HB tenant cannot find accepting landlords

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    HB tenant cannot find accepting landlords

    hi,
    I am a recent (mature) journalism graduate but have yet to find suitable employment. I have been staying at a friends but now have to leave. I have a large deposit and 1 months rent but no one is willing to accept housing benefit even though i am a model tennent (references etc) and will be working before long. am i on a hiding to nothing or is there some avenue that i am not exploring? while i understand that some claiming housing benefit may be "undesirable" it seems unfair to tar everyone with the same brush.

    #2
    Your best bet would be to find a guarantor - maybe a parent would do this for you? I think most LLs would consider that would equate you to an employed tenant.

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      #3
      What kind of accomodation are you looking for?
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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        #4
        I totally agree with you - but then I'm an HB tenant not a LL.



        Originally posted by topside View Post
        hi,
        while i understand that some claiming housing benefit may be "undesirable" it seems unfair to tar everyone with the same brush.
        Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

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          #5
          i am looking for a one bedroom flat.

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            #6
            Have you tried posting a "wanted" ad yourself, on the net or in local papers or newsagents etc. That way you get a chance to describe your situation in detail before they say no! You could also ask your local council whether they know of landlords who will accept HB.

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              #7
              Topside,
              As a landlord, I have avoided dealing with Housing Benefit for 3 reasons.
              1) It can take up to 12 weeks for the HB Dept to get their act together and start paying the benefit.
              2) The benefit is paid in arrears
              3) The benefit paid is often less than the rent required.

              I will take a tenant on HB as long as he can pay the rent in full on the due date, and is himself prepared/able to wait some weeks for the benefit payments to be paid by the HB Dept., which he then keeps. If you have the cash for a "large deposit", it might be better to pay just a normal deposit and use the surplus to back up any deficit between what the HB pay and what your landlord requires.

              Having a guarantor makes you a better bet than not having one.

              Good luck!

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                #8
                Housing benefit will not cover the cost of a one bedroomed flat if you are single, and landlords know this. Unfortunately you may have to take the pragmatic approach; perhaps advertise in the area of your choise for a cosy room in someones house, on licence. If you have good refs then that should count in your favour. At least as far as the resident landlord is concerned, they can get always ask you to leave with a minimum amount of notice, so they are more likely to give you a chance.

                By the time you're employed, your LL will be another good referee for getting that one bedroomed flat. Best of luck.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                  #9
                  As a tenant on HB formerly renting in the private sector, I can understand the logic of Nora Kay's reasoning and I second her suggestion to use some of the the large deposit towards the rent. This is what I had to do AND come up with a Guarantor (both of which I was willing to do to secure somewhere to live).

                  My local authority actually has a department that liaises with LL's who are willing to rent to HB claimants and they also put up a bond for you instead of a deposit.

                  Also the major Housing Association in the area, which now owns the Council Housing stock, manage and advertise property for private LL's so it may well be worth making enquiries of your local Housing Associations.


                  Originally posted by Nora Kay View Post
                  Topside,
                  As a landlord, I have avoided dealing with Housing Benefit for 3 reasons.
                  1) It can take up to 12 weeks for the HB Dept to get their act together and start paying the benefit.
                  2) The benefit is paid in arrears
                  3) The benefit paid is often less than the rent required.

                  I will take a tenant on HB as long as he can pay the rent in full on the due date, and is himself prepared/able to wait some weeks for the benefit payments to be paid by the HB Dept., which he then keeps. If you have the cash for a "large deposit", it might be better to pay just a normal deposit and use the surplus to back up any deficit between what the HB pay and what your landlord requires.

                  Having a guarantor makes you a better bet than not having one.

                  Good luck!
                  Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                  Comment


                    #10
                    cheers for the advice folks.
                    If i had a guarantor would i need to inform the LL of my situation i.e working or otherwise.
                    would it be possible to get the rent "paid" by the guarantor and then pay the housing benefit to them? or something...

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Honey - it doesn't work like that, sorry.

                      I'll try and explain. The LL needs a Guarantor to be able to guarantee the rent in the event that you can't or don't pay.

                      The Guarantor will not be expected to pay anything until and unless that happens.

                      So what would happen would be this. The rent is (eg) £500 pcm. HB only pay £450 (eg) in arrears and with first claims it can take them anything up to 12 weeks to process the claim. (although when you get it it will be back dated) So the LL would want to receive at least 3 months in advance (£500 x 3) plus his deposit.

                      But HB might turn you down for the claim altogether, so the LL needs a guarantor to ensure that if you cannot pay some or all of the rent when your advance rent payment has run out, he will be reasonably certain of getting the rent from the Guarantor.

                      If you were working, youi wouldn't need a guarantor, so I don't understand the question ??

                      The Guarantor would have to prove they could afford the rent over and above their own living expenses and they would (should) normally be fully referenced and credit checked (the same as if the were applying to rent) before being accepted.

                      Whether you get the Guarantor to physically pay the rent and you pay them back out of HB is a personal matter between you and the Guarantor. It has nothing to do with the Landlord. As far as he is concerned he probably doesn't care where the mony comes from as long as he gets it in full and on time and it's not laundered money !

                      I don't understand Bels' remark though .. that HB won't pay rent on a one- bed if you are single ?????? As far as I'm aware (and I'm a single tenant claiming FULL HB in a 1 x bed) there is no reason whatsoever that they shouldn't. If you were single and in a 2 x bed it would be different but 1 x beds they pay out on, providing you're over 25. But you've already stated you're a mature graduate so I guess that doesn't include you !

                      If you do find somewhere and want to be as certain as you can that HB will cover the rent (subject to being means tested) you can ask the Local Rent Officer for a Pre-Tenancy Determination which will give an indication of whether the rent is reasonable for the area, and not too big for you. It only takes about a week.

                      Hope this helps. It can be confusing first time round. Take heart, there are some LL's out there who are able to see past the stigma but they are in business, so they need to know the rent will be paid, hence the need for rent up front and a guarantor.

                      Originally posted by topside View Post
                      cheers for the advice folks.
                      If i had a guarantor would i need to inform the LL of my situation i.e working or otherwise.
                      would it be possible to get the rent "paid" by the guarantor and then pay the housing benefit to them? or something...
                      Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by topside View Post
                        If i had a guarantor would i need to inform the LL of my situation i.e working or otherwise.
                        Put it this way... the landlord will almost certainly ask you if you are working; then he will ask for your employer's details (partly in order to obtain a reference). So what will you tell the landlord?

                        Apart from anything else if you tell porkies on the application form, that would constitute a breach of the tenancy agreement.

                        I don't know how other LLs would view the situation if you had a guarantor, but personally I'd have no trouble in principle taking you on. I know there's a lot of chat on this forum about the iniquities of trying to find accommodation if you're on HB, but I'm sure a lot of it is down to the hassles of receiving payment that way, and the risk the rent won't be met in full; and in your case, with a guarantor, that would not be a worry.

                        Have a trawl round your local agents or contact private LLs and see how the land lies.

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                          #13
                          My mistake Pippay regarding topsides age and HB.

                          Perhaps the limiting factor will be the amount of time topside has to secure a one bedroomed flat in preference to something more modest, before he is required to leave his current place. It would be interesting to get a follow up.
                          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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