Renting and the barrier wall of 'No DSS'

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    Renting and the barrier wall of 'No DSS'

    Tenant here,

    First post, so please play relatively nice...

    My current living situation is requiring me to consider all angles, sources of information and help...

    I'm usually employed in the UK design consultancy sector, unfortunately, traumatic life events don't respect long-term plans and usually arrive in groups of 3.

    As a result, I've ended up in a very destructive private rented tenancy (consistent night time noise) and I've now found myself on on ESA and PIP - a poor monetary and vocational compensation for a sense of identity in society via a professional career. My living environment is so unfavourable it is now preventing me making meaningful steps back to the land of the working; I cancelled an upcoming big job interview in Bournemouth due to severe stress and insomnia - how crap is that? My house is literally working against me.

    My current landlord recently notified me by text of their vague plans to sell up and won't even commit to saying spring or summer, major uncertainty on top of everything. Knowing that my landlord has Section 21 intent and is happy to display it in a flourish has spiked fear of homelessness. While I have one eye on returning to work, retaining my health is now priority, unfortunately I am encountering a stiff wall of resistance due to the 'No DSS' policy of many estate agents and landlords, I can understand why, due to the high risk of having a nightmare tenant.

    The same agency that snapped my hand off in 2015 when I was salaried now refuse to consider me, yet I'm still the same upfront, landlord's property-respecting tenant who's never missed a rent payment since 2001. Apparently, I don't meet their "income must = 2.5 x rent" formula, well if you consider the gross salary required to provide the equivalent of £1500 worth of DWP benefits,that's around £24k a year.

    The council won't act until I am formally served and I was given an A4 page with Gumtree and DSS move (full of the properties in areas you don't want to move to for a whole bunch of reasons crime, antisocial neighbours, noise etc).

    All I need right now is a 6 month AST somewhere quiet in a good enough area with a good enough landlord, where I can regroup and rejoin mainstream life again.

    If you got this far, then thank you for your patience and persistence!


    Can anyone recommend suitable contacts or organisations in the Leeds City Council area please??


    #2
    It may not be your cup of tea but my mother (who is a proffessional landlord too) has a couple of bedsits in holbeck currently available if it helps?

    Whilst not being the most glamourous area of Leeds the surrounding area is fairly quiet and her bedsits are in very good condition.

    In a nutshell own ground floor room with kitchen and living area, sharing a bathroom with 3 other tenants, certainly no anti social types in there as they are all very respectable midde aged workers.

    If you want more details PM me as i dont want to be seen as advertising or breaking any rules.

    Regards

    Darren

    Comment


      #3
      I think that it is clear to most landlords that there are decent tenants on benefits as well as decent working tenants and that the opposite also applies. The problem for the landlord is that if their tenant runs up substantial arrears or debts due to damage and happens to be dependent on benefits, the landlord has almost no chance of recovering the money. This is not always the tenants fault but that doesnt help and this consequently distorts the market

      Comment


        #4
        Agree with DPT57, Its that not knowing, and since universal credit where the tenant is given the monies for the rent it has simply increased the risk a whole lot. I work in an '' industry '' where i meet on a daily basis those at the bottom of the ladder in terms of behavior and life choices. I often meet landlords who have had a number of issues with tenants (cannabis farm, ASB, violence towards the tenant by others-often drug debts), and in virtually all the cases the tenant is on a raft of benefits (incl of housing), the picture it paints is stark and as a landlord myself i do shy away from anyone who is claiming benefits, right or wrong..... its my property, my investment and my choice.

        Comment


          #5
          The main problem most landlords have is not the tenant themselves, it's the vagries of the benefit system.

          Both PIP and ESA can be wrongly withdrawn following an incorrect reassessment, and take months to get back at Mandatory Reconsideration, or more probably appeal tribunal.

          If/when your benefit stops the DWP automatically send a 'stop notice' to your council who will also stop paying any Housing Benefit and Council Tax Relief. You can getthem reinstated if you have low/no income but it takes time.

          We see it happening all the time on a disability advice forum I frequent.
          (I've had that done to myself and my ESA hadn't even stopped, it was a DWP computer error but still took me 3 months to get the HB sorted and back in payment).

          During an ESA MR and whilst waiting for your appeal to be listed you normally have to claim Universal Credit if you want any benefits paying, but it will take at least 5 weeks before you'll get a payment for that.
          Once on UC you stay on UC, and whilst not entirely bad it is still notorious for giving unwarranted sanctions and being slow to correct errors.

          All this can leave a landlord without their rent for a number of months.
          Obviously most LLs will try to avoid that and hence their 'no benefits' policy (Whether it's stated or not).

          PS. I understand your problem, like yourself I had to give up work for health reasons.
          I'm now on ESA and HB (no PIP) in a private rental which I know my LL is looking to sell, he's had people looking at it.
          I'm on the council 'bidding list'for housing but properties are few, I'm in a semi-rural area.
          Other than that it's try to find a LL who will take benefits tenants, or wait until evicted and try to pick up the pieces.
          I do have a plan X, my local pub has letting rooms and the licensee has said I would be welcome there. (Interestingly it's owned and rented out to the licensee by my current LL).

          Comment


            #6
            You only have to look at one of the other threads on here where a landlord is losing a lot of money because the tenant left without telling them to see why landlords dont like tenants on benefits.

            Anyone who is willing to be a guarantor for you? If you cancelled a job interview for whatever reason you'll not be back in work soon and if I have an alternative tenant why would I pick you, I'm not a charity. Buy some earplugs - Boots used to do yellow barrel shaped ones that were pretty cheap - and try a Housing Association https://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/h...ered-providers.

            Offer 4 months rent upfront and I might consider it - but I dont have property in Leeds.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by nukecad View Post
              The main problem most landlords have is not the tenant themselves
              I have to say that in my experience (not landlord experience as i don't rent to those on benefits), work related that is, it can very likely be the attitude and actions of those tenants on benefits that causes a great deal of the issues that they and the private/public landlords have to deal with, its not the fault of the benefits system when a tenant has his/her door put in by a drug dealer for monies owned, its also not the systems fault when the same said tenant spends all the housing monies while on UC on weed/white lightning......I see this on a daily basis and in those cases it is totally the fault of the tenant.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
                the attitude and actions of those tenants on benefits that causes a great deal of the issues that they and the private/public landlords have to deal with.......
                its not the fault of the benefits system when a tenant has his/her door put in by a drug dealer for monies owned, its also not the systems fault when the same said tenant spends all the housing monies while on UC on weed/white lightning
                I see that as the classic mistake of lumping everyone together - "those teants on benefits" - using arbitary criteria.

                All bad tenants claim benefits - therefore all benefit claimants are bad tenants?
                You might as well say all drug dealers drive cars - therfore all car drivers are drug dealers.
                Of course neither one is correct.

                Fair enough it's your choice if you don't want to rent to anyone on benefits, but please don't fall for this governments propoganda that somehow everyone forced by circumstances to claim a benefit is a worthless scrounger.
                Some are, but most are normal, decent, people.

                PS. Working people who have children or a low wage now have to claim Universal Credit rather that Child Tax Credit or Working Tax Credit.
                Whilst most people didn't class CTC and WTC as benefits (even though they were/are) Universal Credit is definitely a state benefit, so under 'no benefits' these working families would be blocked from private rentals.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I agree that not all tenants on benefits are bad but i see a great deal of irresponsible behavior by tenants on benefits (various) every single day as part of my jjob and maybe it has colored my view, but i have had zero issues in the years i have been a landlord by being super critical with my applications and up to now it has worked out just fine. The landlords i have been in contact with (again as part of my job) wished they had taken my attitude after the worst happened, one i have just dealt with has suffered over £20k's worth of damage, he will not get a penny of this back...... its simply not worth the risk as there are plenty of tenants out there.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Many LLs are frit by the universal roll-out of UC
                    They can do their best to vet Ts but we cannot stop them applying for Benefits
                    The only safer solution is to get T to provide a house owning G,willing to be liable for T's debts for duration of T.
                    That in itself can be a good indication of Ts reliability.
                    Of course you need to keep G informed as problems arise.
                    Otherwise more LLs will reject 'DSS' Ts.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                      Fair enough it's your choice if you don't want to rent to anyone on benefits, but please don't fall for this governments propoganda that somehow everyone forced by circumstances to claim a benefit is a worthless scrounger.
                      Some are, but most are normal, decent, people.
                      I dont fall for government propaganda and I'm ashamed of some of the government's benefits cuts. However I'm not a charity. No matter how good a tenant someone on benefits has been in the past their income has dropped and they are now dependent on payments that can sometimes be reduced considerably for the most ridiculous of reasons. If you dont want a lot of hassle you vet tenants very carefully. So no blanket ban but I'd want to see evidence they've adjusted their lifestyle to cope with a lower income and that there is no evidence of benefit sanction reductions.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        With the current benefit system there is always the chance of sanctions, often for DWP errors rather than anything the claimant has/hasn't done.

                        Not good for anybody.

                        As said it's always your choice who you let to, it would be a sorry state otherwise.

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