to think i'll never find a hosue that accepts DSS and dog :(

(48 Posts)
SquirrelNuts Fri 29-Nov-13 20:55:42

DCs and myself are trying to move out of house that lying cheating arsehole exP has rented before we met.
I have my parents as guarantor, and they're helping me pay for fees and deposit. I'm not working at the moment but am hoping to find something at least part time when DS starts school January.
But trying to find a house that accepts DSS and my little dog is a lot more difficult than I expected.
I'm a good tenant I'm very clean, my dog is very clean.
Im very reluctant to go straight to a landlord as this one has always been a pain about fixing/replaceing anything (e.g we currently have to use a screwdriver to have a hot/cold shower, that's been going on for a year) so I've been trying through estate agents.
Its really beginning to get me down now, I just want out of this house and a fresh start for us sad

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 21:01:37

It's a difficult one, they automatically think worst case scenario and big holes in doors, piss/hair everywhere and noise.

There are some listings on Gumtree which are pet friendly.

Not sure how good it is, but you can search for dog friendly rentals here there must be more sites if you google?

Some top tips which I'm sure you're doing anyway.

It's stressful enough to be moving anyway thanks

I would not mention the dog. They won't be popping over unannounced so need never know, as long as you're sure the dog won't shit the place up. I'm sure that's not the 'done' thing, but it sounds as though you guys have been through a rough enough time lately without having to loose your little companion. Also, have you thought about social housing? the council will accept a dog, and the wait isn't always that bad depending on your area. Where I live a friend has just been housed after two weeks in a really okay place.

Would you be able to get together some cash for an extra deposit? I've found that offering to pay more as deposit to safeguard against dog-related incidents can work well with landlords.

ParsleyTheLioness Fri 29-Nov-13 21:09:43

I agree with trash.... It shouldn't need to be that way, but...if necessary, can you 'hide' the dog with your parents for visits, etc?

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 21:11:27

I'm not sure I'd risk the DC's home by lying about the dog.

Why would you?

It'd be much more stressful being kicked out for breaching the contract and having to move again.

basgetti Fri 29-Nov-13 21:11:56

Why not ask the council for help? You could get on the list for social housing, and also they sometimes have a list of landlords who accept tenants on housing benefit etc.

pomdereplay Fri 29-Nov-13 21:12:09

I sympathise greatly. We grew up on DSS and it was horrible having to go cap-in-hand to lettings agents/landlords in the hope of finding someone to deign to rent to us. Being in receipt of benefits doesn't automatically equal a lousy tenant!

As an adult (non-DSS, but still brassic!) renter with my partner and toddler, we just don't have pets though. <sad> It's a real pity, I know my DD would love a cat or dog around the house, but we need to be able to rent securely and have (within our stringent budget) the best choice of landlords and properties. It really isn't a market for renters out there.

Eliza22 Fri 29-Nov-13 21:12:31

Would they accept extra "danger money" (insurance)? I feel for you, I really do. I have a cat and there's no way I'd leave her behind if I had to move.

I hope you can sort something out.

Breadkneadslove Fri 29-Nov-13 21:12:48

Hope you get something Squirrel, it must be totally frustrating for you, I would be up front about having a dog (sorry Trash) I just think you could end up in a bit bother if they find out later. I wouldn't rule out all private landlords as they are not all bad and in some cases may be a bit more human and caring than an agency is. Good luck

Shakey1500 Fri 29-Nov-13 21:15:35

I wouldn't risk "hiding" a pet either. As a landlord I'd be extremely irate.

FWIW there are some out there. We have a great tenant. Lone parent, 4 kids, 1 dog and goodness knows how many cats. Hope you find something soon thanks

KerwhizzedMyself Fri 29-Nov-13 21:15:42

Don't lie about the dog. All it takes is them driving past and bad timing meaning they see the dog and that's the tenancy broken and you booted out.

LuciusMalfoyisSmokingHot Fri 29-Nov-13 21:16:39

My landlord didnt accept DSS til my mum offered more money on the deposit.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 21:18:10

I had to move into a rental with a cat once, and they let me get another one shock but they scratched the (embossed, one step up from woodchip) wallpaper in a couple of areas.

I was there for 5 years and it hung over me for years as to how much it'd cost me to put right.

Estate agent got a man in to see about the job and he said 'Naa, don't worry about it, £20 to fix, tops wink'.

I loved that man very much grin

delasi Fri 29-Nov-13 21:19:12

Sorry to hear you're in such a rough spot. I know how difficult it can be to find properties that accept DSS, let alone pets.

I know you say you're reluctant to go straight to LL due to being unreliable, but I've got to say... I thoroughly dislike agencies precisely for this reason. In my own experience, corroborated by that of other friends, agencies tend to charge the most (upfront fees and then attempts to deduct from the deposit on leaving) and pay the least attention to issues that affect you (we had a ceiling leak in our living room in a previous property, they ignored us for over a month, finally fixed it but left the wall untreated and continued to ignore us so we lived with a huge stained and mouldy patch for 5 months; on moving out we got, "Oh, didn't we paint that? Never mind...").

Of course there are always exceptions. That's just my experience, and I always try to find LLs as a result. LLs also tend to be more open to DSS, young DC, and pets. Around here, all the agencies want are 'single working professionals', ie someone who'll pay everything easily and leave the place in its showhome condition. I don't blame them, it's very good business, it's just rotten for the majority of us who have families, don't have City jobs and need somewhere to live!

Good luck and see if you can get any recommendations for a decent LL thanks I second Gumtree.

Ask your local authority/council for a list of accredited/approved landlords, then email/call every single one. This is what I did in your shoes and I found an understanding landlord who could see I could string a sentence together, be respectful and intended to get back to work in the near future.

Do keep trying, it took me a while but it was worth the perseverance.

redshifter Fri 29-Nov-13 21:22:11

It depends on the supply and demand of houses for rent in your area.

Where I am it is nearly impossible to find an estate agent with any properties willing to take DSS.

The Local Housing Allowance is very low so any decent houses are above the Housing Benefit rate. The only ones with rent that falls below LHA rate are very poor houses with shitty landlords who can't get anyone with more money to rent them.

If I was you I wouldn't mention you are DSS. Just say you are working. They don't always insist on seeing proof you are employed or you can put them off. Sometimes when they meet you they will give you a chance anyway.

Just don't mention DSS.

If you are already getting housing benefit you just need to take your tenancy agreement to the council.

This is the only way to do it where I am. The only landlords you can find that accept DSS are very dodgy and have loads of shit properties. And they never go to the extra expense of using letting agents.

AgentZigzag Fri 29-Nov-13 21:36:41

What is it with the lying to the LL/EAs? confused

The OP's got children, it's not good advice to encourage her to lie about any of her circumstances, this is their home and stability you're talking about.

SquirrelNuts Fri 29-Nov-13 21:38:10

Thanks for the tips, i'll have a look at rentals straight from landlords. Good idea to offer more deposit i'll give that a go too.
Don't really want to hide the dog its a bit risky I think..
Its sooo hard! I don't even intend to be on housing benefit for long.
I was really hoping to be out by Christmas i'll just keep my fingers crossed I guess!

delasi Fri 29-Nov-13 21:42:15

Also a lot of agencies (here, anyway) don't seem to understand how benefits work. We get some different ones for different factors affecting us. I have a job - in fact, I've been employed almost continuously since I was 16, bar a spell of 5 months without work during my first year at uni when I couldn't find a PT job in the area. A lot of people on benefits are also in work, which seems to baffle the agencies in this area. We usually put the LHA towards our rent, it doesn't typically cover the whole lot.

My point being... a lot of them just don't understand how it works, hence they apply this blanket rule. You have more opportunity to explain your situation and perhaps provide character references when you're with an LL. This is what we did in our last place - I tried to explain to an estate agent and he was just amazed that I could work and get benefits (at one point he thought I was admitting to fraud!). Whereas the LL just 'got' it and said, "All that matters to me is that the rent gets paid, I don't mind how you do that".

specialsubject Fri 29-Nov-13 21:42:39

lying will get you what cheats deserve. Eviction.

you don't rent from the agent, you rent from the landlord. Go see them, via the agent, explain what you propose to do to prevent damage (dog) and how you will pay for things (DSS). Be a person they can do business with.

MissWimpyDimple Fri 29-Nov-13 21:43:51

There are definitely rental agencies which will take a pet. It will depend on the individual landlords though. Also be ready to sign an additional addendum agreeing to de-infest the property on check out and to pay an extra deposit.

DSS is a tricky one. Could you pay 6 months up front? Ie borrow from your parents (not suggesting that you have that kind of money in a drawer somewhere!)

SquirrelNuts Fri 29-Nov-13 21:48:02

Just a thought if I propose to pay extra deposit doesn't that make it seem like I think my dog will do damage when I'm almost 100% sure she wont, she barely even mults (sp?) and I clean my carpets every month where I am now, even if though shes clean I have children rolling around on my floors!

hermioneweasley Fri 29-Nov-13 21:48:02

Boggling at "hide the dog". I've never been to a house with dogs, no matter how small the dog, that didn't stink of dog. It's a bit of a give away.

I'd say rehome the dog if it's a hindrance, but I'm one of those cold hearted people that think that dogs are less important than people.

SquirrelNuts Fri 29-Nov-13 21:49:42

I cant re-home my dog I was there when she was born, she has an illness that requires a lot of vet treatment. And it would break my DC hearts and mine more than I am already by leaving their daddy

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