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Can I beg a favour from MN landlords?

(18 Posts)
MaimAndKilloki Sat 30-Oct-10 12:38:40

There's a thread at the moment about why landlords can't/won't accept housing benefit tenants. And this is related but isn't having a go at you, because I understand. Much as I hate it, I do get it.

I'm in a horrible situation right now, where I'm struggling to find housing. The council/government does not categorise me and DH as high need so expect us to find private landlords.

Although it may not do much, it would mean the world to me (and many others in our situation), if you could write to your local MP to tell them why you cannot pick up their slack.

I know it's a big ask, and I know you owe me (or any HB claimants) nothing. But I'm asking because you've always been wonderful to go to for advice, and because your opinions hold more weight than ours with officials. And maybe, just maybe, it might help make things better.

Kaloki Thu 11-Nov-10 13:13:41

Just bumping

DooinMeCleanin Thu 11-Nov-10 13:18:22

Can you start a petition or something? I'll happily sign one. WIll also email local MP for you.

I found it very difficult to find suitable, clean well maintained property as a HB tennant. It's very unfair isn't it?

Good luck with your house hunt and your shitty LL.

Kaloki Thu 11-Nov-10 13:20:00

That's a good idea, will do that when I get some time.

Thank you

1percentawake Thu 11-Nov-10 14:13:26

I'm not a landlord but I feel very sad for you and hope you can manage to find something soon.

This will continue to be a massive problem for many people so I agree with DooinMeCleanin that a petition would be a great idea..

OLIVIA7777 Thu 11-Nov-10 21:27:33

I am a landlord. I say landlord - we simply couldn't sell our old house when we wanted to move and so decided to rent it out. I took pity on a woman with 3 kids on HB. When she moved in I left flowers, champagne and a moving in card. Fast forward to the present....she did a bunk at the beginning of October leaving the house in a complete state of disrepair. I have just been quoted £18,900 to just make it habitable again. You name it - she did it... there is not one window unsmashed, brand new kitchen trashed, removed bathroom, scribbled all over walls, demolished porch, smashed fireplace etc etc...I contacted the police - they will not do anything, seen a solicitor but apparently because she is on benefits there is no way she will be able to pay for damage... oh and did I mention that she was over £1000 in arrears with the rent.
I am now in a position where I risk losing my own home. I have had to remortgage to pay for the damage. I work 40 hours per week and have three children. That house was our pension and their future. I now am working full time, and myself or my husband are driving the 25 miles to the house every night to work on it, painting etc. My life has been completely ruined by this woman and I feel such a massive sense of injustice. I do not sleep anymore and am constantly worrying about money.. I realise not all people on HB are the same but I would NEVER EVER let the house to ANYONE on benefits. Sorry.........

MimsyRogers Thu 11-Nov-10 21:32:07

I am a landlord too.
Sorry, have had a glass or two of wine so may be being a bit slow, but when you say write to the MP to "tell them why you cannot pick up their slack". What do you mean?

lalalonglegs Thu 11-Nov-10 21:48:20

Yes, Olivia, we've all had bad tenants but I'm not sure the fact that she was on HB went hand in hand with her vandalism. Once someone does a bunk, it's going to be difficult to get them to pay for that amount of damage no matter what - they just disappear. I do sympathise, you've been put in a terrible position, but I don't really understand what that has to do with your tenant receiving HB.

Kaloki, I'll write to my MP pointing out that my mortgage excludes HB tenants (although what would happen if one of my tenants lost their job and started receiving HB, I don't really know hmm).

OLIVIA7777 Thu 11-Nov-10 21:59:59

Hi there, I feel that if the tenant had a job, credit history to protect etc she would have been more accountable. As it stands, she has absolutely nothing to lose by doing this again and again..

Kaloki Fri 12-Nov-10 00:04:16

Mimsy, in my experience the council/govt would much rather those on benefits rented privately, which many private landlords cannot or will not do. A lot of social housing has been sold off though, and the govt has hurdles in place that mean that leaving a contract when a landlord asks you to leave is considered making yourself intentionally homeless. Which isn't ideal for either the landlord or the tenant. The govt expects landlords to let housing benefit tenants stay until they find a new home, no matter the contract.

Olivia, that tenant sounds awful, but it's not really what this thread is for. Many HB tenants wouldn't dream of acting like that, and although it's tempting to think them all the same, it isn't like that. I'd be just as silly to think all landlords are like my current and previous ones, but know they aren't.

tefal Fri 12-Nov-10 07:31:47

Olivia, do you not have mallicious damage insurance cover?

OLIVIA7777 Fri 12-Nov-10 07:42:15

Hi Tefal, I did have what I thought was the best insurance cover, mailcious damage included at almost £100 per month. However because of some small print in the policy whereby the insurance company has to check references (I wasn't told this when I took it out, and also I took out the policy after the tenant had already been there six months) I am not covered at all..
Kaloki, Just trying to give the other side and a perspective on why landlords are reluctant to let to HB tenants....if my tenant had a job, maybe she wouldn't have the time or energy after a days work to do this sort of damage..

tefal Fri 12-Nov-10 08:21:15

That's bollocks. I am sorry you have found yourself in such an awful position.

It happened to me once about 8 years ago and cost me £5,000. I dind't have the right cover on my policy.

Hope you get things sorted properly.

lalalonglegs Fri 12-Nov-10 09:31:10

People on HB do have credit histories - they're not non-people.

MaMoTTaT Fri 12-Nov-10 09:39:24

yep - I definitely have a (thankfully pretty good) credit history.

And don't forget Olivia - that you can be working and claim housing benefit. I'm currently applying for 2 different jobs (bit earlier than I'd planned to be they came up out of the blue so figured I may as well have a go).

If I get either of them (one 16hrs a week the other 20hrs) I'll still get most of my rent paid by housing benefit.

Kaloki Fri 12-Nov-10 17:34:55

Oh I know Olivia, I do understand. I'm just a little sensitive, found out our current landlord views us as dole scum and is using it as an excuse to treat us badly.

magichomes Fri 12-Nov-10 17:37:51

Kaloki, how is your poor husband? Better I hope.

maiisie Sat 13-Nov-10 21:23:18

We were reluctant landlords as we could nto sell and had to move and rented our house out to a lone parent with three children on HB. She was the model tenant. She had no deposit and so we agreed to let her move in without one.

She left the house very very dirty which surprised us as it had always been clean when we visited.

I would lend to HB again, but whoever I let to I would always take a deposit.

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