now, something that need to be discussed now.

Also you are talking absolute tosh, the shorthold tenancy has nothing to do with workers/employed at all, and is not for private lets alone, councils and social housing also start with a shorthold and it is because the terms are easier to evict if things don't work out.

I don't know how many private landlords you know apart from yourself, but I know by fact most would prefer a long-term paying good tenant, and I know this is a shock to your system but they come in all forms of people, working, unemployment, self-employed, disabled etc.

Equality is the issue.

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Ex Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 11:08

@Stealth

You are pushing water up hill, Stealth, pointless, every few months another disgruntled tenant pops up whining that landlords are scum of the earth.

There are 000's of Johns who go on about equality but what they want is equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity.

We all live in the same country and have the similar opportunities, but the random factor involved here is life just isn't fair, you win some and lose some - that's life. Most of us started off in what we thought were dead end jobs, then one day think this is shite and do something about it. Along the way you get shitty deals, ripped off, but you keep going and with a bit of luck manage to get by.

I have lived in many rented many houses in the past, moved jobs & countries, you rent a house. Thats what the landlord does, provides a service.

However if you lease a car and took it back trashed then you will get clobbered for your deposit and more.

The car hire company would be viewed as simply depriving the Johns of the world of a car, and they should allow him to do what he wants with it, including damaging it and he should not have to pay for it.

If you don't have a license you can't rent a car, if you have 9 points on your license you cost of insurance is sky high, its all commercial risk. I don't hear people complaining the Insurance companies depriving people human rights to cheap car insurance because they have too many points and can't afford the insurance.

The difference is the Car hire company are massive and have thousands of cars to spread the risk of a small % of people trashing their cars. They have insurance and can cover the damage of some.

95% of landlord's in this country own 1 rental property.

When you have 1 rental property the risk factor becomes huge. One shitty tenant and it will wipe out a years profit (try getting sympathy from the mortgage lender).

If the tenant could bring an insurance policy with their tenancy that pays up 100% every time they trash something then a landlord would not care less who they have as a tenant.

Until that happens, the Landlord should have the right to decide who they let into their property - what and who they are comfortable in renting to is up to them.

As a now ex landlord, we had several properties and about half were DSS half were not. We had just as many problems with all groups.

But again, we had enough properties to spread the risk.

Now renting is a mugs game, too political and Landlords are a small voter pool and have no voice and are going to get wiped out.

What will be left are some huge firms who control the market and rents and then John, you will have something to complain about :-)

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John 4th February, 2021 @ 11:40

@Ex Landlord

You totally missed the point, you're saying about people who trash the places, my issue and many others is not getting a chance to rent because we are discriminated against before even getting a chance to rent.

Not once did I say landlords are scum or anything of the sort!

Hopefully you will never find yourself in a situation, disabled, unable to click fingers and magically have the opportunities you suggest.

I have also rented many places in my life as a worker, at 18 I also owned my own house. Unfortunately life changes sometimes out of your control, people like you think it will never happen, you will be fine and it only happens to other people.
Wake up, things in life can change fast.

Ta ta for now..

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monika 4th February, 2021 @ 11:52

You just hit the nail on the head. I am the one to determined who I let my property to. I in particular do not let my property to certain of people, I rather to have my property locked up than to rent it out to people that I deem unsuitable. At the moment most of my property I only do short term letting because that suits me much better.

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Stealth Bomber 4th February, 2021 @ 14:47

@John You will see from comments long ago, that I have had DLA/PIP tenants myself, and have been more than fair and polite in regards to this issue. But let's be honest, you are now here just to vent because things aren't going your way.
Modular homes ARE happening, it's not "in the pipeline" it's real, it's been recognised as a solution, environmentally, economically and in timeframe. Whether you like the idea or not, its happening. Tenants will be in a Government funded dwelling, where they can have a secured tenancy. We would then be back on the road to something like balanced housing provision for all.
Government trying to decimate council housing, and absolve itself from social housing responsibility, is something which hasn't worked. Thats where the problem begins and ends. Its time for them to take up their rightful responsibilities, to house those who are dependent on the State.
I doubt there's ever been a private landlord who actually set out to cross paths with benefit claimants. Most of us were part of the student housing boom, it was all well and good when Universities had to rely on the private sector, to accommodate the increase in student numbers.
We are used to tenant turnaround, so no, its not about wanting long term tenants, in for years on end. Tenants are inclined not to report defects, or they'll have a half baked attempt themselves, in effecting a repair, thinking they will be blamed for damages. That's no good if the property sustains more serious damage in the longer term.
Whatever your views, it's called private business enterprise. Discrimination is difficult to prove, so it won't ever see the inside of a Court room, unless someone drops a major clanger in their wording or behaviour. I think we've been down this road before, so clearly you're not learning from it. I'll use the example of my insurers AGAIN for you. They stipulate they won't insure my properties with housing benefit tenants in. That's their own private business decision which they are entitled to, and I choose that provider because their terms of business and liability cover, meet my needs. I don't have my policy revolving around some tenant because of their benefit plight.

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Stealth Bomber 4th February, 2021 @ 15:30

@ExLandlord Haha! Too true! I don't mind really, it's just rather moronic when we had the same convo back in July, on this very same thread! and he's still bleating the same stuff. In fact it's gotten worse, because he's gone from discrimination, to revolutionizing how private business needs to match public sector!!! Proves he's not really reading, nor learning, that's the sad bit. :-(
I've only one rental left now, then I'm ex landlord right behind you :-)!!!!

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John 4th February, 2021 @ 15:52

@stealth bomber

If you read yourself you may open your small mind a little and see from the other side.

Also there were atleast 2 court cases last year on discrimination from letting agents. It's difficult to prove but not impossible.
I'm guessing someone as intelligent as you decided to skip passed the parts you didn't like to read.

You are a perfect example of why things need to change. With landlords having your attitude to people with an opinion, gives the good ones a bad name.

And what you say to the other person that I'm moronic because why? I have a view that is effecting many peoples lives? because, as you put it, I am bleating the same stuff since last year?
What does that tell you, that NOTHING has changed.

I'm back here to comment on another message well before you started on about modular buildings etc etc yawn yawn.
So maybe if you stop replying your rubbish I wouldn't need to "bleat" on!

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Susan 4th February, 2021 @ 16:00

I agree with john here and it is so sad to see others slating him for airing his concerns on a conversation that is exactly for this reason.

I have been in the same position years back when I was ill and although my affordability was fine the lettings wasn't interested.

I am now a landlord and know several landlords with a crappie view of things.

I'm lucky to successfully rent to a mix of backgrounds and rarely have an issue, the issues generally are from employed in my case, but it's individual case by case and should never put people in a group assuming they'll be the same.

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The Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 16:07

Blimey, that rags to riches story was creative John. Not to mention sick.

FYI @ Stealth Bomber, the comment from Susan came from the same internet connection as John :)

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John 4th February, 2021 @ 16:10

Ok!

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Stealth Bomber 4th February, 2021 @ 16:21

@John Its moronic because you're repeating the same garbage from July 2020. Which proves you either aint reading, or aint learning!
We're somewhere around 5 million households in private rental sector, and you're going to revolutionise how landlords operate, due to TWO discrimination cases. It may well be all your fixated on, because it's dominating your life, and that's fair enough. But its very selfish, and won't help solve the real issues behind the failure of the Country's obligation to house it's people.
Write to your MP and get social housing projects moving. Even the dumb Government now see most landlords are getting out of the game. That's why they've backed modular builds, and not stopped construction work during lockdown. Desperate times for housing.

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Stealth Bomber 4th February, 2021 @ 16:32

@The Landlord Gee thanks man, luv ya :-)

No worries I can handle them ganging up on me.

Got broad shoulders from carrying the Government's clusterfcuk of a housing mess for the past decade.

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Grumpy 4th February, 2021 @ 16:50

Loving the comments here from the viewpoint of an ex landlord.

I’m thinking of writing a book about what can happen to your properties when it does go pear shaped.

Like the one the Doctor wrote about his life in a hospital, all the things that lead up to him quitting - without the blood and gore.

Maybe we could “crowd write” The book. A chapter each.

I’m sure “The Landlord” himself could add half a book. There are enough landlords out there who would buy it for some masochistic reasons and could give it to all wannabe landlords as a warning.

Maybe I can write the story of one tenant who was working in a pizza shop while in receipt of housing benefits. It was all cosy until he scarpered back to warmer climates, sharpish, after the anti terror police raided the now trashed flat. Bank statements found down the with £100ks in.

Ah the good old days.....😂

Grumpy
(Where my ex landlord emoji)

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andrewa 5th February, 2021 @ 09:36

@ John
So sorry to see that your fingers are so disabled you are unable to get a job using a computer and are unable to even click them. What type of vocoder type input device do you use to post here?
As a landlord I rent to anyone with a provable track record of rental payments and good behaviour. Misbehave and you get notice to vacate. AND I list you on the database of bad tenants.

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Marko 11th February, 2021 @ 18:53

Well, although I can't say I disagree with a lot of what has been said here, unfortunately there is another side to the story, and that is there are many people on benefits, us included, that are decent, proud and honest folk, unfortunately we get stuck in the same pot as the scumbags piss in. Our situation is that we are currently in a secure tenancy and my wife receives PIP and I receive carers allowance and my wife's condition is chronic so she will not get any better and will be on benefits for the rest of her life. Our daughter moved to England to be with her partner in his job and our grandson obviously went with them. Since late last year we have been seeking a private let nearer to them and have hit a brick wall every time. Even despite explaining we receive benefits, and my wife is chronically ill, even despite offering assurances that our rent can be met no problem with the savings we have, even though our income can be the same as someone working, even having explained that we will be taking out additional insurance cover to meet the ongoing costs should anything happen to either one of us, nothing, not even as much as a response!. I was tempted to name the ones who haven't responded to us, but it's pointless, because they won't come right out and say it's because we're on benefits, yet my son in law enquired about the same property we did right after us, we got no response, my son in law got an instant one!. I get it, landlords are sceptical of taking on DSS (no such thing anymore) client, and understandably so in some circumstances, but I can't help feeling that from our point of view, they are missing out on a lot of honest, trustworthy people, whilst those who are working are no more trustworthy or reliable than people like us. Shocking situation, understand both sides of the argument, but hey, lifes a bitch I guess.

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andrewa 11th February, 2021 @ 22:43

@Marko,
If you can prove your track record is as good as you say then I must agree with you that there are landlords who are allowing a good tenant to pass them by.
My advice would be to bypass the agents and go straight to the landlord.

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Stealth Bomber 11th February, 2021 @ 23:39

@Marko If you have a secure tenancy, treasure it, stick with it, and live in peace if your good lady won't get any better. That's part of the argument here with certain respondents. Private landlords can't ever match the ongoing security and other aspects that a housing association or authority can. Say for instance you did get a great property with a great landlord. The time still comes when that landlord has to finish with lettings, even in death, there has to be an end to their rental days! That doesnt give you the security you need, especially in the circumstances. Whereas Social housing continues ad infinitum, and it's worth considering if your wife needs things like house adaptations in the future. You're in the best place with a secure tenancy, I wish you the best.

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Marko 12th February, 2021 @ 07:57

@Stealth Bomber - That was precisely the thing that would have been on our mind, because we have a secure tenancy from our local authority at the minute, we're also taking a great risk which I think is something landlords seem to overlook too, it's not just them taking a gamble, we're talking about a 'home' whereas to them it's a 'house'. It does look unlikely that we will make a move because security is very important to us given my wifes circumstances and we're now into our 50's and the thought of having to move again in a few years time, or continue to have to move in years to come doesn't appeal to us, ideally we'd be looking for a property that was maybe in a family run concern where it would be passed along to other family who would continue to rent it out but even then we know nothing is guaranteed and people can have to sell for a lot of reasons, but given the difficulty we have had in finding someone to rent to us, even if we do then find a suitable landlord with a suitable property, if they have to sell up for some reason we're then faced with the difficulty in finding another property but wouldn't have the luxury of time on our hands as we would obviously have a date to be out of the said property whereas at the moment we obviously have no rush to leave our local authority property so all said and done it would likely need to be the opportunity of a lifetime for us to make the move, something which is very unlikely to come along!

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Marko 12th February, 2021 @ 08:03

@andrewa - it is a catch22 for us too, finding a landlord directly is probably just as difficult as finding one who will accept those on benefits, or at least finding one with a property which we would want to move in to. I've seen a few listings where "DSS" is welcome but to be honest they're not properties which we would want to move into, not being snobbish or anything but they're clearly just out for a rental in an area where it's obviously not appealing, which is presumably why they are widening the catchment to include anyone and everyone. It's a difficult situation for us, we want to be closer to our daughter and grandson but we're also taking a massive risk by private letting, if a landlord offered us a suitable property and agreed we could stay in it indefinitely with a contract to match, we'd likely jump at it, but I don't think that's going to happen so I guess if anything I've probably came to the conclusion that the difficulties we've faced in finding a property to let has made us realise just how impractical it could be for us in the future, I mean if we have this kind of difficulty now, then in 5 years or so if we took a private let and had to leave the property, finding another suitable one in a short space of time could be impossible.

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Rea 12th February, 2021 @ 08:19

Marko can you not do an exchange? I know most councils and associations in UK allow tenants to swap tenancies.

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Marko 12th February, 2021 @ 08:52

@Rea - we're talking different countries unfortunately, we're currently in Scotland and our daughter is in England, there probably is the likelihood of an exchange programme to cover that but I'm not sure how the local authorities would take to this, they would have to be in agreement presumably as if we were vacating a LA house in Scotland, presumably the LA would have their own idea's on who should be qualifying first, and similarly in England for that LA. If it were the same LA then I know they do allow this but different LA's I'm sure have their own rules and regulations in relation to exchanges, etc, it may be worth checking out also but our daughter does stay in a village in England and although there are LA housing dotted around they will likely be few of these and most of those types of areas have a strong influence from parish councils, etc, and again, would have their own idea's of who should be taking LA housing such as those with a strong connection to area.
We wouldn't have any issues being out with the village itself but it's likely we would need to be considerably out with to stand any chance of a LA house, just how far and how practical I'm not sure, and again, applying for LA housing in a different country would probably bring it's own set of issues, hence why we were thinking more along the lines of private letting, hate to sound fussy or anything but because it would probably be a massive decision for us to make such a move, it really would have to tick all the boxes as we would also likely have to pay towards the cost of the rental, I know that sounds as though we want our cake and eat it but as I say our circumstances are fragile hence the reason it has to be the right move, once only with no going back :)

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Stealth Bomber 12th February, 2021 @ 11:00

@Marko I would say you've already got the biggest piece of the cake that you could hope for. The only real driver for wanting a private let, is your location. Stability, secure tenancy, adapting the property should your wife need some future support, would all be sacrificed for it.
You may get an exchange if you're with a UK wide association, they can probably do a workaround. However it's a long shot that someone would want an exchange to Scotland. Assuming your provider is UK wide, could you be listed for one of their homes in England? I appreciate things are in short supply and it might be a wait, but putting yourself into the hands of a private let, is not the answer.
We are all in this together, all bearing the failure of the Country, to house it's vulnerable and welfare dependent citizens. Councils/DWP are a nightmare to deal with, nothing short of evil. They hate private landlords, and claimants dont get much better treatment either, and the Government system actually supports them in doing it.
There's no wonder private business steers clear of DWP, and it's not all down to claimants being branded as scum. Having had experience of both PIP and Housing Benefit claimants, I concede there does need to be some education across the lettings industry. However the fact remains that claimants should not need to be in private sector for their housing needs.

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Marko 12th February, 2021 @ 11:14

@stealth bomber - totally agree with you in everything you say, maybe in hindsight it's a blessing that it has been, and continues to be so difficult for our particular circumstances, others aren't so fortunate in their choices however, but I came here originally to rant I guess on how difficult the situation is for those of us on benefits long term in regards to private letting, but having written it all down and thought about it, I guess I'm leaving with the security and knowledge that we're likely in a very fortunate situation with LA housing where we are and the driving factor was to be closer to our daughter and grandson but given the risks associated with such a move to private letting, it's something we are probably having second thoughts about, or much more than just second thoughts. With the situation being what it has been over the course of the last year or so, this has probably heightened our drive to be closer to our daughter, but hopefully in the next few months (big lol) things may improve and we may be in a position to visit more frequently than we obviously have been able to do in the past year or so.
Really glad I found this blog and the frankness that has been displayed, it's made us think twice about or position, all be it there is still a massive issue in regards to private lets and benefits, or for that matter just private lets in general, and I still can't help feel that many landlords who seek a long term, reliable, honest and decent set of tenants continue to shoot themselves in the foot by refusing to even consider such circumstances, but on the flip I know myself how some people can be, but that goes for people in employment too, very difficult situation to figure out but end of day I think we'll call off the hunt for now and cross our fingers for a better year ahead than the one past!. Thanks to all for their honest and open responses, really appreciated it :)

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Stealth Bomber 12th February, 2021 @ 13:00

@Marko I suppose Covid times have altered people's thoughts when it comes to proximity and contact with family and friends. Seeing grandkids and doing a school run, that sort of thing is a joy. However we don't all get that pleasure, but we do have endless means of communication to benefit from, which we didn't have in the past.
Most of us on here are pretty balanced 😂, after all it's simply a big Government game, so it's not worth getting mad over. While we all argue and disagree with each other, it deflects from the huge and consistent failing of social housing and welfare support from the Government.
There's people on benefits get their money stopped through no fault of their own. Then it's 8-12 weeks for an appeal to get the payments reinstated. DWP know they're dicking around with people's lives and private landlords, while they have a laugh about it. Once people are behind with their money, it never comes right.
Then there are the bad tenants, who are told to stay put until the bailiff knocks on the door! Now what earthly good is that to society? Landlord has huge expense in Court and bailiff fees. Valuable Court time is choked with eviction notices, and the tenant lives on their nerves (well some of them) until the day the bailiff knocks on the door! Then they've got to head straight to emergency housing office with the eviction letter in hand! It's so far beyond insanity we need to invent a new word.
On another note you're probably miles better off in Scotland when it comes to health care and waiting lists. The NHS in UK major cities is failing. Got more chance of seeing Lord Lucan riding Shergar down the street, than seeing a GP.
Hope all works out for you in the future. Good luck.

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