We have a 1 bed rental in London, which is coming up for rent in November. The prospective tenant is a single 50 year old male with good links to the community. He is on benefits due to a disability but has a guarantor with income in excess of 80k pa. He can move in straight away..
What are your pros/cons of letting to someone on benefits?
If it's a long term disability and his benefits are likely to continue long term then maybe I would consider it. I would salso consider when your area switched to Universal credit as that is when many claimants are starting to have problems with the housing benefit element.
I wouldn't. One of the companies I do work for had a tenant on benefits and her situation changed which meant her benefits no longer covered the rental of the property. They have had a devils job to get her out the property and it has cost lots of time and money. The process to legally evict someone is very lengthy so before you do you should consider if you can afford to loose 6months + rent if you need to go down this path.
If the mortgage allows it. If the insurances ( buildings, rent guarantee, legal expenses) allow it. If you are sure that the council won't come after you for wrongly paid benefits. If the guarantor agreement is real and ongoing.
The curious thing though is that the flat is on the 2nd floor and is only accessible via 3 flights of very narrow stairs. If he does have a disability, would he even manage that? Although i suppose there are many types of disabilities...
You need to get the answer to that question to be sure the person that is moving in is who you think it is.
There's a drug dealer scam - a respectable looking person signs up, gets a cash bribe and vanishes. Then you have a trashed drug den and they can sit there for months without paying until you get the bailiffs.
Check out anything that doesn't add up. An honest tenant will give you honest answers.
I was on benefits and was lucky enough to have a private landlord accept me. I can't tell you how grateful I was. The local council were involved and I had the rent paid direct from them to the landlord. I had to have a guarantor for the rent and also for the deposit. A council official came to inspect the property prior to me vacating, armed with video camera to record any damage. She didn't even switch it on, as she could see the place was spotless. This was all done through an estate agent with a tenancy agreement.
If you are sure that the council won't come after you for wrongly paid benefits.
Not sure about this. If Housing Benefit is paid directly to the landlord, and the council overpay the landlord's account, of course the landlord should pay back the money... I'm not sure why that would be so much hassle considering you should notice that too much money has been paid to you?