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Self employed, Housing benefit but no DSS on property i like?

(21 Posts)
3rdbump Thu 06-Aug-15 09:28:05

Hi, i am looking to move out our rented home whome i currently share with partner and our 4 children. (made the brave decision to leave) I have used the benefits calculator and with becoming a single parent i am entitled to housing benefit. Problem is every house i find says no DSS. I am self employed and claim working and child tax credits so i am working. Is there a way in which i can rent without them knowing i will be getting housing benefit? can i get the HB paid direct to myself and then pay the rent that way?
Have seen a house which is perfect but says no DSS - Its making it difficult!

UrsulaBuffay Thu 06-Aug-15 09:30:25

I just wouldn't tell them, the benefit is paid to you and if you could afford it at a push if it was cut or stopped just go for it

BackInTheRealWorld Thu 06-Aug-15 09:33:53

Yep, don't tell them. Housing benefit is no longer paid direct to landlord, it's paid to you so there is no reason for them to find out.

Fizrim Thu 06-Aug-15 09:33:53

I have been a landlord and it was a condition of our insurance (no DSS). It may be that the landlord does not want to pay the extra as it seems to be a standard t&c!

It is likely that you will undergo a credit check from an agency when renting.

PresidentTwonk Thu 06-Aug-15 09:40:28

I was told it was a condition of mortgage or insurance and can make payments higher or contracts invalid (I'm not very clear, you might be able to tell wink) so I would assume a landlord wouldn't rent without checking - asking to see copies of bank statements, credit check, payslips, something else I can't think of, so I wouldn't chance it. Also by getting the benefit paid to you and passing it on is technically lying and potentially invalidate your contract and cause you problems if the landlord finds out and it's in your contract that you don't pay using benefits. Crap situation for you and I hope you find something great soon.

BackInTheRealWorld Thu 06-Aug-15 10:02:29

I've never told a landlord and it's never caused me any problem. I've never had to show bank slips either. Reference from employer is about it.

BackInTheRealWorld Thu 06-Aug-15 10:05:05

It was the bloke at the housing benefit office who told me not to tell the landlord. Best advice ever!

specialsubject Thu 06-Aug-15 12:46:36

rather than committing fraud, which may break the landlord's mortgage and insurance terms and put you out on your arse, how about some adult communication?

that was TERRIBLE advice from the benefit officer. It won't be him that is sleeping on the street, and it could happen. The idea that 'they' won't find out is playground thinking. Then you are branded a liar and can whistle for future rentals. You could even be deemed intentionally homeless by the same council, as you breached your tenancy.

some landlords do have mortgages/insurance that will allow HB, or don't have mortgages. Ask to contact the landlord and explain your situation. If you can afford the place, have a stable income and will be a good tenant, why would he/she not want you?

holidaysarenice Thu 06-Aug-15 12:51:50

It's fraud, I will evict you. You will pay court costs.

Been there done that with my tenant. I won't invalidate all my insurance and mortgage just so you get the house you like.

Oh and here the benefits form needs signed by the landlord and I get a letter every time your benefit amount changes.

Onestep15 Thu 06-Aug-15 13:06:01

'No DSS' is a very out of date phrase - there is no Dept of social security these days, it's now calle the DWP (dept of work and pensions). The DWP does not currently pay housing benefit if you are getting working tax credits. Housing benefit is paid by the local authority and tax credits are paid by HMRC - so no DSS involvement at all! Go for it - what matters is that you can prove you can afford it. Good luck.

BackInTheRealWorld Fri 07-Aug-15 09:46:16

Where I live we don't need anything signed by the landlord we just have to show our tenancy agreement to claim.

LineRunner Fri 07-Aug-15 09:51:42

What does 'no DSS' even mean?? As onestep says, the DSS doesn't even exist any more.

If it's meant to indicate 'employed people only', then the criterion is met by the OP.

PattyPenguin Fri 07-Aug-15 19:46:06

"No DSS" is used as shorthand for either "no unemployed" or "no tenants who receive housing benefit".

It is true that some mortgage lenders and insurance companies have clauses in their contracts / policies specifically banning letting the property to tenants who receive housing benefit. It isn't illegal for landlords to specify that they won't let properties to such tenants, either.

scarlets Sat 15-Aug-15 18:23:06

Some mortgage lenders prohibit it. I'd talk to the landlord if you can. Or apply, and hope that the benefit issue doesn't come up (unlikely). Whatever you do, don't say that you don't receive it.

Some lettings agencies don't want to deal with HB customers. It may be the agent rather than the landlord.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sat 15-Aug-15 18:32:42

We we looked a lot of 4/5 bed houses said no kids and no sharers... Why? Can't see a couple wanting thy much space .

cruikshank Sat 15-Aug-15 18:42:42

OP, the main thing they are looking for is if you can afford to pay the rent - generally you need to be bringing in 3x as much as the rent is. Some agencies will accept TC and maintenance as part of the calculation, some won't (they are a fucking law unto themselves, the bastards). HB is different - most agencies and a lot of landlords won't accept it because of clauses in insurance policies, but tbh if it gets paid directly to you, you could always just take the risk that your landlord is unlikely to find out unless they ask to see bank statements and even then you could easily black out the HB payments - the only payments that they need to see are TC, maintenance and wages. It seems absolutely crackers that people are supposed to not claim a benefit they are entitled to because of clauses like this and as you need a place to live then if I were you I'd be tempted to wing it.

I wonder what the situation will be when Universal Credit is rolled out, just as a thought. Because then there will be no HB. I bet chancers like holidaysarenice won't want to lose out on all of the millions of potential tenants just waiting to feather his/her nest-egg with state money then.

RepeatAdNauseum Sat 15-Aug-15 18:48:35

Your wage, TCs and maintenance (or possibly just your wage, as some agencies won't take TCs or maintenance into account) would need to be 3x the rent, so that the need for housing benefit wasn't discovered.

If it is 3x the rent, you are unlikely to get help, if it's anything like round here! But if you can make your bank account look like you've got enough, regularly coming from the same source, you could probably get away with not declaring the HB.

You do invalidate your tenancy, though, and if you were evicted when the landlord found out, the council may decide that you made yourself intentionally homeless and not help to find housing. You'd have the normal eviction process, so probably enough time to find somewhere else, and you might think that's a risk worth taking for the perfect house. It's worth knowing about, though.

cruikshank Sat 15-Aug-15 19:05:02

Actually, it is possible to cover 3x the rent with TC, wages and maintenance and also get HB because maintenance isn't taken into account for HB purposes. I have friends who get quite a lot of maintenance and also get HB, even though their monthly incomings are quite high.

RepeatAdNauseum Sat 15-Aug-15 19:07:39

I didn't say it wouldn't be, Cruik - I said round here, you'd be unlikely to get help if your wages were 3x the rent - they won't take TCs or maintenance into the equation for rentals here, because they could be stopped at any time.

Yes, I know wages could be too, but for some reason, the five big agencies here have decided that they'll adopt stupid rules, and the independents closed down.

OP just needs to find out what her agent will take into account, and then work out if she'll pass affordability tests without HB being declared.

cruikshank Sat 15-Aug-15 19:21:09

Ah right ok, sorry.

Some of the agencies round here won't take TCs and maintenance into account either, which leads to the crazy situation where you have people in their 30s and 40s (I know people who have had to do this) getting their retired parents to act as guarantors because with wages alone they're not bringing in 3x the rent, or having to pay 6 months' rent upfront as though they're a poor risk, despite being in employment. I think the jumped-up little shits forget who is paying their wages.

Agree about the calculation - if on paper the OP can cover 3x the monthly rent without HB, then she decide whether or not to declare it, bearing in mind the risks (eviction, I guess, is always a possibility and shouldn't be discounted) vs the benefits (more choice of often better quality accommodation).

Fizrim Mon 17-Aug-15 09:32:50

Sally 5 or more people sharing and you are heading into HMO - Houses of Multiple Occupancy territory and there are statutory regulations that a landlord has to meet for that, which is why I imagine they state no sharers.

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