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

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

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

1] Rental History

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

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

2] Get a Guarantor

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

3] Rent Guarantee Insurance

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

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

4] Get the council to pay directly to landlords

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

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

5] Look in newspapers and websites like Gumtree

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

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

6] Offer to put down a bigger security deposit

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

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

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

7] Yes to DSS

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

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

226 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 176 - 226 comments (out of 226)
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carly watch 28th February, 2017 @ 12:21

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

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4yearslooking 21st March, 2017 @ 23:27

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

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

pointless post but thought id give it a go

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OnTheOtherHand 22nd March, 2017 @ 00:29

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you lots of luck!

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natalie 6th January, 2018 @ 00:46

hi,

just thought id add a recent comment, not too much changed from all the ther posts ive browsed at. I'm currently, for first time in my life, claiming dss, and that's as I was sacked unfairly while pregnant, just before I was sue to moveinto a property, and then it all fel thoug ,and been homelss for over a year now. and obviously couldn't work due to young baby. anyway now after al this time, I'm re looking at work, part timr for time being and started looking at properties to let again, had one vonvo with someone today, renting 2 bed, evn thiug o need a 3, I cant afford the 3 bed rate, and the private landlors prices for rent do mot match thr LHA rate, so would not be able to pay/ anyway, she asked me pay 6 months rent in advance...of 1400 pcm rent, flabbergasted// something need t change for us claimants. I've private rented for over 20 years, worked all my life expect this time round due to unfair dismissal, and last tenancy ws 7 years, were not all waste of space degenerates as society would have you beileve. I feel if this was a different century, all DSS claimants would definitely be thrown in stocks

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OnTheOtherHand 6th January, 2018 @ 22:24

Hi Natalie,
You're right, not much has changed since the last post. If anything, things are worse. That's a Tory government for you, it was like this under Thatcher as well. Worse, I think? Although it's hard to tell, Tories always "lose" records...
I have been renting for 10 years longer than you. I worked till the 2000s, when I fell ill and was forced to stop. In all the time I was working and living in private rented accommodation, nobody ever asked me for 6 months rent in advance. At the very most, I paid something towards a tenancy agreement in the late 90s, that's it. I don't even remember being charged for a "credit check". lol like they mean anything. On average, I paid deposit and first month's rent on moving in. And most properties were of a decent standard.
So these all these fees and charges are deliberate obstacles. The point of them is to not let those properties to anybody, benefit claimant, low paid, or even average wage earner. Because look at the facts, wages haven't gone up in 10 years, cost of living is up, the country is in decline after Brexit. So who has 6 months of deposit lying about? Landlords are choosing to leave their properties empty. You have to ask why. The answer is the same reason they don't maintain them. No need if the value keeps rising. They might be hit with double council tax, but they won't bother paying, they're not exactly upstanding citizens are they, they're disgusting bullies.
Back in one of my earlier posts in this thread, I imagined what might lie ahead if things continue as they are. I was spot on pretty much. I'm hearing property prices are starting to fall significantly, because no one's buying. Has the housing bubble burst? Don't know yet. But landlords who cba to rent to tenants because it's less hassle to bank the property and leave it empty while the value increased are going to be stuck now. hahaha Brilliant.
They should sell them to councils so they can be used social housing. And it's time to think about universal basic services, including free housing. Yes, you read that right, I said free housing. Universal basic services is cheaper to roll out than basic income, and that's gaining traction around the world already.
Tories are in freefall, taking the country with them. They're either going to get thrown out or throw themselves out at some point - a government can resign. If we're very unlucky, we've got them for the rest of their term.
So we really need to be looking at Corbyn's Labour and what they will do to put things right. That doesn't mean anyone should not vote for Labour because *whiny voice* "I don't like Corbyn / they're not good enough / should be better". If anyone finds themselves thinking like that, go and stand infront of mirror, say it again, then slap yourself. Idiot. Not voting Labour means a vote Tory.
We might have been a nation of homeowners for a decade or few, but really, this is a nation of renters, always has been. So better rights and protections for renters is what Labour are looking at. They are inviting the public to tell them more, so do write to them.
These landlords you see all over this thread and in others, "I'm running a business" as an excuse for taking the piss out of tenants are facing their own comeuppance for their negligence and abuse of power. Don't worry about them. No one else is. Karma is a bitch.
There have been over half a million "excess deaths" since the Tories got into power in 2010. Obviously, that number is rising and fast. There are noticeably fewer people using the Tube in London now. The news tried to blame it on Netflix and Deliveroo. haha So it's nothing to do with half of London homeless and on the streets then? I'm exaggerating, but I'm not far from the truth. The highest homeless numbers in the country are here in London. Also, the government are quietly deporting people, either because they're homeless or because Brexit, no one knows the numbers. Then there's people who can't afford the tube anymore. And then there's people leaving, either the city or the country, emigrating.
All the people who keep a city running are being forced out. Fewer services means others can't manage. You need shop workers, teachers, etc etc. People are leaving London in the thousands. I would have too last time, definitely will next time I move.
Google the national homeless numbers, then look up the numbers of empty homes. That's where homeless people used to live before they were forced out onto the streets, the numbers match up, more or less, because who knows how many people have died, or even who they were. Once you fall out of the system, you don't exist, and the government stop keeping records, they'd only have to "lose" them anyway.
Best of luck, Natalie, I hope you find somewhere. My reply is further to my earlier posts, obviously, as well as to say "me too", I totally recognise everything you said, I've had it said to me too, and I hope you find somewhere soon for you and your baby. Things will get better, but only if we vote Labour. I make no apologies for drawing attention to politics, it's politics that got us here.

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Mr SPT 15th March, 2018 @ 16:13

I am now registered disabled, and because I have many health issues have now been disabled and living on certain benefits, and unable to work or ever go back to my past employment ( basically because I had a works accident ( I was a paramedic of all things ! that's what you get for trying to give medical aid to a drunk ! this causing my spinal injury which over the passing years has now resulted in even more connected issues)
Anyway, since my accident I had to leave my mortgaged home, and because of little income, my lifestyle changed dramatically and I ended up living in a council bungalow with my wife ( who gave up her nursing career to become my full time carer.
So back to why I contact you today. I have had my fill of our council bungalow. Firstly we are in our mid to late 50's and we live amongst 75-90 year old people and we feel old before our time. We have ongoing issues with cold too, 13 degrees last week indoors when it snowed, and with electric storage heater and no installation ( because the council said our bungalow couldn't be done ( yet major companies said it can, but still even at my cost the council still say no) also damp and problems with the sewage pipes that keep overflowing and filling our home with methane gas, quite frankly enough is enough. So myself and my wife, even though its going to be hard, especially for me, we decided to rent privately and were lucky enough to find a lovely property to live in long let, and to be fair the estate agents said they would ask him if he would except us, and he said yes, he would be more than happy to have us live in his property long term, in fact we were so happy and wanted to start the ball rolling.
Now the problem....the estate agents are acting on his behalf to find him a suitable tenant, and after contacting him he has turned down others and has said we would be his choice so asked the agents to give us reference forms etc so we could get the ball rolling.
Before taking the forms back, I contacted my local council who own the property I live in and who I pay my rent too, and asked if they could give me a reference ( as asked for by the agents) They said this to me, we do not give references out for any reason with regard to our tenants, so the answer is no. Not being happy I asked to be put through to another department, again I spoke to a Manager of that Housing Department, I was told that the agents I am going through have been told on many occasions that they will NOT be getting a reference off the council because quite frankly they don't do references for any indiviual person regardless of who they are. Subsequently she said, is they rind themselves we still wont disclose any information about any of our tenants. So I left it at that. On visiting the office today, I took the relevant forms in and after looking at the reference section on the form ( where I had put three good private references anyway, one a councilor, another someone I have know for over 40 years, and the third a manager of a company,, a very successful person who has know me for over ten years, so I expected good things. I got told this, we need a reference of your current landlord ( who is the council) I explained for 30 mins why I cannot get a reference, told them what they said, and went on to say they wont tell you anything should you ring up !! I was told basically I wont get the property if I cant supply the reference needed ! BUT I CANT BECAUSE THE COUCIL DO DO REFERENCES I said back. They then said they would look into it and see if there was a way around it but it was very unlikely !! I WAS GUTTED.
I have a landlord who would welcome my wife & myself with open arms, he's very happy with us, he knows our circumstances and about us having to live on benefits because of my injuries, and still hes been brilliant, but NO ! the estate agents acting on his behalf ( but WONT be managing the property for him when the tenancy starts) say I cant have the property without the relevant reference from the council ( but they don't or should I say wont give out a reference)
So I don't get the property, the landlord misses out on having me has a tenant ( and I would be so damn good too, in fact im 100% honest, I respect peoples property and I would be happy to deal with him direct rather than through these blithering idiots at the estate agents who quite simply don't get it !
But so they don't lose out I guess, they refuse to give me the landlords details, so I cant contact him direct.....any idea guys about any way around this ? I have no issues paying deposits ( yes eventually I will get housing benefit and the owner of the property ( the landlord hopefully) knows this and hes happy 100% happy. But the agents I believe are in for what they can get for themselves, and the getting a good tenant for this gentleman isn't proioity in there eyes, only making money out of potential tenants such as me.
HELP !! we love this property and would love the owner as our landlord, but the agenbts are doing us no favours whatsoever, and certainly not giving me the details to deal direct with him!!
We're gutted totally, and im so upset that our dream of getting out of this council hellhole is still our current home by the look of things. Any iformation or anyone who has had similar happen to them, id welcome your thoughts.

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andrewa 15th March, 2018 @ 16:21

@Ontheotherhand
Can you not get a council house to rent from the government? The way that private landlords are being discouraged makes me think there are plenty of council rents in good areas available.

Mr SPT you have my sympathy. Remember Britain is a democracy so if you do not like how your local council is behaving......vote the rubbish out!¿

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OnTheOtherHand 15th March, 2018 @ 16:22

@andrewa if only it were that easy...

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OnTheOtherHand 15th March, 2018 @ 16:26

Gah, we can't edit posts...

@andrewa - what do you mean "The way that private landlords are being discouraged makes me think there are plenty of council rents in good areas available." Can you unpack that for us, please? How are landlords discouraged? Why do you think there are plenty of council rents in good areas?

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OnTheOtherHand 15th March, 2018 @ 16:47

@Mr SPT, I agree with you, the estate agents are being arses. It is strange the council refuse to do references. You could make a formal complaint via their complaint channels. It will be called something like a 'stage one complaint', at least that's how my council does it. You'll find how on their website. That way, you go over the heads of anyone you've spoken to so far and it gets escalated. Say you want it escalated in your email. Be clear and make it a demand. Put it in writing. Phone calls are just hearsay and you'll only be wasting your time, the next person will deny what the last one said...

I don't know how to make formal complaints about estate agents, there must be a governing body or something? Perhaps someone reading this will know. My gut feeling is there isn't much you can do about them, they've found a loophole and they're abusing it. They've found a way to deny you the property and make you feel like it's your fault. It could well be prejudice against benefit claimants and they're just covering their sorry behinds with this bullshit.

Is the property listed anywhere else? Have you googled? Maybe there's another way to contact the landlord?

Good luck! I am so sorry this is happening to you. And what andrewa said, vote the council out. (Corbyn/Labour obviously. No point going back in time with the Conservatives, they'll only tell everyone to "go away and shut up", like they did today to Russia, because that's what they call a good idea...)

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Mr SPT 16th March, 2018 @ 09:00

Let me put my current situation into persective.
I have ( since my disability started due to my accident) lived in a council properties for nearly 20yrs ( in the current bungalow for the last 5) This is what I have piut up with and my reasons to wanting to rent privately.
FOR 4.5 YEARS WE HAVE HAD RAW SEWAGE RUNNING FROM THE MAIN SEWER INTO OUR GARDEN AND INTO THE PROPERTY. 2 WEEKS AGO SOUTHWEST WATER CHANGED A FEW PIPES, THERE REASON BECAUSE THERE WERE SUBSTANTIAL FAULTS, GREAT I THOUGHT UNTIL 3 DAYS AGO THE SEWAGE CAME TO THE TOP OF THE MAN HOLE AGAIN IN MY COUNCIL GARDEN....NOBODY WILL TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR EACH PARTICULAR PART OF THE PIPEWORK, THUS MAKING MY HEALTH EVEN WORSE ( THE PROPERTY REGULARLY SMELLS OF METHANE GAS ! )
2ND, tHE BUILDING HAS NO INSTALLATION IN ANY OUTER WALLS. I HAVE ASKED ON MULTIPLE OCCASSIONS IF SOMETHING COULD BE DONE ABOUT THIS AS MYSELF AND MY WIFE ARE ALWAYS COLD( LAST WINTER I WAS TAKEN TO HOSPITAL BECAUSE OF IT !)THERE REPLY, NO IT CANT BE DONE ( BUT I KNOW IT CAN)AND WE DONT HAVE THE MONEY !!
oN MANY OCCASSIONS I HAVE TRIED MY BEST BY ASKING IF I COULD HAVE ANOTHER SOURCE OF HEATING INSTALLED ( SUCH AS OIL CENTRAL HEATING OR LPG CENTRAL HEATING ) NOT A CHANCE THEY WILL FUND IT SO I SAID I WOULD PAY TOWARDS ITS INSTALLATION, AGAIN A FLAT NO, SO I SAID CAN I HAVE A MULTI FUEL FIRE FITTED AND RUN RADIATORS OFF THAT ( AGAIN AT MY COST) AGAIN NO WAS THEW ANSWER...BASICALLY THE COUNCIL ARE TERRIBLE, AND WHILST THEY KEEP REFUSING TO MAKE THE PROPERTY BETTER, THEY STILL DEMAND THERE RENT, AND I LIVE IN AS IT WAS JUST 4 DAYS AGO 13 DEGREES INDOORS !!!! NOT GOOD EHOUGH I FEEL.
bACK TO THE GETTING INTO THE PROPERTY PRIVATLY RENTED, YESTERDAY I WENT TO THE ESTATE AGENTS, AND AFTER FILLING IN THE MULTIPLE QUESTIONS ON THE FORMS THEY PROVIDED ME, AND THEM CHECKING THEM OVER ( I EVEN PUT 3 PERSONAL REFERENCE DETAILS OF PROFFESSIONAL PEOPLE, GOOD PEOPLE WHO HAVE KNOWN ME FOR MANY YEARS, AND WHO WOULD I KNOW BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO GIVE A REFERENCE ON OUR BEHALF)
THIS WASNT GOOD ENOUGH, AND I WAS TOLD I STILL NEEDED A REFERENCE FROM MY CURRENT LANDLORD WHOM I PAY RENT TOO ( THIS BEING THE COUNCIL WHO I HAVE BEEN TOLD TWICE WONT OR CANNOT DO REFERENCES ( IN FACT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES REGARDLESS OF WHO OR WHY THE Y ARE NEEDED ! ) sO I SAT THERE WITH MY WIFE, WITH THIS DILEMA HANGING OVER US THAT I MIGHT NOT GET THIS TENNACY AFTER ALL ( SAD, CONSIDERING THE LANDLORD I WAS TOLD WAS MORE THAN HAPPY TO EXCEPT US IN OUR CURRENT POSITION...SO HE AND US WOULD MISS OUT, IT SEEMS ALL BECAUSE OF THE ESTATE AGENTS & COUNCIL.
Well at 4.45 yesterday evening, our home phone went & it was the estate agents, and they informed me that someone ( they didn't say who) had in fact rung the council and after them going through three lots of people they were put through to someone who said YES, we will give a reference but any information given must not be shared with a 3rd party !! So my attitude was how come the council told me TWICE when I contacted them that under no circumstances do they do references, yet since I left your office today you inform me that now they do, and get this...for a reference fee of £114.00 per applicant ( so it would cost me £228.00) you can guarantee me that this matter can now be sorted.
Yes, was the reply....so whether it was right or not im not sure because I suspect in the back of my mind that a scam was brewing ! But I paid up, because quite frankly I don't want to miss this property and the landlord im told seems very happy, I got my card out and paid over the phone this £228.00. After the payment went through the estate agent girl I was speaking too said this,
If there are any problems regarding getting this reference from the council, the landlord has said he would be more than happy to carry on with the tenancy, on the condition, he & I visit your council property to see how you live and if all is ok, on our findings then we can get this matter sorted.
I SMELT A RAT !!! So the landlord is happy to go ahead regardless, so why is it so important to get this reference then after all ? why have I just paid £228.00 when he and you could have just visited me ( which for whatever reason I cant see what you'll gain from the visit, other than I meet the landlord face to face, something don't add up.
I know the council were serious, they simply don't do references and after asking about, I believe that is the case.
I feel that the estate agents are cashing in, trying to make there money somehow in a bad position, and they have scammed me in order to make something out of me & the landlord who I believe asked them to find him a suitable tenant, but NOT to manage the property ( thank god !) Its a mess, now I have to wait a week to see if this council reference materialies, I doubt it very much, but for the pleasure of paying £228 and it not happening, im told I get to meet the landlord and fingers crossed im still trying to get into this privately rented property.
I will keep you all updated.
Just one more thing, I have tried for the past 4.5 years to get a move or exchange out of my current home with the council, and in that time, even though im disabled & in a high grade, ive not had a chance of anywhere. Now on there homechoice site, they have change it so you cant bid on the past 3 properties each time, but 1 making it even more difficult to move...its a case of you're in a bungalow you cant get out of it ( even if there are multiple problems where I live right now, cold, damp, sewage freely running out of the manhole so I cant get out of the property unless I walk through it...its not good and certainly not right that I have had to put up with this for nearly 5 years now ! And no there are not many properties available in the whole of the county ( 15 last week alone, and 9 of those were flats ( unsuitable) and 3 of the rest I wasn't entitled too...the others I was around 100-190 people were interested, you have no chance !!

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OnTheOtherHand 17th March, 2018 @ 16:27

@Mr SPT that's a scam. Tell your MP, you can email them easily these days. There are laws about what estate agents can charge. Write to all the papers. Keep an eye out for journalists looking for stories, you see requests regularly in social media and also on newspaper sites. I'm sure I've seen requests on the BBC website too, like "tell your story". Or just find a journalist covering this topic and email them direct. Homelessness and the state of housing is headline news right now. The government have promised to spend £1 billion on 'tackling' the issue. (a problem they caused!) The press will be interested in what happened to you, especially as you are a former paramedic, now sick/disabled. Definitely name and shame the council! They utterly failed you. Take photos of all the problems.

Best of luck with everything! I hope you move asap and I hope your new home is better. Then tell the world what happened. Put it on social media, write a blog, it will be shared, I promise you. Everyone wants to know who to avoid. Name and shame the estate agent.

Fingers crossed you move soon!

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andrewa 7th April, 2018 @ 11:30

@ On the other hand

Hi, what I mean about the government making it harder for private landlords is increased taxes ( if you want less of something , tax it - in this case rented accommodation) making private rents more of an administrative nightmare and making it incredibly hard and expensive to get rid of a non paying or destructive tenant. One must therefore assume that the reason for all this angst against private landlords is because they are not necessary due to the vast amount of council or state housing available in excellent condition and areas at reasonable rentals. If this state housing is NOT available as I have described why are they coming down so hard on private landlords?

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OnTheOtherHand 7th April, 2018 @ 15:37

@andrewa Hi, thanks for the reply. That's interesting, especially given 1 in 5 MPs are landlords and they make the law. Theresa May is a landlord. https://www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/almost-one-in-five-mps-are-landlords

It does make you wonder why the government would do that whilst at the same time sell off council houses and housing association properties. There's a lot written on this so it's easy to google. You'll see reports from official bodies like Shelter and loads in the Mirror, Guardian, Independent, probably even the right wing press which is pretty much the rest of them. e.g. this is from 2016, only 8% of people live in council homes where previously it was 42% https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/04/end-of-council-housing-bill-secure-tenancies-pay-to-stay

I can't log in to this, but if anyone else can, it says "Westminster Council is set to turn a housing association it established into a wholly owned subsidiary in response to government deregulation" https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/westminster-council-to-take-full-ownership-of-housing-association-54923
I am not sure what deregulation of a housing association means. It's going private?

Oh great. "Many councils have transferred their entire housing stock to housing associations." https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/council_housing_association/how_to_get_a_housing_association_home

So to me, that looks like council housing -> housing association > deregulation -> private.

Mega landlord https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/11/housing-association-merger-will-lead-to-social-cleansing-warn-tenants
That's a step back to pre-1950s. It's why there were so many slums across the country, because landlords just weren't taking responsibility.

I don't know where you live but I am in London and have been here 30-odd years. I've seen how things have slowly deteriorated since the late 90s. It was slow at first, very subtle, the odd repair not done here, the occasional difficult landlord there. Then after 2008, the proverbial hit the fan and here we are. It's been a rapid decline.

I put myself on my council's housing list at the end of the 90s or something, I knew it would take about 10 years but I thought may as well have the option. What happened? They updated their system and threw me off the list. I had no idea until I needed their help a few years ago.

My fears about social cleansing and gentrification (described above) have come true. I can't believe that. :(

This is the government's page for housing stock https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-housing-communities-and-local-government

Oh this is new. Didn't see it in the press yesterday, but it's just been announced. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-boost-to-rogue-landlord-crackdown So that's better protection for tenants, which is about time. It'll be difficult to enforce when it comes to overcrowding though, wouldn't that mean evicting the tenants? And put them where? At present, in London, I'm hearing about temporary accommodation for the homeless that are overcrowded (i.e. a family) where the only options councils are offering are homes in high rises with no lifts, which is no good if you're a parent with small children or expecting, or sick/disabled, or elderly, or leave the city, which means leaving parents, relatives, friends, extended family, your local community, your doctor, dentist etc. ie social cleansing.

There's lots of announcements about 'government plans'. But we know from the last 8 years that doesn't mean much. They have 'planned' to build new homes in this time, but planning and doing are two different things. What happened in practice is building started... and that's it. Very little building or completing! Just empty tracts of land with building 'works'. Someone's making money somewhere. Or the other one where building work did complete, but they're luxury homes to be sold to... ??? Who's got the money? So that means entire streets left empty because no one can afford to live there. It's what was happening where I lived before on my road and the local area, and I'm seeing it again where I am now.

You can go down a rabbit hole looking up this stuff, there's a ton in the press. But basically, that horrific thought you had is true - state housing is NOT available, and they're coming down hard on private landlords and, by the sound of things, about to get harder. So that means... more people on the streets. In London, 1 in 59 people are homeless, around the country it's 1 in 200. You'll find all this and more once you start googling. Happy reading.

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OnTheOtherHand 7th April, 2018 @ 16:17

@andrewa 1 in 59 people in London are homeless, 1 in 200 around the country https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/kz3ke3/this-shambolic-government-isnt-just-in-chaos-its-killing-people

The other thing to look at is 'excess deaths', which is the number dead above what should be average/normal. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/13/conservative-governments-kill-people-health-disability-benefits-prisons

Because if people aren't housed, they either end up on the streets or dead - by their own hand or eventually on the streets, because living on the street shortens lives. There seem to be a few reasons why people aren't housed. Most of it looks like Tory policy.

There you go. That's Tory governments for you. We know more today because we have social media which is holding the government to account, seeing as the press are in their pocket and not doing it. We will never know the true stats of the Thatcher/Major years, Tories shred any awkward evidence. But I was here in London then and saw it for myself.

I don't want to go off-topic but it is important to understand this is part of a much bigger story that goes back decades and goes worldwide to do with neoliberalism, which is basically extreme capitalism. We're witnessing capitalism eat itself. From our point of view, what's important for us to focus on is a rotten corrupt system that's not serving anyone, not tenant, and by the sound of things not landlords if you're not happy either. So then what? Where do we go from here? Do we work together? Attack each other? How does that help? What's wrong with the system? where? what can we do better?

So far, I like Labour's ideas, so I support them. We all need a system that works and we all need protecting from the worse elements.

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Missfjam 10th April, 2018 @ 19:35

This post frustrates me, in the fact things should be, but are not getting better. I work with vulnerable people who are living in supported living homes, that are ready to live independently. The reality is there is not enough social housing so I have to look for landlords that accept DSS. As everyone on here has discovered this is no easy task. I, for obvious reasons do not want them to get lumbered with slum landlords so the battle is what to do. For years we lived in a society where people with mental health would be institutionalised and it seems its going that way again. I really hope one day (sooner rather than later) things will change.

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OnTheOtherHand 13th April, 2018 @ 00:09

I was waiting for this, although I didn't dare hope, the housing market has been so stubbornly robust for 25-30-odd years.

“There has been an increase in properties available for rent and no increase in tenant demand, so rent values are falling, and we expect this trend to continue.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/12/surveyors-issue-most-downbeat-assessment-of-housing-market-for-five-years

"no increase in tenant demand" - once people have been failed by the government so they don't get the support they need (housing benefit), the only option is death or the streets.

The quote is for Guildford, but one of my neighbours said her rent has gone down, and we're in London.

I am angry at landlords who don't know what they're doing and think it's enough to "run a business". But also, I recognise they're not getting the support they need either. I think there needs to be a shift in attitude. Landlords are not "running a business", they are providing homes. If they're providing a service, then provide the service. The argument about 'difficult tenants' is another topic, and after 50 years of Daily Mail hateful front pages, not to mention the prejudice and hate in these threads, I think we've pretty much covered every base on that one. It's time to flip the script and apply the same scrutiny to landlords. And I'll be generous, to the system too.

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Benji 13th April, 2018 @ 08:26

But in Woverhampton, Andrew Pearce, of Millennium Properties, said:
“Demand is at an all-time high"

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OnTheOtherHand 13th April, 2018 @ 14:05

Well, let's see. I wonder how much this is typical of the country? Probably worst in the capital, but iirc, big cities like Manchester are affected too.

Over 25% of Southwark houses sold to foreign investors http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-london-43487517?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=5acdecd70ee14a06731d7682&Over%2025_%20of%20Southwark%20houses%20sold%20to%20foreign%20investors&&ns_fee=0#post_5acdecd70ee14a06731d7682

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Benji 13th April, 2018 @ 20:55

Yeah, lets see.

A Guildford estate agent and your neighbour has said rents are going down.

- Don't get your hopes up too much pal.

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OnTheOtherHand 15th April, 2018 @ 19:22

What's with the tone? Why are you upset, Benji?

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OnTheOtherHand 15th April, 2018 @ 20:41

If anyone works with the homeless, Guardian want to hear from you about rising deaths.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/11/why-are-deaths-of-uk-homeless-people-rising-share-your-thoughts

Further reading: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/11/deaths-of-uk-homeless-people-more-than-double-in-five-years?CMP=share_btn_tw

This is entirely on-topic, before anybody argues. This is what happens when people are denied a home for whatever reason. This is where prejudice and hate towards benefit claimants gets you, that neoliberal rhetoric in every right wing paper about 'workers and shirkers', striver/skiver, 'hardworking people'.

If any landlord feels bad, sit with your discomfort and deal with it. The rest of us have our survival to worry about, your feelings aren't on the list.

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OnTheOtherHand 16th April, 2018 @ 15:18

"A homeowner in a housing complex in London with Grenfell-type cladding has been told the value of her £475,000 home has collapsed and is now just £50,000."

"It is likely that thousands of private homeowners are in Langevin’s situation, with government data showing 301 blocks over 18 metres tall have Grenfell-type cladding, of which 130 are in the private sector and 13 are hospitals or schools. Of the public buildings, only seven have had their cladding replaced so far."

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/16/value-of-london-flats-slashed-by-grenfell-style-cladding

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OnTheOtherHand 16th April, 2018 @ 15:29

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/16/landlords-social-parasites-last-people-should-be-honouring-buy-to-let

I was waiting for this. Inevitable really. So we've witnessed the shift of a paradigm, from demonising people in need, "piss-taking DSS tenants", to where criticism rightly belongs, the abusers, let's call them "piss-taking landlords".

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Benji 16th April, 2018 @ 17:56

You've been waiting for a lot of things;

Rents to drop.
House prices to crash.
Some knobhead snowflake at the Graun to be taken as a serious journalist.
Shit tenants to be offered decent properties.

Keep waiting pal.

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OnTheOtherHand 18th April, 2018 @ 01:58

A lot of "shit tenants" are dead. Pal. They would have been denied homes, along with many, many others simply for the fact they were 'DSS'.
You're obviously upset, but not about this.
There's most likely a long way to go yet, the housing market isn't going to collapse anytime soon. But neither is there stability and there won't be for a long while because of Brexit for one. I hadn't thought of Grenfell/shit cladding as a reason, who knows what other factors will surface to surprise us.
For tenants, that volatility of the housing market is reason to hope after all these years of despair. Things are changing. And we can push for more change.
Now is exactly the time to think about what we need as we revert back to a 'nation of renters'. Maybe one idea is to relieve "shit landlords" of their properties and automatically make them council homes. Might suggest it to Labour actually, I like it. Some "shit landlords" have entire portfolios of properties. It can be part of the war on inequality.
I'm not waiting, I'm actively engaging. Pal.

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Benji 18th April, 2018 @ 10:13

It is not the responsibility of private landlords to house the most vulnerable in society, nor should it be, that is what councils are paid to do and have the expertise for.

Good luck waiting for any British Government to confiscate property and re-distribute wealth, comrade. The British communist party died on its arse in 1991 for very good reason.

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OnTheOtherHand 20th April, 2018 @ 18:48

Except councils aren't doing it and referring people to private landlords.

If you have tenants, I hope they see your comments. You don't see people, you see money.

How many tenants have you turned away? How many still alive, do you think...?

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Missfjam 20th April, 2018 @ 19:01

Councils are not housing people because the council do not have properties.

Landlords do not want to accept DSS so they don’t have to.

Housing Associations do private rent but trying to find one in London is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
I have a list of 1718 councils/housing associations/charities that I have to go through to see if any would be suitable. So far I’m on 245, I’ve found 3 that might be able to work alongside me.
It’s just ridiculous.

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OnTheOtherHand 23rd April, 2018 @ 18:45

Excellent investigative journalism from the Manchester Evening News

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/hidden-manchester-slums-story-squalor-14561374

It's getting worse, demand is rising and the supply is diminishing. Plus some landlords will no longer take people at all if they’re on universal credit.

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Benji 24th April, 2018 @ 08:35

The Manchester news article is about B&B's, not private landlords.
This is a result of driving out private landlords through punitive taxation and legislation.
A lot more of this to come.
These squalid B&B's are licensed, regulated and endorsed by local councils BTW.

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Benji 25th April, 2018 @ 07:59

73% of universal credit tenants in arrears
29% of non universal credit tenants in arrears
(Survey of 43 housing associations)

https://news.sky.com/story/what-impact-is-universal-credit-having-11343838

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OnTheOtherHand 25th April, 2018 @ 20:29

Good link! Thanks. Haven't seen it in Twitter yet. News today is increased pressure on Theresa and Amber to resign over Windrush.

Please do share links on what's happening to landlords. I hardly see any of those stories in the press. Landlords have most of the balance of power, so we mostly hear the impact of that on powerless tenants.

There is also ingrained hatred towards benefit claimants that goes unquestioned. It's like a conveyor belt. Once your circumstances change for the worst, that's it, you're done for. There was a story yesterday of a newspaper journalist, Guardian I think?, who went to a foodbank to write a report, then a few weeks later, was there for herself. It can happen to anyone.

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OnTheOtherHand 25th April, 2018 @ 22:49

Now homeowners are at risk of being homeless https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/tory-axe-of-mortgage-interest-benefit-has-plunged-thousands-into-risk-of-homelessness-labour-claims-support-for-mortgage-interest_uk_5ae04a14e4b07560f3971055

Possibly off-topic. If they don't qualify for help with their mortgage, they won't qualify for anything else, least of all present as DSS tenants, "shitty" or otherwise. However, they might under some rule I'm not aware of, in which case they will approach private landlords along with exploring all other options.

Landlords need a full picture of what's happening and where "shitty" tenants come from.

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OnTheOtherHand 26th April, 2018 @ 21:34

This is true. The 'hostile environment' towards the Windrush generation is the same for the sick/disabled and anyone on benefits.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/26/hostile-environment-britain-disabled-people-windrush-benefits

Even when landlords want to do everything to help, their hands are tied when rent is sanctioned. It didn't used to be, it changed after 2010 when the Tories got in. There are sanctions which aren't officially sanctions where rent is stopped because someone is assessed again. They're sanctions, they just don't want them to count, keeps the numbers down on their records. Before 2010, if you were sick/disabled and up for annual assessment again, rent continued to be paid.

It is interesting Tory MPs and voters are distancing themselves from the Windrush scandal, holding their hands up, "I'm not racist, me" when the Tory base is racist, but strangely silent on the same policy towards the sick/disabled and the poor, which includes the working poor. To me, the silence means tacit permission to continue demonising them. It's ok to continue to hate these groups. And why not, they're easy targets, it's not like they have anything to help them fight back, there's barely anything to help them survive. When every avenue is cut off, the only option left for many is to die asap.

Obviously, Tories aren't bothered about being accused of racism, their only concern is trade deals with the Commonwealth post-Brexit. Which is why everyone else can hurry up and die. And landlords are incentivised not to rent to them because they can't work with irregular rent payments. Same goes for councils and housing associations. All round, Tory policy is hostile to everybody concerned, but the people who pay the highest price are those who pay with their lives. The shitty tenants.

And half the country will go and vote Tory next week! Yayyy! Let's have more of this! We haven't had enough! There's still too many poor people!! The shitty scroungers! Faking their disabilities! Everyone knows if you're not in a wheelchair there's nothing wrong with you! Even the wheelchair ones are dodgy! If they're out after 5pm something's not right! Gerrajob!

/sarcasm obviously

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Lokie 26th April, 2018 @ 21:49

It's been planned by the Tories since day one. They dirtied the poor and disabled and those needing affordable homes. Fact is, if you work just to pay rent every month and are just 1 pay away from homelessness, you are enslaved in the system. So many people are tied up. Living with little left over for anything else each month. I now have to rent in the private sector, which was not easy, but with family help and a guarantor, we got a 2 bed flat for £1450 a month!! We have to get a local allowance to top up the rent, but been paying it without fail for 15 month. So much for the theory that HB tenants all fall into arrears and don't pay their rent. Load of rubbish to tarnish everyone with the same rubbish. Why have they not got on with the job of building more social and real affordable housing yet?

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NoBody 1st July, 2018 @ 08:18

OnTheOtherHand: your analysis is correct. If anyone had bothered to read The Social Care Act 2012 and Housing Construction Legislations and its updates, tories intent was very clear. Cull of the poor, elderly, chronically sick, low wage earners, unproductives. Social housing hardly exists, short hold tenancy contracts from so called Housing Associations, exhorbitant rents for sheltered accommodation etc.. privatized to compete with private rent accommodation. There is no rent control and no protective laws to protect tenants. So called social landlords rents are now very high, housing charities's no long subisidized, told the few vacancies they have, next to none must to the homeless. Scapegoating those benefits from landlords, leaves many homeless. Homelessness will continue to rise, as will hundreds of thousands of deaths due to austerity. I stongly advise those on low income not to ha.ve children, because if they do become homeless, social services will step in and remove children, whilst leaving parents homeless. Please share any advice you have on how to find accommodation if on benefits, disabled, sick, as too many are on the streets!! There are NO laws, no incentives for local councils nationwide to be held accountable nor do they have a duty to provide adequate housing. Its left at the discretion of councils to apply some loosely defined, ambiguous guidance from central governments. I am chronically ill, a wheelchair user, ex home owner professional, not working, in receipt of disability and other benefits, with excellent renting references, and still unable to find private accommodation nor help from the local council. Too ill to go in temporary accommodation wherever, desperate. Thank you

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OnTheOtherHand 2nd July, 2018 @ 19:47

@NoBody, thank you for backing me up, and sorry to hear of your circumstances. I hope things turn around for you soon. When I was in your position, I stopped hoping, just carried on regardless and waited to see where I ended up. I got a lucky break in the end. I hope you do too. xx
I saw an article recently that children are being sent to care homes along the coast, and then disappearing. I was too disturbed to read it, but I wondered where all those children were coming from. Makes sense they're taken from the homeless. I didn't join those dots. It's unthinkable.
And that's Tory policy right there - the unthinkable. It's fascist. Where Trump is overtly fascist, here it's covert. You only need a cursory knowledge of fascism to know Hitler was inspired by the British Empire, and it was the British who invented concentration camps. Also British is destroying any and all evidence of wrongdoing, hence 'no records' of what happens to people once they fall out of the system. They used to keep records of the dead and newly destitute in 2010, but the figures were so damning, they stopped. Destroying evidence is also why we know so little of what happened when Thatcher was in power.
We are creeping further and further towards a fascist authoritarian state. The hard right, ERG, are in power, thanks to the weakest PM in history. The centre ground collapsed 10 years ago. The only real options right now for voters are hard/alt-right (normalised as right wing), and left (so-called 'hard' or 'radical', it's only 'radical' to you if you're right wing. A little bit of googling of governments pre-60s will show you these 'radical' left policies were the norm for both Labour and Tories).
The middle class is disappearing. They're being erased. Where are they? Joining the 1%? (1% = earning £80,000 or more). Nope, they're getting poorer. What's happening to those poor already? Dead or disappearing onto the streets. There are people living in tents in the countryside. 85% of the homeless in the UK are Brits.
The high street is being erased. How many thousands lost their jobs this year? What happened to them? Welfare support is hard to get, near impossible if they're applying for Universal Credit, which is so badly designed it's making the poor poorer.
The disappearing high street is a sign of a squeezed middle class. Small business owners are being closed down too. BBC will have us believe we're shopping online more, but never provide figures. That's because we're not. We don't have the disposable income we used to. Stagnant wages, negligible wage rises, inflation, rising living costs, falling pound thanks to Brexit = we have less money in real terms than we used to.
Tories brag of 'record employment', but you only have to be employed for one hour to count. Yes - one hour.
That money Tories have promised for the NHS? That's to help dismantle it and sell it off. It's not what you think it's for.
I am sick/disabled and already I have been unable to get routine medications on prescription. It will be worse after Brexit.
When I first realised how bad things were (above) and envisioned what might lie ahead, I saw all this. So I haven't been shocked that it's happening, I'm just watching it unfold and know that there but for the grace of God go I. I feel I am on borrowed time. My future is compromised. I don't have that sense of living till whenever anymore. I don't feel safe. I won't till Labour are in power. I am sick/disabled to begin with, the stress is causing my condition to deteriorate. I feel I'm in decline, but I'm not old enough to feel like that yet. The world's biggest killer is stress. It's no accident the welfare system is designed the way it is.
I used to be upset. Now I'm just numb. I bear witness to deluded Tory voters desperately holding on to their bubbles, some version of reality they've been sold. A false narrative. Fake news. They're in for a shock. Or maybe not. Because there aren't any records to be reported in the news. FOI request all you like, records have been destroyed or deliberately not kept. BBC have drifted so far to the right they're aligned with UKIP, and routinely lie by omission. They reach about 70% of the country.
We could go from this to a Labour government. Tory voters would be annoyed and try and get their beloved Tory government back, except they wouldn't be able to. The Tory party is destroying itself. It won't survive what it's doing to itself right now. Neoliberalism (extreme capitalism) is over. There is no future for Conservatism. That leaves Tory voters lost. They're lost today anyway. Many disillusioned Tory voters stayed at home than vote at the recent local elections, they're so ashamed at what Tories have done.
The alternative is Tories meddle with the next election again and force another win. But they are already the zombie party, what will they be then? This is something to consider seriously because it is highly likely. It's not just Russian interference (Cambridge Analytica) and gerrymandering, it's also that Tories 'pay for social media presence', i.e. they have their own troll farms. They only have to target a small number of voters to effect a win. They've been doing it for years already. If you knew what you were looking at, you will have seen it too.
I don't feel sorry for Tory voters. They brought this on themselves. This is where ignorance, greed and stupidity gets you. Every death is on them. Only about 25% of the electorate are die-hard Tory voters, they're the racist ones too. Tories know this, hence dogwhistle campaigns every election. They vote for politics of hate. Hate towards anyone in need, or not white, or female. Children count as in need, because they need schools. The elderly count as in need because they need healthcare. Money spent on those in need is money not going into private coffers or disappearing offshore.
People used to wonder about Nazi Germany. They wondered how ordinary citizens let it happen. You're looking at it. And Tory voters are going out and voting for more.
On the left, we're seeing 'collective responsibility' as a pushback emerging now. This is what social democracy is - restoring society, building communities, reintroducing the idea that we have each other's back. Empathy, compassion, support. These are the new politics that are so 'radical' to the right wing. This is what Corbyn's Labour stands for. Not that you'd know it with our toxic media.

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NoBody 10th July, 2018 @ 20:26

@OnTheOtherHand: Brilliant analysis. Concur with all you wrote. Totally empathize with your situation, illness, disability!!! Being vulnerable under neolib tories is indeed chilling, brutal, sinister, scary. Landlords, beware, tories are coming after you next, nobody will escape their looting, they asset grabbing and will not stop. Have you read Kitty Jones's blog? Excellent articles, factual, informed. Do you have a twitter account?

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OnTheOtherHand 11th July, 2018 @ 17:24

Hi NoBody,
Thanks!
Kitty Jones is absolutely brilliant. I've been following her work for some years.
For those who don't know, she is a sick/disabled writer who has a blog. She's extremely intelligent and insightful, she has a PhD, her articles are well researched. I spent a summer going through her past articles. She saw all this coming years ago.
I do use Twitter, but I don't want to share my username here. I know the DWP watch all that we do, (IP Bill) I am scared of what they will use against me. So for example, right now, I am being 'transferred' from DLA, which was supposed to be 'indefinite', to the new PIP. It's just an exercise to kill more people, about 50% end up worse off. I have a masters degree and this is harder than anything I did at university. The new PIP is a bit of a hybrid monstrosity, a DLA/ESA hodgepodge that makes no sense and is passed off as 'complex'. And because our internet use is monitored and DWP have spies in social media, I can't complain or ask for support. I can't talk about what's happening to me or how I'm feeling, unless I do it anonymously, eg as I have here. That's deliberate. No support means less and less hope, rising despair and distress, which means if the stress doesn't kill me, I'll do it myself. Can't wait for the medical where they ask me about suicide and why I haven't done it yet and what I would do. Again.
Society is at a loss regarding people in our shoes. Someone has a cold and everyone's all over them, 'oh you poor thing, let me take over your life and do everything for you!'. But go through this, 'f*** off, you're on your own, your despair is contagious and you are disgusting to me, euwwww.' This is how bonds break and society disintegrates, when friends and family turn away from those in need.
A lot of people have absolutely no idea what the Tories are doing to the country, landlords included, because the only topic that saturates media is Brexit. Nice handy distraction. People believe Brexit is the biggest issue of the day because they're told that constantly. No it's not. The biggest issue right now is austerity and the devastation it's causing.

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John Freeman 8th November, 2018 @ 16:59

I'm a disabled graduate living in South Belfast and the difficulty of finding a landlord who will accept Housing Benefit is absurd.

I have been looking for a new apartment for seven months now. Two properties went vacant for a month at the landlord's expense rather than let to me. Five openly refused housing benefit under any circumstances.

I have a perfect rent record for five years. I have a guarantor. I've offered to pay double deposit. I've offered to pay the entire year's rent up-front. Nobody will rent to me because I'm on housing benefit.

Landlords won't accept the rent paid directly because it makes them liable in the event of overpayment, and because most insurance companies won't cover DSS tenants or charge a premium to do so.

If you're disabled in this country, you live with family or you live on the streets. This won't change until it's made illegal to refuse housing benefit and illegal to offer insurance that forces landlords to reject housing benefit claimants.

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OnTheOtherHand 9th November, 2018 @ 04:39

@John Freeman,

You're right. That's very well put.

Shelter are raising awareness on this issue right now - petition https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/dss-christmas - and it's also a news story that's gaining more and more attention. The argument is it's illegal to deny people just because they're on benefits, because that's the same as the old days when landlords put signs up "no blacks, no Irish, no dogs" who they wouldn't let to. It is exactly the same. It's discrimination.

https://twitter.com/Shelter/status/1060493058788220928
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/08/rental-homes-advertised-excluding-benefits-claimants-no-dss?CMP=twt_gu

I know from my own experience when I was searching, it's like this all over the country.

The general public can't bear photos of visibly sick/disabled people sleeping in the street with their wheelchairs folded neatly next to them. People around the country are taking pics and posting them to their social media, which is blowing open whatever the Tories would have us believe. See Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. The press take the photos and publish stories around them, when they're allowed to. The press are gagged from reporting anything that paints the Tories in a bad light, the same as charities and organisations are gagged. https://twitter.com/pmorganbentley/status/1060072525265276929 The government has any number of law suits against the Guardian going back to when Cameron was PM. The MH charity Mind ignored the government recently:
Twitter thread https://twitter.com/MindCharity/status/1059861373843333120

If you have a hidden disability, obviously, you're screwed, no sympathy you, you look fine. The general public don't know about things like that. They only know disability = wheelchair. But there is sympathy for mental health issues, elderly, children, babies [https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/13785482.tragedy-as-baby-who-slept-in-car-with-homeless-parents-dies/], veterans. It's disgusting that some people bang on about poppies but don't care how many former soldiers are homeless.

Landlords make up all sorts of excuses not to let to people on benefits. It's all bullshit. There is no inconvenience to them. It's just an excuse to discriminate. I am on housing benefit, my landlords insisted payments went directly to them. So whatever excuse you heard, no one ever said it to me. Personally, I prefer it paid to me, then I feel more in control, if there's a problem, I can deal with it straight away, I don't like not knowing. But this isn't the climate to argue if someone gives you a home. My home is below standard. I feel ashamed living here. I know I can't kick up a fuss, they'll kick me out. My housing benefit, I'm in London, is about £900 a month. They're taking the money and putting it in their pockets. This is public money, people pay their taxes so sick/disabled people like me are adequately looked after. My landlord isn't a person, it's a company. I don't know if the money paid to them is staying in the country or not. I know it's not spent on my home.

If you use social media, there are a growing number of grassroots organisations you could get involved with to change the law etc. Follow Shelter and you should find them. I searched Twitter for "renters" and a few came up, including https://www.rentersrightslondon.org/ There's loads and loads of these coming up now. The tables have turned. Landlords don't have the power they think they have. Not when what they are doing is leading to deaths, e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/05/if-you-dont-see-them-they-get-tipped-in-rise-in-rough-sleepers-using-bins-for-shelter

The UN are here right now investigating the government, in particular poverty and homelessness, which would include its treatment of the sick/disabled.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/08/life-on-the-poverty-frontline-un-turns-its-gaze-on-uk
Twitter hashtag #UNVisit2018
https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2018/11/08/people-are-sharing-the-truth-about-extreme-uk-poverty-as-the-mainstream-media-lets-them-down/

This is the third UN visit that I know of, the first was about 2014/15, my MP told me about it. Doubt you'll find anything online, the Tories delete stuff. I saw the first report on the UN website around Jan/Feb 2015. A few months later, we had a general election (the one Ed Miliband lost), and Tories were busy deleting stuff off the internet, including results of that first report which had put them in a top 10 list alongside IS. Not a good look! The UN's report vanished from their website too, or at least, I couldn't view it anymore. The UN never investigated any previous government.

I am about to do this, you might like to as well https://dpac.uk.net/2018/10/tell-your-story/

I hope you find a new home soon! Best of luck. :)

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Lokie 9th November, 2018 @ 12:31

It's criminal how they discriminate. In this day and age, it's not acceptable. A hostile environment has been created and encouraged by the government, councils, landlords, right wing media (Daily Mail) to tarnish homelessness, benefits, disability, mental health etc. The fightback has begun. Raise it with MPs, ACORN https://acorntheunion.org.uk/ and many more. Everyone has a right to a decent home, regardless of being poor or rich.

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OnTheOtherHand 9th November, 2018 @ 15:48

Agree, the fightback has begun.

I was just reading in the Financial Times yesterday that the biggest privatisation since the end of the 70s was land. They sold off the land!! 10% of the country!
https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2018/11/08/1541675709000/The-collapse-in-public-ownership-of-land/

For some perspective, only about 8% of the country is built. About 92% of the country isn't. Oh wait, it's less - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096 Tories have sold off more land than we have currently built on.

I can't see the article again, FT let you read something once then lock you out, but from what I recall, less public land, and the practice of land banking by builders (where they say they're going to build but never do because reasons*) is partly behind the state of the housing market right now.

* If they built the number of properties we need, it would affect prices, so they deliberately DON'T build, to keep those prices artificially high. Government make half-hearted noises, but really, do nothing. Same reason why luxury apartments like those in the Shard haven't sold. If one sold, it would set a price for the others. So none of them have sold, they're unoccupied. This also means the local council doesn't collect council tax for those empty properties. Talk about burden on society.

How many empty luxury properties near where you live? How many entire streets dark because no one lives there? If everyone's homeless, that's no council tax collected, no wonder councils are going bankrupt.

Tax breaks to the rich means they pay less tax. Over 40% of people don't earn enough to pay income tax, so that's more money not collected by government. https://twitter.com/PJTheEconomist/status/1056949446641106949 That's going on for half the country who qualify for help with rent, which makes them DSS, which puts them in this spiral where they're despised by landlords and have to be gooder than good to get a home.

How many high street businesses closed down this year alone? How many jobs lost? What happened to those people?

I can't believe Tories sold off the land. I found the same story reported by the Guardian earlier this year https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/08/biggest-privatisation-land-margaret-thatcher-britain-housing-crisis

So, Tories could have built new homes, enough for everybody, but because they only have eyes for money, they chose not to. They don't care how many are destitute or dead, they don't care that people protest either. They're happy avoiding keeping records or destroying any evidence if there is any, so they can't be prosecuted. They know they will get away with what they're doing, because we never send rich people to jail. Beg for 50p, 6 months in prison, sell off the land and kill people, well done, here's your bonus.

Incidentally, this is why Tories haven't done anything about immigration yet, to hide how many people have died. The birth rate is slightly up this year, although the general trend is decline, so that hides the death rate too.

Landlords are profiting from government negligence, but they won't be protected down the line when this all collapses. Landlords who turn away people because they don't take DSS are part of the problem. We may not send government officials to jail, but we most certainly will landlords and letting agents, simply because it's easier and the law will allow it. That heat is just starting, if you've seen the pressure on letting agents lately.

It's only thanks to social media we have any idea of the scale of harm right now. I always wonder how it might have been if we had social media in Thatcher's day. It's quite difficult to get any stats of those years, but they are online. For now anyway!

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OnTheOtherHand 9th November, 2018 @ 16:14

Oh, forgot to say - where's the money from everything neoliberal Tories and New Labour sold? Did they invest it back into the economy? No. Looks like it went offshore. How much? No one knows. Best guess? Best guess - about £13 trillion. More now, probably. No wonder they're so keen on Brexit! New EU laws next year would tackle tax havens.

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Lokie 9th November, 2018 @ 17:05

Many know it was engineered and forward planned. They knew what they were planning. A situation to create shortage in housing and affordability. A hostile environment towards those who through no fault of their own, can't afford a roof over their head. Acorn had a really cool cartoon recently depicting a big fat walrus running away with a renters entire month wage. The reality is it shows, some are just like slaves to pay for the rich lifestyle of others. They get setup and retire nicely, whilst the one who gave his health and slogged away weeks, months, years has little to show for his/her hard labour and faces homelessness and destituation the minute that landlord sells up. Agree with what you said, just hope change will come soon. Too many are suffering in a trap.

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OnTheOtherHand 16th November, 2018 @ 14:44

Change is here. :)

From an email from Shelter about their campaign:

"Our campaign to end DSS discrimination began with the UK’s ‘leading letting agent’ Ludlow Thompson. Thousands of us emailed, tweeted, and rang their offices to hold them to account for their discriminatory behaviour, and it worked!

Ludlow finally acknowledged their bad practices and took the first steps to stamping it out.

This week, property portals Rightmove and Zoopla issued guidance to letting agents stating that ‘no DSS’ ads shouldn’t be used on their site! And NatWest, national bank and mortgage lender, have committed to reviewing policies which were preventing landlords from renting to people on benefits. This is all massive news."

Petition to call on Bridgfords, Dexters, Fox & Sons, Haart, Hunters, Ludlow Thompson, and Your Move to treat all renters fairly, on a case-by-case basis.
https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/campaigns/dss-christmas

The UN's report on Tory austerity and extreme poverty and human rights was published today. Welfare Weekly has reported in depth on it, going to 11 pages. I'm still reading it myself. It is damning, which should come as no surprise https://welfareweekly.com/un-slams-patently-unjust-uk-social-security-system/

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andrewa 16th November, 2018 @ 15:43

This will not end discrimination against DSS tenants, the DSS tenants will now waste time and money applying to rent property's where the risks to the landlord remain constant so it will still be " no DSS" but we just have not put it in writing. What would actually end discrimination and has been proven to work in the US with section 8 tenants ( the American version of DSS tenants) in certain states is where state law says "no pay rentee or breakee stuff then you must make a sexual departure immediately"
In these states landlords welcome section 8 tenants unless the tenant has mental health issues. What a surprise! If UK landlords could evict tenants who don't pay or damage the property quickly and cheaply then DSS tenants would be far more welcome.

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OnTheOtherHand 16th November, 2018 @ 16:09

@andrewa well that's grim, not to mention weird. Is that a typo?

So the problem from your/landlord point of view is difficulty evicting people?

I kind of sympathise if so. My next door neighbour is a difficult tenant. She's an abusive parent and antisocial (without going into lengthy detail, that's the bare bones of it). Everyone in the building has complained to her landlord, but amazingly, she's still there. Her behaviour has caused damage to the building and inconvenienced others having to pay for expensive repairs. She's hostile and unapproachable. She and her kids leave rubbish in communal areas which the rest of us tidy up. I can't believe she hasn't been evicted.

So something isn't working, and from a tenant point of view, I'm noticing it too.

What I don't understand is, how is it there are people evicted who are on the streets? Panorama did their programme on Universal Credit this week, we saw people getting eviction notices. It looked like a swift process. But on the other hand, there's what you're saying, and what I'm having to live with, where eviction is needed and not happening.

I had my own experience a few years ago, I saw how there are protections for both parties, landlords and tenants, but that's normal and to be expected in any legal process. The protections are the same for every tenant, whether they're 'DSS' or employed. In which case, is the prejudice specifically for DSS tenants? Where are the complaints about employed people?

40% of working people don't earn enough to pay income support, so you could say half the country are on housing benefit. But that wasn't the case before Tory austerity (wilful) and their benefit caps. When Cameron introduced them, he claimed they would force landlords to lower their rents and that's why benefit caps could be justified. Obviously, that didn't happen. And it was bs anyway. He lied.

Sorry for the full detail there, it bores me when anyone responds with tabloid nonsense 'labour dunnit'.

My point there is - people were earning enough to pay their rent until not that long ago, until things turned to sh**. Rents used to be lower, which helped. Back when I was working, before I fell ill, my rent was always a third of my income. Now it's half for a lot of people, or near enough all of it. So people on housing benefit isn't the taboo it used to be, not when it's almost half the working population.

And evicting people must be the same regardless of whether they're DSS or not, because that's how the law works. I don't remember any additional protections for me as a sick/disabled person when I was being evicted.

What have I misunderstood or don't know?

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andrewa 17th November, 2018 @ 23:02

@ on the other hand
Why were you evicted? Non payment of rent? Smashing the place up? Landlord could no longer afford to rent the place due to costs and taxes so sold up? You are a really nasty person or have really nasty person/s living with you?

The reason I ask is the only times I have ever evicted someone is because either they didn't pay or they broke too much stuff. If they were just nasty people I merely waited till the end of the years lease and just didn't renew.

Only a very foolish landlord would evict someone for no reason as it takes a long time and costs a lot of money. As I am retired and my houses are my pension I have rental insurance and the insurance company's have actuary's who analyze claims. Its not discrimination but just statistics like the fact that women have lots more car accidents than men but pay lower premiums as women have more fender benders whilst men have fewer accidents more of them are severe which cost the insurance company more in claims.
With the British governments present tax policies re btl expect more tenants to be evicted as landlords sell up and due to high taxes no new landlords take their place.

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OnTheOtherHand 19th November, 2018 @ 13:32

@andrewa my whole sorry saga is in this thread, if you want to look back at around 2014, I think it was.

Nope, not a nasty person, didn't smash anything, rent paid. I'm a grown up, reasonable, responsible etc. So I had been there 10 years or so and my landlords wanted to sell. They gave me an eviction notice to take to the council thinking it would help (with me being sick/disabled) but turned out it didn't. Not because my landlords were wrong, but because my council weren't following the rules. The council turned me away. Obviously, the housing crisis was already bad by then, even if it wasn't national news yet. My landlords hadn't heard about it yet anyway, got angry with me, not sure why but our relationship soured. It had been good all those years and now they were hostile bullies. They doubled down on the eviction notices, but kept getting them wrong on technicalities or something, which allowed me more time. It was horrendous because I was being assessed yet again by the DWP at the same time. The stress nearly killed me, it was unbelievable. I had a breakdown. Four years later and I still haven't recovered. So I will not have people like you assume that just because I am a benefit claimant I am in any way in the wrong.

Foolish is probably right. Other people said that to me too. I got help from an advice centre who explained the process and what the landlords have to do, and the cost to them. I did think they'd lost their minds. I asked them about it once, and one of them said something about inland revenue. I don't know what that meant, maybe they were tax dodgers or something. I just assumed they were selling to cash in. When they bought the flat it was about £100k and with the housing market the way it was, suddenly it was over £250k. A lot of people were selling at the time, cashing in.

Even if my landlords did what you did and didn't renew my contract, I think they would have had to try eviction anyway because I couldn't find anywhere to go to even after a year. I have no problem with moving home, it's kind of exciting, but there was absolutely nothing out there. I'm in London, I widened my search across the capital, then outside, then the north as I have connections there, then everywhere because I thought why not. Even Scotland. Which actually I still quite fancy to be honest. I was really shocked at what I discovered. It was a real eye-opener. The state of the country is not being reported in the news. Can't wait to see the UN report in full next year.

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