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house/flat adverts that say "No DSS"...

(29 Posts)
morninggirl Sun 01-Jun-08 08:58:44

i dont know if this is the right place to post this, if it's not, i'm sorry i wasn't sure where else to put it.

what exactly does this mean when a flat/house ad says that, No DSS (i know, No Dept. Soc. Services), but what exactly does that mean? they don't accept housing benefit (but where i live, the way they do housing benefit has changed, council told me the landlord wouldnt even have to know i'm claiming)...

thanks in advance... (it's been a long night and early morning)

piratecat Sun 01-Jun-08 09:03:51

i think its a catch all phrase, it reminds me of the 90's. I gues landlords don't want someone who is unemployed, thats the gist of it.

Which really doesn't help, and casts aspersions of 'being unemployed'.

Anyway. Yes in more recent years housing benefits do not automatically get in touch with the landlords to ensure you are a tenant. As long as you provide the tenancy agreement, and provide all the details they want.

You could try and gauge the reaction of the landlord towards being unemployed, or if you are going thru an agency, it will be harder to try and secure a tenancy without some sort of employee's details.

Some landlords are just scared they won't get the money in.

BabiesEverywhere Sun 01-Jun-08 09:07:44

When we looked at renting our house, we were told that the council takes weeks if not months to sort out payments, which put us off DSS tenants.

Then we got special rental insurance to protect the house and fixtures and this insurance would not cover DSS tenants, so we had to go for professional tenants only.

If our tenants had lied to us, our insurance would have been invalidated and we would have been screwed if anything happened to the house.

Sorry if that is not what you want to hear

morninggirl Sun 01-Jun-08 09:08:34

i work part-time, i have for nearly 10 months now. but on my wage, i wouldnt be able to afford rent on my own.

an agency won't have me because i have no credit (i've only spoke to two local agencies though...) and i dont have a guarentor(sp?).

but until i can sort out more work once ds starts primary school in sept..i'd be relying on HB to help me out...

morninggirl Sun 01-Jun-08 09:10:57

payments (where i live) are only made to the applicant now, not to the landlord (there's not even an option to do this now) - but i can understand why landlord's are gunshy about taking DSS applicants.

but thanks for the insight BE, it shows another side to this

mrspnut Sun 01-Jun-08 09:11:16

The other reason people don't like taking HB claimants is that the HB department have a nasty habit of clawing back funds for the smallest reason and they often make mistakes.

So your tenant can have paid you all the HB they receive and then you get a letter telling you that it was paid in error and it has to be repaid immediately.

piratecat Sun 01-Jun-08 09:13:57

so you are working, and would be getting a top up from HB.

You may find a private rental, and a landlord who just wants some sort of evidence that you are able to pay the rent. Do you have one month deposit and one month's rent in advance??

HB, if you keep on at them are much quicker at sorting out claims than they used to be.

morninggirl Sun 01-Jun-08 09:17:33

yes, it would only be a topup from HB until i could do it without.

i have been searching for private rentals (and searching it seems!)

at this point, i can do a month's rent, but i dont have enough for a deposit as well (my situation is requiring me to move out swiftly.)

thanks for the tip about HB. i've not had to deal with them before.

morninggirl Sun 01-Jun-08 09:19:46

mrspnut> hmm.. i had a feeling something like this might happen, like how TC's can be overpaid.

how often does that happen, does anyone know? (or is there a way i can find out my local HB's dept.'s stats on overpayments occuring?)

thanks again.

fiodyl Sun 01-Jun-08 09:49:47

Whenever I see 'no DSS' I read it as 'Ignorant Landlord' for the following reasons

-the DSS has not existed for 7 years. The Dept. of Social Security(nothing to do with social services) became the DWP in 2001.

-even before the name change the DSS/DWP did not pay towards rent, Housing Benefit(or LHA which all new claims now are) is paid by the council.

-even someone working full-time can be entitled to HB/LHA depending on circumstances.

-the council cannot take HB/LHA back from the landlord if it has been overpaid unless it has been paid direct to them in the first place.Under LHA this will only happen in very rare circumstances.

mosschops30 Sun 01-Jun-08 10:03:19

agree with fiodyl about the fact that working people are still sometimes eligible for benefits.

when i was on my own with dd, i wanted a beautiful new flat just been built in my town but the estate agent said no dss!!! I rang the landlord and explained that I was a LP and worked full time so would get HB.

He was fine with it and I moved in a spent a few happy years there

piratecat Sun 01-Jun-08 10:46:02

def worth ringing, and explaining and arranging to meet at the property. If the landord asks are you working, you can say yes in your situation. You can then say that at present you are the sole provider for you child, and that you are looking to recieve lone parent help (ie hb) until you can go back to work full time when your dc starts school. Sell yourself a bit.

Some landlors are a bit out of touch, and may wekk have had problems with previous tenants not coughing up. You will have to try and find that deposit tho, as this will give you time to apply for and get your rent back dated to the day you moved iin.

Ring the housing people and get them to send youa form, ready for when you intend to move. Fill it in on the first day of tenancy and get it to them asap.

If you have severe difficulties in getting the first month's rent/deposit, ring housing people and get advice of any funds that you may be able to apply for/ emergency funds to help you move.

Failing that if h ben can't help, ring your local housing trust.housing asscociation/council. Maybe go and see Citizens advice bureaux, and stres that if you can't find alternative accomadation you will be made homeless with a child.

jammi Sun 01-Jun-08 11:13:22

Message withdrawn

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 01-Jun-08 12:43:37

Some mortgage companies state on their buy to let mortgages that tennants cannot be claiming housing benefits so its not always the landlord who says no.

Insurance is more expensive on those who claim benefits as well as it being harder to evict somebody on benefits so there are lots of reasons landlords wont do it.

If you fail to declare this, the landlords insurance policies etc wont be valid.

scaryteacher Mon 02-Jun-08 01:01:44

My mortgage states that I can't let the house to people on benefits. It's not being snotty, it's what the mortgage lender says, and as I have a good rate I am not going to argue. The same goes for the lettings insurance.

morninggirl Mon 02-Jun-08 08:09:59

fiodyl> thanks for that, gives me some more peace of mind about the overpayment thing. my brother-in-law owns properties to let and i was going to talk to him about it (unfortunately, he doesnt own anything in my area!)

mosschops> im glad that worked out for you... how did you get ahold of the landlords details if the property was thru a letting agent? just curious..

i'm not as keen to go with a letting agent as the admin fees can run up but its not an option i'd rule out if i could find one to work with me.

piratecat> local HB dept. wont send me the forms, you have to go in and apply. i already called them (months ago!) about this. it would be SO much easier if i could do it that way.
i've spoke to Shelter about any options i may have in the funds department and they recommended if the landlord accepts DSS tenants they will probably accept the rent loan scheme (or the rent deposit scheme), a crisis loan is another option (but i'd have to prove true need to this apparently and seeing as i have some money saved, which i dont know if i have to disclose or not..) or a loan from a friend/family/bank.

CAB was a bit useless when i went to them with all this in october they basically told me to seek out a refuge as me and husband were not getting on (but nothing that would be as domestic violence)

HMofOne> thats an aspect i hadnt thought about or wouldnt have before i posted this thread, it adds a bit more understanding as
to why landlords wont take on dss tenants.

morninggirl Mon 02-Jun-08 08:11:14

scaryteacher> that's fair enough completely, owners have to protect their properties, but as i'm biased in my opinions on this!

mosschops30 Mon 02-Jun-08 11:17:33

it was well know in the town who was the landlord and who had built them so was easy to speak to him, but I actually think the letting agent gave me his number as they said that their guidelines had been 'no dss' but as I was working then he may consider it.

Good luck smile

finallypregnant Tue 03-Jun-08 18:15:53

Both my mortgage provider and insurance provider do not allow me to rent to a tenant claiming benefits. That means I need to get full references including bank and employer before I pass keys to a tenant because if I don't and something happens to the property, ie a fire or burglary or something like broken windows then it comes out of my pocket as the insurance won't pay out.

So can you imagine if this situation did arise and I had taken you on without references etc and without you giving a full deposit it would cost me a fortune.

Sorry but I wouldn't take you on if you didn't have the full deposit and rent in advance up front.

I get tired when tenants say they are badly done by with Landlords but at the end of the day, tenants have more rights than landlords - I know and it has cost me thousands of pounds in the past.

Loriycs Wed 30-Jul-08 21:36:43

I rented a house to a woman claiming full Hb. A single non working mum with a 10 year old. She was clean, tidy and looked after the place well, plus her rent was always paid by the council on time in full. However my insurer then decided no DSS. I had to find another insurer quickly, which proved difficult as many now stipulate no dss. I found one at my cost. What a difference a tenant on benefits made to my insurance payments.They soared. I approached my tenant and explained that i would be increasing the rent by £25 a month to cover the cost. A reasonable increase and in line with other properties in the area. She kicked off big time because the council would not pay the extra £25 and she said she couldnt afford it (despite having satelitte TV, Internet,a car, expensive mobile phone and lots weekends away???) Sorry a soapbox moment there!! Anyway, the rent went up, she didnt pay it and we ended up serving notice. Shame as she was otherwise a good tenant. But i refused to pay excessive insurance just because she chooses not to work. She's a fit and healthy and bright woman. Interestingly she has a flat with garden or parking and her rent is exactly the same as it would have been with us after the increase?? I now have a young family living in the house, husband working and wife on Mat leave.My insurance has come down again Phew!!!

Loriycs Wed 30-Jul-08 21:38:57

Sorry that was meant to read 'with No garden or Parking space'

Chocolateteapot Thu 31-Jul-08 05:55:52

Hang in there morninggirl, there are some around who willtakeit . I have a policy of letting to women on housing benefit with children as I know that in different circumstances it could be me or my friends. it costs me more in insurance etc but so far has meant that I have good long term tenants with no voids.

Our local authority has to sort out a HB claim in 6 weeks and has a deposit guarantee scheme for people in difficult circumstances.

My most recent tenant was the victim of domestic abuse and had a case worker who fast tracked her claim, first payment came in two weeks,

KnightCider Thu 31-Jul-08 06:14:10

loriycs, all very well for you to get on your soapbox but you fundamentally failed in that situation.
you agree a rent, knew exactly the situation of your tennant, then realised you hadn't researched the costs to yourself enough and passed on the difference to your tennant.
she will have had to have gone through a process with the hb people to assess her award based on the rent you agreed but it ended up meaning nothing because you changed it afterwards.
bad form.

prettybird Thu 31-Jul-08 13:22:19

KightCider - your're not being fair to Loriycs: it was her insurance company who changed its rates after she had been renting her flat out for a (undefined) period of time. In tthat case, she was entitield to try to pass on her increased costs - and from the sound of it, given that her ex-tenant is still paying the same amount for a place with fewer amenities, she was charging a reasonable market rate.

Loriycs Thu 31-Jul-08 13:47:07

My tenant had been with us for over a year, initially on a shorthold assured contract which became periodic. It is typical for landlords to increase rent on a yearly basis, and she'd been with us as i said for my than a year. My insurance acyually went up before then, but i choose to wait for the year to past as thought it was a good point to increase it as she wanted to stay with us.general rents in our area have increased anyway. I didnt need to offer an explanation as to why i increased the rent as its a box standard thing to do as certain points in renting, but i did explain why as she was really kicking off about the increase. I was trying to put it in perspective for her.At the end of the day i dont rent for love. When my mortgage goes up i dont kick off a stink with the lender do I!!!!!!!!Thats life, things go up. Anyway as i said she could have afforded it she was just trying it on and it backfired on her. Her new flat's rent is the same as ours now anyway and she's obviously affording that.I'm always fair with my tenants but i wont tolerate piss takers i'm afraid.Why should i work more hours to pay the difference whist the reason for the increase is down to the fact that she cant be bothered to work.Her lifestyle is her choice but when it has an affect on mine i will react.Hope you understand things clearer now.

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