Single parent renting

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    Single parent renting

    A friend of mine who is a single parent with three children is trying to find a house to rent. She has three children and recieves UC mainly to help with childcare costs, but despite viewing several houses and showing interest and showing she is more than able to pay rent, she has been turned down and feels it's because she's single. Any advice or help for her?

    The reality is that there a fewer and fewer properties coming onto the rental market, as LL's are selling up, this unfortunately means that those left in want higher rents due to the burden of higher external costs (mortgages, licences, insurance, etc etc) This ultimately means that LL's can in some areas pick the best T's for their property, after all it's a calculated risk that a LL takes when providing accommodation to a T. Despite the media, LL's don't want to evict a T, it's a business, and evictions costs money.

    Have you asked the agent/ LL why? getting feedback will help you, even if you don't like the answer. It could simply be that another prospective T could move in quicker, could pay more than a month in-advance, is a stronger fit for the property, has a better credit score, references etc.

    Are you claiming any housing benefits? I would speak with the LL/LA and present your case (same as a job interview) that you have previously lived somewhere for x years, and your working (full time or part time) for x years. You can pay more than a month's rents in-advance.


      Originally posted by Dct View Post
      she has been turned down and feels it's because she's single.
      This may just be one part of it, as ' ash72' states there are a lot less rental properties now (and it will get worse in the future), rents have sky rocketed and a LL can simply pick and choose the very very best tenant. It has become even more important than ever to get the right tenant, this is due to the avalanche of draconian legislation which we have had to cope with over the past couple of years, in the very near future we will lose s21 (give this a Google).

      To be brutally honest i would not rent to a single mother with 3 children on UC, not when i can easily find a couple not on UC who will have the income to pay the rent independantly of the state funding them, and with either zero children or 1 child will be less of a '' stress '' to the fabric of the property.......... i told you it was brutal, but it is honest, and i suspect it's what other landlords have thought.

      There will be landlords who will take your friend on but they will be hard to find given the shortage of properties and the mass of tenants who can be chosen from. I am really sorry your friend is in this position, a combination of the right to buy council houses over the past 40 years and a total abdication by all governments to build enough social housing has put the housing market where it is today, this is the world we are in...... good or bad.


        I am not sure that it will make her feel any better but I suspect that the children are more of an issue than being a single mum. Friends of mine have been rejected from every family size house they have applied to. They are high earning professionals with decent references and ... two young kids 2 and 5. It's in a fairly funky but shabby part of London. They have tried the whole 6 months cash up front thing. They have tried getting feedback from agents too ... unsuccessfully.
        Assume I know nothing.


          I'm afraid that I would have to agree with Hudson and Ash 100 %

          We use a letting agent to find tenants for our 3 bed houses. They seem to look for tenants that have 2 incomes and either 1 could afford the rent if the other 1 lost their job and it's only going to get worse. The government keep bashing landlords to win votes and it's making more and more sell up. There are next to no rental houses available in our area. The ones that come up are snapped up immediately and the prices are sky high at the moment, but our rents remain low.

          Every PRS landlord these days is only going to take on the best prospective tenant. I'm shying away from single mums and young couples as I find it's better to take on retired couples. They stay longer and are more reliable and look after the house and garden better.

          That said, we do have quite a mixture of tenants. Some single mums on benefits who have all been great tenants, and some young couples but I'm starting to only go with the best tenant possible. My houses are normally re let within a week of going on the market but I only let them go to the best possible tenant, We get loads of people looking to rent them when they come available and I constantly see adverts for people looking for a house to tent and there is nothing available. It's so sad.


            I feel it's unfair to penalize single parent just because of receiving UC which is mainly used to pay childcare costs. She's no risk because she's on her own without that second income. I guess it's true there are fewer properties to rent and landlords can afford to be fussy. It's disheartening for her and discriminatory in a way.


              Originally posted by Dct View Post
              I feel it's unfair to penalize single parent just because of receiving UC
              Unfortunately fairness is not in great supply in the PRS! LLs have been treated unfairly for many years now - extra taxes on income & gains, extra regulations, extra licensing etc and many have now had enough and are selling up. The result is a shortage of properties and this is now beginning to impact on would be renters. IMO the situation is only going to get worse and people like your friend are going to get caught up in the mess of the Govt's making. LLs have been shouting this from the roof tops for a while now, but no-one is listening.

              Good luck to your friend - she will need it


                Dct If the reason that your friend can't get a tenancy is because she's a woman or because she has children, it is probably discriminatory.
                Which is probably a reason no one is going to explain why she's being turned down.

                Being on benefits isn't going to help either - because people aren't logical.
                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).


                  The UC is too help pay for childcare, so she can work ( and does work full time), therefore pay rent/bills etc etc. It just feels like some landlords make sweeping judgements as soon as they hear single parent in receipt of UC


                    Originally posted by Dct View Post
                    It's disheartening for her

                    Originally posted by Dct View Post
                    discriminatory in a way.
                    In my view, both sides must be free to choose. If you take away the right of businesses (which LLs are, whether they consider themselves to be or not) to assess risk and respond accordingly they will not be in business for very long. And if the LLs disappear then tenants prospects of renting anywhere reduce to zero. Both parties to an agreement should enter into it willingly and have the right to say no.

                    Originally posted by Dct View Post
                    Any advice or help for her?
                    Probably just keep looking. Personally I wouldn't turn down a prospective tenant because they were a single parent on UC (and I have got two long-term tenants matching that description) so I wouldn't see it as a 'no go' situation. She should of course ensure that references are in order and present her favourably.
                    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.


                      I will never again rent to a family as my property is unsuitable.
                      My first two tenants did not have any issue with damp.
                      Then I rented it to a family where at the start of the tenancy the lady had a baby.
                      Then a about 2 months later they started complaining to the Letting Agent about damp and black mould.
                      I went to visit the property and there were a few patches of Black Mould and using Cillit Bang Black Mould Remover I was able to wipe it all away.
                      I believe that the washing machine was on constantly and when I went to the house there were maidens in front of the radiators, and as I pass the house virtually on a daily basis I had never seen the windows open
                      After they left I have had a new tenant, single occupant and there is no sign of damp or black mould anywhere.


                        Theres no such thing as discrimination in business. all decisions are made commercially and selfishly, which is exactly right.
                        The world is a crappy place nowadays and I feel sorry for your friend. She is fighting a losing battle. LLs can pick and choose who they rent to, and that’s that. There has been a negative stigma attached to UC or housing benefits and it will take a lot to shake up public opinion.


                          Originally posted by SouthernDave View Post
                          Theres no such thing as discrimination in business.
                          Well... there is the Equality Act 2010.
                          There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.


                            Originally posted by doobrey View Post

                            Well... there is the Equality Act 2010.
                            There is indeed


                              If you are in a position, may be you can act as guarantor for her, that way it reduces the risk on the LL on providing accommodation. Just out of interest, why is she moving from the place she is living at currently?


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