DSS? is this a good way to let?

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    DSS? is this a good way to let?

    Does anyone have tenants that pay rent through DSS income?
    If so, how does this work? and would you recommend it?
    I have heard various stories and wanting some expert opinions...

    #2
    A lot depends on what kind of tenants you get.

    I have had bad experiences. If I ever did it in the future I would issue a section 21 notice one day after the tenancy starts so it is relatively easy to get rid of them if necessary.

    I would also stipulate that the rent is paid directly to yourself, as opposed to the tenant, from the Council.

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      #3
      Good afternoon.
      My company secured as part of a larger portfolio a significant housing stock with tenants on housing benefit.
      this was not a route we planned to go down but kind of fell into it, and nearly a year later, although not the worlds experts at it - we would advise as follows based upon our experience only - others may have had other experiences.

      In our view - it really depends on the property and the tenant and your "gut instinct". Go with it! it really does make a difference.

      Any tenants on benefits we have found are great if they are a single mother plus kids on their own, everything is fine, top ups are on time and smooth tenancies generally. Whenever we have had a single man or couple we have had problems. this might sound like a generalisation or discriminatory but with about 40 plus properties with tenants on hb this has been our experience to date and other peoples experience might be different. We have always struggled to get topups and resolve tenants issues with single guys and couples!

      Regardless, we always still insisit on one months rent up front and six weeks deposit. Generally if the hb tenant is serious they will come up with the money. Also, we always insist on a guarantor if possible and that the rent comes directly to us/the landlord at all times. Also, beware: if the claimant is found to have overclaimed on housing benefit it will be deducted from your next payments and you may even have to pay some back yourself as a landlord. this is a drawback and a risk you take. So far any overpayments we have had have been small.

      You will normally receive 13 payments a year as rent is paid 4 weekly in arrears and not calendar monthly. This means you will get rent four weeks after they have moved out. The tenant may have to top up their housing benefit out of their own pocket. With some of our tenants this can be as small as £5 a month. Depending on your outlook on topups it is up to you whether to chase them - we always do and mention them in our tenancy agreements.

      Get previous landlord/council references and as mentioned earlier the more you can get up front money wise, the more serious i think the tenant is about taking on the property.

      the only pitfalls we have had so far are a couple of tenants just leaving the property and disappearing and a few who through their own damage/neglect expect the landlord to repair and replace free of charge.

      Please feel free to ask any more questions - hope the above helps

      Comment


        #4
        Oh yes
        forgot to mention that from april next year you will no longer be able to get the rent paid directly to you as a landlord. there is an earlier post/question on this i think
        Nick

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          #5
          Also get the tenant to sign a letter you draw up stating they are happy for the benifit office to discuss with you (the landlord )all aspects of their benifit claim (keep copy for yourself).. This is because some tenants give you all sorts of stories why their benifit isnt in this month and you can phone the council and check.

          The plus side to hb tenants is it can be regular money each month and the tenant wont complain when the rent goes up they just put a form into the council. Word of advice if you want to put the rent up speak to council first cos there are certain times of the year that are better and have most chance of being agreed by council otherwise if the council wont pay you have to get top-up from tenant and all the problems that go with collecting it.

          Comment


            #6
            I have some tenants on hb and cannot fault them, I agree with the "gut instinct" approach but always back it up with references from previous landlords, or the council if they have come from council rented. I do however always take a guarantor for people on hb so that If they do default on their rent or do a runner then I have a back up. I think their is a stigma attched to people on hb, and sadly it is one or two that have given hb a bad name, the majority of people on hb are great.

            All I would advise is that you do your checks thoroughly, ie, references etc, stick to doing spot checks and get permission to discuss their hb payments with the hb office, as they do pay in arrears and from experience they hb office are not very forthcoming with their first initial payment and can sometimes be 6 weeks after the tenant has moved in..

            Hope this helps and good luck

            Dave

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              #7
              Originally posted by Davida1977 View Post
              I have some tenants on hb and cannot fault them, I agree with the "gut instinct" approach but always back it up with references from previous landlords, or the council if they have come from council rented. I do however always take a guarantor for people on hb so that If they do default on their rent or do a runner then I have a back up. I think their is a stigma attched to people on hb, and sadly it is one or two that have given hb a bad name, the majority of people on hb are great.

              All I would advise is that you do your checks thoroughly, ie, references etc, stick to doing spot checks and get permission to discuss their hb payments with the hb office, as they do pay in arrears and from experience they hb office are not very forthcoming with their first initial payment and can sometimes be 6 weeks after the tenant has moved in..

              Hope this helps and good luck

              Dave
              You took the words right out of my mouth on that one!

              Comment


                #8
                I've got two DSS tenants.

                1- rent comes to me by cheque from council every fortnight

                2- HB goes to my account from council, top-up from tenant took a few months to catch up with initial arrears


                I'm happy.

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