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

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

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

1] Rental History

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

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

2] Get a Guarantor

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

3] Rent Guarantee Insurance

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

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

4] Get the council to pay directly to landlords

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

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

5] Look in newspapers and websites like Gumtree

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

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

6] Offer to put down a bigger security deposit

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

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

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

7] Yes to DSS

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

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

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215 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 165 - 215 comments (out of 215)
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Elaine 6th July, 2016 @ 17:26

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

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Karl Gookey 12th July, 2016 @ 19:09

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

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

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OnTheOtherHand 13th July, 2016 @ 00:50

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck! Hope you find somewhere soon.

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Lokie 21st July, 2016 @ 23:49

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

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Lokie 22nd July, 2016 @ 00:02

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

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lei 21st October, 2016 @ 22:15

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

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OnTheOtherHand 22nd October, 2016 @ 08:55

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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jane Kennedy 22nd December, 2016 @ 22:43

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

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stu w 4th February, 2017 @ 18:18

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

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Coppertop 21st February, 2017 @ 00:16

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

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OnTheOtherHand 21st February, 2017 @ 01:09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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carly watch 28th February, 2017 @ 12:21

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

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4yearslooking 21st March, 2017 @ 23:27

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

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

pointless post but thought id give it a go

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OnTheOtherHand 22nd March, 2017 @ 00:29

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you lots of luck!

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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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