Looking to move.

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    Looking to move.

    Apologies if I have posted on the wrong forum, but there are 25 times as many viewers on this forum than the hb one.
    I am a tenant who is in receipt of hb/lha and I have excellent references from my previous and current landlords and I have never missed a month's rent.
    I am looking to rent a 2/3 bedroom house in the Chelmsford area in the near future and I am struggling to find a landlord that will accept hb/lha tenants. I can provide the usual deposit and month's rent in advance.
    If you are a landlord who can accomodate me I would be most grateful if you could please reply to my post.
    Many thanks.

    #2
    The reason many LL's refuse to accept benefit tenants is that their insurance has clauses preventing it. Sadly in this day and age, insurance companies can still discriminate against you because they feel you are somehow at greater risk of defaulting on the tenancy in some way or damaging the property or its contents. I don't agree with this and luckily we have insurance that permits us to let to LHA etc, although we are not located in the area you are looking at, and currently have a long term LHA tenant.

    Please don't feel it is always the LL's decision as sometimes their hands are tied.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for your response LesleyAnne.
      I know from reading many posts in this and other forums that it is often not the LL decision and I am hoping to find someone like you who is open to renting to someone like me in what must be a growing percentage of the market.

      Comment


        #4
        Another reason that private LLs are wary of HB claimants is thet central govt can alter the LHA rules as per Apr 2011, LHA is paid in arrears whereas most private lets require rent paid in advance and direct payments to LL can only be made in certain circum.
        Have you asked Chelmsford HB dept if they can provide contact details of LLs who may be willing to accept HB Ts? You can only ask!

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          #5
          Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
          The reason many LL's refuse to accept benefit tenants is that their insurance has clauses preventing it.
          But to be perfectly honest, that's a bit of a cop-out answer isn't it, as 9 times out of 10 there's nothing to stop LLs obtaining insurance with companies who do permit HB tenants; and the cost is rarely prohibitively more.

          I don't normally take HB tenants myself, for all the reasons which have been done to death in this forum many times, but on one occasion a few years ago when I had a tenant who lost her job and had to claim benefit, I contacted my insurers and they amended my policy on payment of just a few quid. Hardly a deal-breaker, anyway.

          I agree that if the mortage lender prohibits benefit tenants (which I don't think is that common?) it's a different issue.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
            But to be perfectly honest, that's a bit of a cop-out answer isn't it, as 9 times out of 10 there's nothing to stop LLs obtaining insurance with companies who do permit HB tenants; and the cost is rarely prohibitively more.

            I don't normally take HB tenants myself, for all the reasons which have been done to death in this forum many times, but on one occasion a few years ago when I had a tenant who lost her job and had to claim benefit, I contacted my insurers and they amended my policy on payment of just a few quid. Hardly a deal-breaker, anyway.

            I agree that if the mortage lender prohibits benefit tenants (which I don't think is that common?) it's a different issue.
            You may say that about insurance, but our property is leasehold, with buildings insurance arranged for the whole building through the freeholder. Luckily he already lets 2 of the flats to LHA tenants himself, but he has been refused renewal on previous year's policies, as insurance companies have changed their rules and prohibit LHA/benefit tenants. He shops around to get suitable cover, but many LL's/freeholders possibly wouldn't be bothered. This is our first hand experience of it, and not sure how common it is, but it has been mentioned in similar posts here by other members in the past.

            I agree its a cop-out, but some LL's who already have policies in place with these clauses, are probably unlikely to change their cover, just because an LHA T wants to rent!

            Comment


              #7
              IMHO, the reason many landlords will not let to benefit claimants is that if anything goes wrong, it is frequently impossible to effect a viable recovery of damages / missing rent because by their very nature, most benefits claimants have minimal assets. There are thousands of entirely reputable benefit-claimant-tenants, but the risk of losing money (it is a business after all) is too great for many to risk. If you can provide a credit worthy, home owning guarantor, then (their assets) will go some way towards reassuring a potential landlord.

              You haven't asked the usual question - "where can I find someone who will rent to me" - but these may help to answer it anyway:

              http://www.tenantstips.com/Home/DSS-...ousing-benefit
              http://rentdss.com/
              http://www.gumtree.com/flats-houses
              http://property.vivastreet.co.uk/real-estate
              http://www.houseladder.co.uk/UK/Property_To_Let.aspx

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                The reason many LL's refuse to accept benefit tenants is that their insurance has clauses preventing it.
                Another reason that has not been mentioned is that many lenders will not permit a LHA tenant at the outset as it will be in their mortgage deed, but there's nothing that can be done if a tenant becomes a HB claimant during the tenancy, and the same will apply to any insurance policy as it would be beyond the control of the landlord during the fixed term. You might though have to serve a S.21 at the earliest opportunity to start the repossession process if insurers and/or lenders instruct you to do so.
                The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you Snorkerz. I will try those websites.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Personally I believe the major sticking point is that HB/LHA claimants have the least available funds and if they get into arrears it is often advised to not even bother getting a CCJ against a T as LLs cannot do an attachment to benefits.

                    Along with the usual places, don't forget to take a walk down your high street and look in shop windows. Local private LLs sometimes advertise there along with local paper.

                    When viewing this house I turned up with 3 months worth of bank statements to show I am good with money and live to my means. I also brought with me my invalid S21 from (then) current LLs as I thought it would show that whilst I know my rights I don't beat LLs over the head with them.

                    It has been said to me that showing bank statements mean nothing. I disagree as it can show that a) TV license is paid via DD at lowest amount so not behind b) Utility bills are paid by DD and in not high amounts that would indicate paying off arrears c) Rent was being paid 10 days early every month as LL got in a flap as my rent was due a week after their mortgage payment and d) One months extra rent sat in my bank account just in case (now trying to get that up to 3 month's worth now I'm working).
                    I'm a good tenant with great landlords
                    I'm also a living, breathing, fully cooked female.

                    Comment

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