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…

780 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 730 - 780 comments (out of 780)
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allan 2nd November, 2019 @ 12:58

I you are a private landlord you should be running to the exit and getting out now, somewhere down this timeline you will be forced to take the cheating tenants. the game is up get out now. I now sleep much better having sold up. dont be the last to leave the sinking ship

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alex 27th November, 2019 @ 20:05

being employed guarantees that you will pay your rent, obviously, and no one gets sacked anymore so its totally reliable and guaranteed. good article

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andrewa 3rd December, 2019 @ 18:36

Stephen H. Sounds like a socialist.
Hitler was a socialist.
The government of Germany during WWII was socialist.
Stalin was a socialist.
The British Liberal party was in government when they invented and paid for the construction of concentration camps.
And people are PROUD of being socialists? Or a SJW?

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andrewallencia@gmail 3rd December, 2019 @ 18:40

Alex, it's a question of statistics.
Statistically employed tenants are far more likely to pay their rent than DSS.
Renting to DSS is like playing roulette with 10 zeros whilst renting to the employed is like blackjack :)

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Grumpy ex landlord 31st December, 2019 @ 22:05

What a thread!

@Allan #730

Well said. I ran for the exit. Sold all properties.

3 years ago we stopped taking DSS tenants for many of the reasons above. It is a terrible shame the good dss tenants are affected. But we had the same issues.

However just as all landlords are now tarnished with the “scumbag landlord” mark the Bad DSS tenants ruin it for every one else.

Government (all parties) policy is to drive out of business all small private landlords.

To all the people complaining about high rents now. Just Wait until all the small private landlords have sold up and there is no competition when it’s now all owned by large companies.

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Anita 23rd January, 2020 @ 14:22

I am just going to start to find a tenant for a small property in Derby and have come across Derventio housing trust who deal with tenants with various social/other problems. Apparently, this company receives money from the council for tenants and they pay rent to the landlords, which indicates to me that there would not be a problem with non payment of rent. Do any landlords out there have any experience with this housing trust that could give me feedback on whether this may be a good thing to do?

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allan 23rd January, 2020 @ 14:41

If you are a private landlord in Scotland new stats out today show it will take you about 42 weeks to get a Tennant eviction its 17 weeks in England the SNP changed the rules, can you afford no rent for 42 weeks plus the legal costs of eviction. this is now a game not worth the risk and that's why I am out of the landlord game

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Stealth Bomber 23rd January, 2020 @ 16:16

@Anita. There’s more to being a Landlord, than having the rent guaranteed, if that’s your main motivator for considering this move. You could take out an insurance policy to cover unpaid rent, or even go guaranteed rent with a letting agent, although their monthly percentages effectively mean you’re covering it yourself on a month by month basis. Our wonderful Landlord host, has covered many of the variables, which can become out of control at the best of times, but with social housing, you’re increasing the odds greatly. Unless Derventio have a specific clientele which they support, you will be at their mercy as to who goes in. Smokers, pets, unruly kids, and damage to property, all come together far more often in the social housing circle, places get treat like council houses and no one cares. Insurers won’t give a policy on a private let if it’s got DWP tenants, so do your homework on that also. It’s your property and you’re the one risking it all. Personally there’s no way I would let a faceless organisation take control of my properties. We have all the crap at one end of the scale, with ridiculous BTL mortgages, paying full Council Tax on empty property, and no direct rent payment from DWP anymore. Then Local Authority come crying with the ‘guaranteed rent’ carrot, for us to solve the housing crisis. Sorry I digress, rant over! I hope all goes well, whatever you decide.

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Grumpy 23rd January, 2020 @ 16:57

Hi Anita,

Well done finding this blog. Spend some time reading this before you jump into renting out your house. It sounds like you are fairly new to the game so tread very carefully.

As Stealth and Allan pointed out the risk of renting to a company “guaranteeing” the rent is very very risky

You might get your rent guaranteed but without a CAST IRON contract guaranteeing they return the property in perfect condition you are wasting your time.

The damage costs WILL massively out weigh any rent you receive.

As Allan said it’s a mugs game now being a small time landlord. For a small property before I would rent it out you should consider To sell it now while it’s still in good condition and put the money into your pension.

You should get tax relief on the pension Of about 20%

There is ZERO chance you get a 20% return on the rent vs house value.

Good luck
Grumpy

(Ex landlord -all sold up... been there got the T shirt)

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Anon 28th March, 2020 @ 13:31

You sound like a closed minded bellend. I read about the first paragraph and then gave up. I don't waste that much time with people like you.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 28th March, 2020 @ 13:32

Ha, the irony, "You sound like a closed minded bellend. I read about the first paragraph and then gave up."

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Stealth Bomber 28th March, 2020 @ 14:48

@The Landlord I read anonymous nobody, and pi$$ed myself. Much funnier than counting how many toilet rolls I have left. Keep it safe x.

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Andrewa 28th March, 2020 @ 16:33

And in sunny South Africa at the moment the government doesn't mind if you smoke so much marijuana you fall over (as long as you grow it yourself) but will throw you in jail if you want to go to work at a job :)

Stay Safe!

An anonymous bellend of little brain who can tell what a complete post is about just by reading the first paragraph?

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allan 28th March, 2020 @ 21:53

six months ago I advised private landlords to run for the hills and I now thank my lucky stars I took my own advice.
covid19
you now cant sell or buy a property in the UK or evict bad tenants yes you can get a mortgage holiday but you still owe the money
how many tenants are going to use this and stop paying it is going to be a free for all
property prices are going to plummet as we head for the biggest depression since 1920 the government is spending billions of borrowed money unemployment will go through the roof.
as a landlord, you have now become a support network for the needy at your expense.
not to mention all the property which converted to air bb it's dead in the water and many will default
the backlash from covid19 is just getting started and the destruction will we epic
if you get an opportunity run for the hills,its downhill from here

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allan 31st March, 2020 @ 14:27

more discrimination aginst landlords and private owners coming to a council near you

just had a call from North Lanarkshire council as of tomorrow 1st April 2020 they will not deal with any antisocial behavior complaints if you own your house in a private let or a private landlord, they will now only act with council tenants makes your life harder to get rid of antisocial tenants

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Andrea 6th April, 2020 @ 15:01

I don't know if you noticed, but authorities do have an option for the money to be payed to Landlords...

Also you don't know peoples situations, perhaps sit down with them, listen to their situation, then build a conclusion. Don't go around saying every DSS tenants are the same.

Also if you're unable to collect insurance...
Just don't offer to DSS tenants.

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Mutley 7th April, 2020 @ 12:02

What a lot of landlords forget is the tenant can request for the rent to be paid directly to the landlord, although the tenant may need to top this up. I know, I've done this.

It's also worth noting that housing benefit is paid every 4 weeks, so it's 13 payments a year rather than 12. (I'm sure they do that just to confuse).

Someone commented that if a working tenant fails to pay, the landlord can apply to have it taken directly from their wages. You can also do this with benefits.

Yes, if you're trying to evict a tenant the council will tell them to stay put until there's a court order, they'd give the same advise to those NOT on housing benefit.

The one thing that does confuse me is why those tenants who don't pay are not charged with theft? Also, those who fail to pass the housing benefit along to the landlord should be charged with fraud and theft!

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Stealth Bomber 7th April, 2020 @ 14:47

@Andrea. You may register property with the local authority, then they will make rent payments direct. But you lose complete control over who`s coming and going, and good luck telling insurers about it (unless local authority have worked some nice `deal` to insure it for you with their preferred suppliers!).
This is rather different to how things used to be, whereby the rent was paid direct to landlord from (old DSS), without local authority being involved, and leaving your property at their incompetent mercy. Private letting, direct to a benefit claimant, and you have little chance of getting the DWP to divert rent payment. Tenants can request the DWP pay direct, but there`s more chance of being struck by lightning. Even when tenants are on the brink of eviction, they would rather rehouse them, than make suitable payment arrangements to a landlord, thus throwing people into hellhole dwellings, which have probably been empty for moons, and the tenant has no choice but to take it because its emergency housing. No one wins here.
Maybe DWP tenants are not all the same, but one thing that is the same, is the way our Laws and legislation are positioned, and its simply no use to landlords whatsoever. The system has more holes in it than a Swiss cheese, and its not closing them fast enough, if it even wants to at all is debatable.
Due to the aforementioned failings, letting as a whole is enough of a risky game, there simply has to be a huge dose of self preservation administered, in trying to avoid things going wrong where practicable, without throwing benefit claimants into the mix.
Landlords are quite happy to take some risk, that`s part of anything that`s ever been created or successful, either in Business, Invention or Discovery. Risk and reward, but it has to be a calculated risk, and we can play at being Social workers, meeting every potential tenant and interviewing them until the cows come home, it makes no difference, the risk is invariably higher with DWP claimants than any other group. There`s also the aspect where people have their benefits stopped for no good reason, and it takes months for them to appeal, and get things reinstated through no fault of their own. But its still part of the game where landlords are unnecessarily exposing themselves to that risk.
Said all along, DWP claimants should not, nor have to fall into, the hands of private rental sector. Funny how multi million pound developers steer clear of housing DWP claimants, yet private landlords get called from a duck to a drake for doing the same!

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Jay Davies 25th April, 2020 @ 13:32

We stayed clear after bad experiences in the early days, we laugh about it now and all the crazy stuff we had to deal with, but for us 12 years on, private rentals offer the better quality of tenant by and large.

Agree with earlier comments, it will end up as large social housing blocks. It's the only solution for those who can't/won't support themselves.

Simply more being taken out of the pot, than what is being put in, i.e not sustainable.

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SarahB 27th April, 2020 @ 22:56

What annoys me the most about this ‘no dss’ business is the irony.
I am a part time working mother of 2 who, after now receiving 3 months notice to leave my private rented property as landlord requires possession for a family member, and rightly so, is the middle gap I have no found myself falling in to.
So it’s been many years since I last applied to rent with a letting agent and oh how times have changed.
I have always worked up to 24 hours a week since having my children, and receive £220 a month HB help towards my current rent of £750.
I have never paid a day late or missed a payment.
However, due to the fact that I receive this, no letting agent will touch me with a barge pole! I refuse to squat after my notice expires as it’s unfair to my landlord, I also don’t want the horrendous label or the shame that comes with being evicted.
But the best part is that I do not qualify for any form of social housing or help from them because in their eyes I can afford to rent privately!!!
So basically due to my relationship breaking down and lacking childcare I do not work ‘enough’ to rent privately.
Ironically, I work ‘too much’ to receive social housing or even be considered.
Looks like I shall be going to WORK each morning from a one bedroom hotel room 😂

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Andrewa 27th April, 2020 @ 23:13

@SarahB
As a landlord here is some advice. What I as a landlord look for in a prospective tenant is track record. As you say it has been many years since you last looked so what I recommend is that you get your bank statements for the last three or four years which obviously show regular and timeously paid rent to your present landlord and approach private landlords not agents saying you have documentary proof of being a good tenant.
What the prospective landlord can see from the bank statements is that you have never missed a rent payment ( this shows you are financially responsible). It also indicates that you look after the property you are renting( as if you trashed the place your present landlord would have evicted you after the first inspection)

Your only problem now is to find a decent landlord with a decent property at a decent rent :)
Good luck

Of course if you had to move often and paid late or never that would also show up.

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John 7th June, 2020 @ 08:35

Very sad article. So many incorrect point.
So much discrimination putting people in the same box. People are individuals.
I worked all my life upto about 4 years ago, no issues with renting anywhere while I was working, even though I wasn't earning much and often couldn't keep up with rent made no difference because I worked! Unfortunately I can't currently work due to disability. And although I'm in unsuitable accommodation NOBODY will rent to me because I receive benefits, I always pay my rent and current landlord has no issues with me and how I look after the place.
Housing benefit is paid to me 2 weekly and rent is paid in full monthly a day before due always for years.
Its unfortunate this landlord doesn't have another suitable property I can move into as everyone else discriminates or ignores me soon as the hear benefits. I'm not invisible, I'm not a scumbag, I just want a HOME.
I home non of them discriminaters or their families find themselves in a similar situation in their life as its not nice to be pushed into the gutter and not given a chance.
Give yourselves a slap and Have some empathy.

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Stealth Bomber 7th June, 2020 @ 13:19

@John Its a sad indictment of English Law, that's what it is. The Law actually supports bad tenants and none payment, without any recourse whatsoever. Landlords have zero protection via our legal system, County Court Judgements and money orders are a complete joke. Criminal damage to property, and theft by none payment should be treat like the crime that it is. Society, and the way people are living/operating is changing, and the Law is not catching up with people's scams and lifestyles fast enough. Unfortunately this creates the broadbrush effect which you have become a victim of. But all Landlords have, is the element of self protection, where the Law fails to. Insurers won't give policies on properties with Benefit claimants in, or they make it difficult with cost of premiums and terms and conditions. Hopefully you will see this is a multi layered problem, largely created by Government legislation and the Law as it stands. With respect to yourself, people on benefits shouldn't be falling into the hands of private landlords. That works both ways, whereby social housing has failed everyone, and it should be there to provide long term homes that private landlords cannot guarantee.

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Andrewa 7th June, 2020 @ 13:28

@ John
I live in South Africa and the law grossly favours the tenant in much the same way as the UK if not even more so. As a landlord I am happy to take on a tenant such as yourself who can prove via copys of their bank statements that they have paid the rent regularly and on time for years and have no court judgements for debt or damage against them. If you also can prove you dont trash propertys you are just the tenant private landlords are looking for. If however you have a record of non payment, neighbour harrasment and damage causing you have only yourself to blame if you cannot secure other rented accomodation.

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John 7th June, 2020 @ 13:56

@Stealth Bomber and @Andrewa.
Thank you for your comments. It is a difficult one on both sides and hopefully one day it will change.
The problem I currently have is as soon as benefits are mentioned they won't even speak to me, I've had phone put down on me, emails ignored.. endless list.
I have no damage, neighbours or payment issues. I even have a guarantor, bank statements show no payment have been late on anything going back years, I even offered to pay extra upfront to maybe ease there worry. But I don't even get to show them statements, records, guarantor etc as they shut me down before it gets there.
Social housing would be ok if property was available but I've been on a list for 4 years and not once has anything become available.
I might add also although I am disabled No adjustments are needed to the properties I enquire about so that isn't the reason either. Just the word "benefits" brings a bad name, I currently feel less of a person simply because of my situation. Even though I worked for years and paid taxes.
For years I was a Manager at a financial company, and atleast 90% of the non-payers was actually workers.

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Andrewa 7th June, 2020 @ 14:03

@ John.
Try harder to get hold of a small landlord like our gracious host directly. If you can definately prove precicesly what you said, you are actually exactly what a landlord is looking for in a tenant.

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Stealth Bomber 7th June, 2020 @ 16:14

@John. I've had tenants on the old DLA, and PIP. If you are disabled it's different to other benefits and the associated problems. I know lots of high street agents are no DWP claimants, but that shouldn't apply to anyone with a disability, they have to be very careful on this. Remember, your email or phone call will probably go to some young thing that's as green as grass, so as soon as you say 'benefits', they are preprogrammed to shut you down. I would try a local independent agent, word things appropriately if it's PIP you are receiving, obviously you have to be truthful if it is or not. It might come down to renting a room in the short term, until you can get something solid in place.

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Deborah 11th June, 2020 @ 08:34

I'm in a similar predicament. I am a qualified nurse but unfortunately I am waiting for a transplant, I haven't worked since 2006. I receive PIP, I have been with my landlord for 9yrs, he's in Australia, after the first 3 years the estate agent did a runner, so since then we've just carried on together. I've never missed a days rent in all the nine years. Unfortunately he is selling so I am back looking on the private market. It is true, Estate agents really don't want to know, I don't have a guarantor and although I would past a credit check with ease and receive £1800 a month in benefits and child maintenance for my daughter, no one will look at me. I've sent emails to estate agents which are either ignored or reply with sorry we don't take people on benefits and this is when I tell them I receive pip. I've searched and searched on how to go directly with landlords, open rent etc. But to no avail. I have enough for a bond and about 3 months rent in advance but the estates agents do say that some landlords would take 6 months rent in advance, so again I'm stumped for a while whilst I save another 3 months rent. I'm a really good tenant, I even get things in the house fixed myself because the landlord has never put up the rent, I've transformed the back garden....but no one seems to believe what I say at the first contact, so how on earth do I get them to see me. I must admit I completely understand the landlords situation, there are a lot of bad tenants out there, although not all are on benefits. I've even discussed what an estate agents actually does with them, because the majority I've been through don't even check the property. The estate agent who did a runner kept telling my landlord that I wasn't paying, luckily he had my email address so could ask me, so I showed him my bank statements. I really cant see the point in estate agents, they cant do anything any faster and a lot of the time when they send out people to fix things they lie to the landlord about the cost. Would love to find a private landlord....but where I don't know.

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Stealth Bomber 11th June, 2020 @ 10:18

@Deborah. As I commented to John, PIP claimants are not in the same category as other types of benefit claimants. Go and see Letting agents directly, as most of the time it's only some junior who sees your emails and discards it off hand. Go see them face to face, and explain that they are WRONG. Even the other things I've highlighted, such as insurance policies, it's no problem, and very different for those on PIP/ disability. Other benefits are problematic, and it's a fact that the DWP stop people's money for no reason, when its not even the claimants fault. Tenants then fall into arrears and debt they can't ever get out of. Thats the nasty system created by Government, where things have gotten out of control. Your payments are more secure, and if you need to, just remind these clowns of the DDA Laws.

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Andrewa 11th June, 2020 @ 11:03

@Deborah
As I mentioned earlier, if you can prove what you have said above you are the ideal tenant every decent landlord is looking for! Remember it is a business and they are looking for clients who can pay. May I suggest advertising yourself in the property sections of the internet rental portals in the areas you wish to reside in saying what rent you are willing to pay and what proof of financial probity and decent behavior you have.
Good Luck!

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John 11th June, 2020 @ 11:56

@Deborah it is very sad how people can be judged so easily based on a situation we never chose.
@Stealth Bomber @Andrewa
I am on pip, esa support group, with premiums.
I also struggle face to face these days is reason I couldn't go demanding they listen and the laws. But over the years I have been with someone into several letting agents and have the documents including pip award letters, bank statements and so on, offered rents ahead like deborah also said. It makes no difference in my experience of years trying, they either say we'll get back to you (and never do) or just straight out say no benefits, some will say its because of the onwers mortgage terms but the rest I just feel its outright discrimination.
I also wouldn't know if or how we could get intouch directly with owners/private landlords as I only know of lettings agents/ Estate agents. Also I'm not sure how/where to advertise myself as a tenant but I will look into it.
Its like banging our heads against a brick wall, gets us nowhere.
Plod on...

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Andrewa 11th June, 2020 @ 12:05

@Deborah @John
As a landlord you are EXACTLY what I and no doubt many others are looking for. People with an EXCELLENT and PROVABLE track record.
Caps for emphasis.

Cant prove an excellent record? Then dont waste my time and yours.

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John 11th June, 2020 @ 12:40

@Andrewa nobody is trying to waste your time, its an open discussion with people talking from experiences.
Yes its all provable but how do you prove something a letting agent won't even look at! It never gets to that stage.
Do you as a landlord rent via lettings agents and do you know what there process is like, do you sit in their office to see, because I can tell you it's not been nice experience for me.
When I worked it was all smiles and rent without any issues. It's honestly not as simple as your making out, otherwise I wouldn't be here!
You keep saying we are exactly what landlords want, where exactly do we contact landlords because all I know of is the letting agents (middlemen).
And you can put it in bold capitals, it still makes no difference to my actual situation over years of trying.

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Stealth Bomber 11th June, 2020 @ 12:58

@John Sadly it's something of a double edge sword, whereby many landlords don't know the difference in benefits either! Mortgage 'terms' is pretty much baloney, the lenders contract is with the mortgagee, they don't give two hoots as to who's in the property. Speak with Citizens Advice, you can't be the only one stuck in this situation, and you don't need to go quoting the Law as such. Ignorance of the Law is the letting agents problem. If you get yourself registered on a tenant finder for instance, then are never offered a property, it's possible the DDA regs would be on your side. Have you tried Social housing rather than private let? I ask because it seems that many of the smaller landlords, who may have dealt direct, are packing in and heading out of the game. Bigger landlords just throw the lot at an agent to fully manage, I figure dealing direct can only become an even longer shot as things go.

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Andrewa 11th June, 2020 @ 15:27

Sorry you didnt comprehend. I meant dont waste my time as a landlord looking for customers or yours by applying without the proof of a good track record. I have had people apply who when I checked were evicted from their last home for not paying the rent for two years! Would you sign a lease lending someone like that an extremely valuable asset of yours? I most certainly wouldnt.
As for finding landlords I actually spend quantities of money searching for people like you. For example the host of this site also spends money looking for tenants with a good record and doesn't use estate agents and neither do I for good reason. Just dont apply to estate agents, If someone answers the phone Robin, Steele and Mufuka estate agents just put the phone down! Where I live people who are not using estate agents put the fact that they are private landlords in their adverts usually after the statement that credit and reference checks will be done.
Remember if you are a good tenant you are our customer and if you are a bad one you are our shoplifter or cheque bouncer😁

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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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