Not All DSS Tenants Are Bad Tenants

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    Not All DSS Tenants Are Bad Tenants

    My daughter is a highly qualified professional. Before having children she earned a high salary. She’s now a single parent and can’t work full time because she has a young child. She continues to work part time in a profession that greatly benefits society. She claims universal credit because she’s a single parent and can only work part time. She finds it impossible to rent because she is penalised and stereotyped for using the Government help which our country is so proud to provide to those that need it. Please take each applicant as an individual.

    #2
    Some (many) landlords may stereotype potential tenants on benefits.

    But the DWP's management of universal credit is sufficient, on its own, to deter a landlord from wanting to rent to someone on universal credit, regardless of any views about the recipient.

    The housing element of Universal Credit is, essentially, paid in arrears, so a tenant can't access the increased award until several weeks after the start of a tenancy (and the low level of the payment means that saving up to pay in advance is unrealistic).
    So the landlord has to a) be confident that the tenant will have their benefit increased and b) wait for their money.

    Universal credit is notorious for the imposition of sanctions - almost regardless of the conduct of the tenant.
    I have relatives who are dependent on benefits who have been sanctioned almost randomly, including once for not completing a form they were specifically told not to complete during an interview (during which they were completing all the necessary paperwork with an advisor).
    That means that the tenant is unable to pay rent (and buy food and is otherwise made to suffer).
    This element of the system is reason enough not to take tenants on universal credit.

    The level of housing benefit within universal credit is significantly below market rates in most parts of the country.
    It's set to a percentage of the market rate (recently increased to address issues during the pandemic).
    Tenants on universal credit either have to accept the least decent housing or supplement the housing element from elsewhere in their benefits payment, which means that they are essentially forced into a position they cannot afford (the benefits cap makes this even more punitive).

    Our country is not proud to support those who need it.
    It does so at the lowest level it can get away with and penalises those in need.

    And any landlord who rents to someone on universal credit does so at their own risk and likely detriment.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      It is nothing to do with "bad". It is entirely to do with average very significant risk. Yes governments are responsible, because they have greatly magnified that risk (if your daughter did turn out to be bad - it would be impossible to get rid of her without significant expenditure and loss -- that is where the problem lies and nowhere else).

      Comment


        #4
        ,Am I right in thinking that in the pre-UC era, Housing Benefit paid rent direct to the landlord, which must have been safer for the landlord? But the government wants benefits claimants to be more responsible for their lives, and so now it's up to the claimant to decide to pay their rent, or not pay....

        ie, even if UC paid the market rate etc etc, it would still be risky for landlords to rent out to DSS claimants as the tenants could simply not pay their rent, once the rent money is in their hands from the DSS. And, given, sadly, that, like it or not, a lot of claimants are either irresponsible, or have mental health issues etc, the likelihood of their either refusing to pay rent, or, perhaps simply not being able to manage their money very well (which is why they might have become benefits claimants in the first place), or have so many other problems in their lives that they have to spend their housing benefit on other 'more urgent' expenses... I can see why landlords are reluctant to have anything to do with them. It's harsh, and tough on DSS claimants that are perfectly responsible and willing to pay.

        As for eviction etc, it's the endless problem - how to protect good tenants against bad landlords and good landlords against bad tenants. Impossible?!

        Comment


          #5
          I have just taken a tenant in the same position as your daughter. The deciding factor was her high earning brother as guarantor. Some stereotyping does exist driven by a small but high profile sub set of entitled claimants.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SOME_DSS_R_OK View Post
            ............... it impossible to rent because she is penalised and stereotyped for using the Government help which our country is so proud to provide to those that need it...........
            There have been some 50% of adults getting some benefit or other for many years, obviously that's shot up with Rishi's help over Covid... Amazing so many people carry on saying they won't take those on benefits:

            Artful: In receipt of 6 benefits (old..)

            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              Not all seventeen year olds are bad drivers, but they all face age discrimination from insurance companies. In my view it is both rational for the insurer to discriminate, and necessary that they should have the right to do so, although it may be unfair to the individual.
              There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lizbeth View Post
                ,Am I right in thinking that in the pre-UC era, Housing Benefit paid rent direct to the landlord, which must have been safer for the landlord? But the government wants benefits claimants to be more responsible for their lives, and so now it's up to the claimant to decide to pay their rent, or not pay.
                It is possible to get the housing element of universal credit paid directly to a landlord if the tenant falls into arrears.

                The problem then, as it used to be with housing benefit, is that, if the DWP discover that the tenant should have stopped receiving the benefit or wasn't entitled to all of it, they can simply demand it back from the landlord.
                And given that the DWP is incentivised to penalise benefits recipients, this may happen without the tenant doing anything wrong (or at least deliberately wrong).
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Good and bad in everyone. Had some really bad so called 'professional tenants' in the past. I deal mainly in UC tenants. I use a charity for referrals who help with the direct payment to landlord element so at the moment this is quite a good business model. Also have had many very long term tenants 10 years some of them. When you have been sleeping rough or sometimes just as bad in a hostel you tend to keep hold of your room . Always get a few who try it on, get the payment back to themselves etc or never agree to it on the journal in the first . But I just evict them in the end.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    Some (many) landlords may stereotype potential tenants on benefits.

                    But the DWP's management of universal credit is sufficient, on its own, to deter a landlord from wanting to rent to someone on universal credit, regardless of any views about the recipient.

                    Universal credit is notorious for the imposition of sanctions - almost regardless of the conduct of the tenant.

                    This element of the system is reason enough not to take tenants on universal credit.

                    And any landlord who rents to someone on universal credit does so at their own risk and likely detriment.
                    Presumably you apply this same logic to applicants who have a job and may be sanctioned, regardless of their conduct, and lose part of their wage due to short time working being imposed by their employer, or lose their entire wage due to redundancy. If you don’t apply this same logic to all applicants when they apply, regardless of their source of income, then I’d be interested to know why not.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                      if your daughter did turn out to be bad - it would be impossible to get rid of her without significant expenditure and loss -- that is where the problem lies and nowhere else.
                      I would be interested to know which are the lawyers, or courts, that charge more for evicting a DSS tenant than a tenant who is not claiming benefits but simply can’t pay due to job loss, or won’t pay.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lizbeth View Post
                        , even if UC paid the market rate etc etc, it would still be risky for landlords to rent out to DSS claimants as the tenants could simply not pay their rent, once the rent money is in their hands from the DSS. And, given, sadly, that, like it or not, a lot of claimants are either irresponsible, or have mental health issues etc, the likelihood of their either refusing to pay rent, or, perhaps simply not being able to manage their money very well (which is why they might have become benefits claimants in the first place), or have so many other problems in their lives that they have to spend their housing benefit on other 'more urgent' expenses... I can see why landlords are reluctant to have anything to do with them. It's harsh, and tough on DSS claimants that are perfectly responsible and willing to pay.
                        ?!
                        Sadly, in my opinion, this demonstrates some of the points I wish to highlight. There is a suggestion that people who are not claiming benefit or never irresponsible. I think we all know that is very far from the truth. There’s also a hint that some DSS claimants often have ‘more urgent expenses’. I am very concerned about that line and feel it needs explanation. Why would DSS claimants often have ‘more urgent expenses’ that people who are not claiming benefits don’t have?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                          There have been some 50% of adults getting some benefit or other for many years, obviously that's shot up with Rishi's help over Covid... Amazing so many people carry on saying they won't take those on benefits:

                          Artful: In receipt of 6 benefits (old..)
                          Such a shame that many landlords are discriminating against 50% of the population.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by doobrey View Post
                            Not all seventeen year olds are bad drivers, but they all face age discrimination from insurance companies. In my view it is both rational for the insurer to discriminate, and necessary that they should have the right to do so, although it may be unfair to the individual.
                            Here the view seem to be all DSS claimants have the same level of life experiences and maturity as 17 year olds. Or, may be, some DSS claimants have a higher rate of default than people with a full time job. The case for charging higher insurance for 17 year olds is based on the same research and evidence as insurance companies apply to the population as a whole which causes a higher premium based on the number of accidents within groups of people in our society. This research and evidence isn’t hidden and is open to scrutiny. If we are applying the same risk factor research and evidence to DSS claimants I would be interested to review this.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by SOME_DSS_R_OK View Post

                              Here the view seem to be all DSS claimants have the same level of life experiences and maturity as 17 year olds.
                              Not at all. It was an analogy.

                              My point was that businesses assess risk, and price (or choose whether to offer) their services according to that assessment.

                              btw, DSS hasn't existed since 2001.
                              There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                              Comment

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