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Landlords won't take tennants who receive HB. How to rent?

(29 Posts)
SnotGoblin Fri 16-Sep-16 10:31:52

How on earth do you do it people?

I have a relatively good salary and two children but as a single parent I'll only be able to afford childcare and rental by accepting housing benefit.

Being new to all this. I viewed a property and put in an application for it yesterday. Speaking to the agent today, they mentioned reservations on affordability and I blythely commented that it would be no problem because I'd be eligible for HB and was then told no way, no thank you, no DSS.

I had a bit of a meltdown at the agent and she directed me to search for DSS welcome properties and I'm left scratching my head because I don't need or want social housing, can pay my way in private (with a little help from the benefit).

Help me out please wise ones who've gone before.

user1474315216 Mon 19-Sep-16 21:17:21

There is no legal obligation to tell them you are in receipt of housing benefit. If the money goes in to your account then you don't have to tell them.

daisygirlmac Mon 19-Sep-16 21:21:37

You'll find that some landlords have clauses in their mortgage which exclude taking HB tenants even if it's just a top up. The other pain from a landlord point of view is that HB is generally paid in arrears and can sometimes be stopped without notice so it makes them wary. What about looking in the local paper? That's a good start in my area, I've also just found a house through a Facebook group because I was getting really fed up that none of the agents would even consider accepting my 12 year old dog even with a double deposit! I'm an estate agent myself and I couldn't get round it all!

daisygirlmac Mon 19-Sep-16 21:23:17

The other option to get you over the affordability problem would be a guarantor, would that be a possibility? As a guide we use a multiplier of 30 so is your annual income more than 30x the monthly rent, if not we would question affordability.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 19-Sep-16 21:23:50

Through the magic of lying...As user said- you've no obligation to tell them.

5OBalesofHay Mon 19-Sep-16 21:27:33

The problem is landlord insurance which often precludes housing benefits.

SnotGoblin Tue 20-Sep-16 07:38:33

Yes my income would be over that but I have childcare costs associated with two children which is why I need the HB in the first place. For example, if my income is £42k a year and my childcare is £1500 a month I am feeling rather scuppered by the whole thing.

SnotGoblin Tue 20-Sep-16 07:39:51

I don't have relatives in this country and I don't consider my friends close enough to ask to be a guarantor).

daisygirlmac Tue 20-Sep-16 07:41:02

From a letting agent point of view though they won't take your childcare costs into account when calculating your affordability. On paper, you can afford it off your salary. If in practice you top up with HB they don't need to know so I wouldn't tell them.

PinkSwimGoggles Tue 20-Sep-16 07:46:50

The problem is landlord insurance which often precludes housing benefits.

this should be illegal

HollyBrown Tue 20-Sep-16 07:47:49

You have no obligation to tell them of your childcare costs or housing benefit. We haven't disclosed our top up HB because our income was considered high enough by the referencing company so no need to.

TobleroneBoo Tue 20-Sep-16 07:50:11

Many property owners insurance policies, exclude dss / students / asylum seekers. They can have the wording altered, but if they don't and cover is excluded for DSS, this will be an issue

SnotGoblin Tue 20-Sep-16 12:29:51

This is all really positive. What happens when they want to reference check and ask to see my bank statements then? Apparently this is a thing!

JoandMax Tue 20-Sep-16 12:34:33

You could lie but the problem with that is if your landlord were to find out they would no doubt give you notice unfortunately.

It's a shame though, I would have no problem renting out property to you but terms of our mortgage say no DSS

daisygirlmac Tue 20-Sep-16 18:24:15

They won't necessarily ask for bank statements, we only ask if the person is retired or self employed and we are just looking to prove income rather than nosy at your outgoings.

SnotGoblin Tue 20-Sep-16 19:29:56

Okay so supplying payslips might mean them not asking about bank statements? Thank you very much. I see that I have some (shady) ways forward grin.

babba2014 Tue 20-Sep-16 19:47:07

You know social housing is going to end up the same as private renting? Lots of evictions because of the benefit cap. That means more space for people who work and sadly lots of vulnerable people will be homeless.
You'll probably be better off applying for social housing. By the way Housing Associations aren't really social housing and their rents are going higher and higher so try them. Please don't think social housing or HA is all for the poor. It is going the other way.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Tue 20-Sep-16 19:50:17

Back up your case with references from an employer. If you can offer 3 months rent up front for example would show you are a good potential tenant.

PrimarySchoolQ Tue 20-Sep-16 19:52:28

Some landlords will still rent to you with housing benefit even if the listing says NO DSS. It's always worth ringing and checking. I think some use it more as a filter for people who are completely living from benefits as it's the only loophole they have really to exclude that whole group of people as tenants.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Sep-16 19:55:31

Could you rent the flat first for a couple of months and then apply for HB. I think that's what I'd think about doing to get round it.

ihatethecold Tue 20-Sep-16 20:02:55

My ds is currently homeless and signed off work due to a breakdown.
I want to get him into a rental property. I have the money set aside to pay for the deposit and 1st months rent.
He will need HB for at least 6 months.
Reading this thread makes me wonder if he will be able to find anywhere. sad

mushroomsontoast Tue 20-Sep-16 20:07:04

It's a minefield. I found some lettings agencies wouldn't accept tax credits as income, some would accept tax credits but wouldn't accept child maintenance, some wouldn't accept either. I didn't tell anyone about the housing benefit!

They all seem to do an affordability calculator based on a percentage of your income. If you can get round that with just your salary then I wouldn't mention any benefits at all.

Most were willing to accept a guarantor, and my current letting agent is lovely, and was happy to accept both maintenance and tax credits as income.

specialsubject Tue 20-Sep-16 20:07:41

it is a standard thing on all listings, and some landlords can't do it for the reasons mentioned.

lying is really bad advice for bloody obvious reasons.

Sammysamread34 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:20:25

I've had this problem. ..I was under a lot of stress, separating from husband, losing the house etc. I had to take HB, had 3 children. ..I begged people to see if they would let me rent. It's so hard. ...I assumed many reasons for this. But actually, it's mainly because of the housing people. ...if, for whatever reason, the landlord wanted the house back later down the line. ..maybe they wanted to sell, or simply move back in. ...then the housing tell you to stay put until evicted, otherwise you've made yourself intentionally homeless, and therefore you wouldn't be entitled to any help! So the landlord has to take on the cost and time of taking you to court to evict you. Therefore, many won't.

But, I did, eventually find one that took me and let me rent. The problem now, is being a single mum of 3, youngest still not in school. ...the benefit cap means that they are slashing my housing benefit in November by over half! ! So god knows what'll happen. He also been on the register and bidding for over 2 and half years. ...I still haven't been offer a single place.

specialsubject Wed 21-Sep-16 10:02:57

A tenant doesnt need to be on hb for this situation to arise.

Councils have been told to stop telling people to wait for the bailiffs. But this doesnt magic up more council housing so is being ignored. And the tenant collects a ccj for the costs, which even with just the court fees are about £600.

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