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To allow DSS in our place?

(11 Posts)
Nettlerash Sun 19-Dec-10 20:44:18

We are trying to get our place rented for the second year. It is unfurnished and we have had some interest but it is the time of year they say when things are fairly quiet.
I had a call yesterday saying they had a lady and her 2 year old son wanting to move in before christmas but I think they are on DSS.
I had origionally said I would prefer to have only working professionals.
I know it can be hard for people on DSS to get places because many landlords do not want it for different reasons,but on the other hand,although the house is in very good condition it is not furnished/doesn't have anything to spoil and I want to keep an open mind regarding people on DSS.

Any advice/experiences?

HaveToWearHeels Sun 19-Dec-10 20:53:32

Yes, I rented to a couple on DSS once, I am a softie and they were vertually pleading with me to rent to them. Paid one month deposit and month in advance. 2nd month they didn't pay, went round there to find they had hacksawed a kitchen cupboard and worktop to get a slightly wider fridge in, wasn't happy and gave them a week to pay the rent, 2 days later a neighbour called to say they were doing a flit. So I have to pay for the kitchen to be fixed and a load of old furniture to be removed.
I am by no means saying that all DSS are the same and I feel so sorry for women who find themeselves in this situation due to a relationship breakdown etc. I have been there myself but was lucky enough to be able to move back home until things improved financialy.
Is there anyway you can meet them before you agree as you might be able to judge the situation ?

Nettlerash Sun 19-Dec-10 23:32:48

Oh no Haveto,sorry to hear that.
Thats what I was thinking actually,but its a long way up there from us which is a bit of a problem. TBH I dont really know how it works either if they are on DSS. We were also planning on managing it ourselves but maybe it would be better for them (the agents) to manage it if that were the case?

Or maybe we should just wait a while.

jollyoldstnickschick Sun 19-Dec-10 23:36:39

We rented to dss once ,it wasnt a good experience but you know you cant tar everyone- my friend is a dss renter her house is beautiful her Dad does a lot of decorating for her and her landlord is v happy,one of the problems im told in letting to dss is that the rent goes initially to them and they then pay you,life on the dss isnt easy and I would think its very tempting to 'use' the rent money on occasion.

I think if you were v selective about who you took dss rental could be a good thing,its not just scum on dss,the rent is guaranteed and just bcos theyre not at work doesnt mean they will neglect your house my friends home is spotless and very well maintained.

I think as is life you must take how you find.

notcitrus Sun 19-Dec-10 23:49:18

Can you do it via one of those schemes where the council guarantee your rent? Otherwise I'd be reluctant simply because of the DSS cockups - I've had one tenant from hell (dss not a factor except that they paid her and she didn't pay me for the last 5 months), but other tenants who've lost jobs have ended up on housing benefit and it's a huge pain in the backside for them, with arrears building up just because HB admin is so shit.

I don't understand why the HB has to be paid to them - it's supposed to be so the landlord doesn't know, but then landlords have to fill in forms about the property!

So basically you can never be sure to avoid DSS - could you ask for guarantors instead?

BigChiefOrganiser Mon 20-Dec-10 00:33:37

I do believe you must get permission from your insurance provider and your mortgage provider (I may be incorrect on the second one), to rent to people in receipt of Housing Benefit.

If it weren't for this, I'd happily rent to a reliable, responsible person/family receiving HB.

gregssausageroll Mon 20-Dec-10 07:25:19

You need to ensure your insurance policy will allow it. I know mine doesn't

Another horrendous experience with a young man from DSS. Came with his dad who paid cash for him. Dad was a leading surgeon at a private hospital in Dubai. Son had recently lost his job but was working in a care home with a benefits top up.

Took references, checked everything - double checked again. Let him have the property.

Father didn't let on that son was out of prison on bail on drugs charges - when son went to jail he left keys with his drug adict friends who completely trashed the place. Ripped every fittin from the wall, smashed every light bulb (apparently there is a gas in a bulb that gives you a high) and shat everywhere. There were 216 used needles in the property (in the water tank, floor, bathroom unit, kitchen units, sink) when I was eventually allowed to take posession back.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Mon 20-Dec-10 07:53:49

You will need permission from insurance company and possibly mortgage company. I have a policy of renting to single mothers where possible. One tenant stayed 10 years, would repaint every year or two and only moved on when she got a housing association place. Another was a PITA as in had very high expectations of what a property should be like ie. Toddler proof and she managed to get herself kicked out of her previous place for being too demanding. I gritted my teeth and got on with it. She met someone, had a baby and they moved after about 6 years for his job. She cried when she left and said how much the place meant to her and how her life had turned around since she had lived there.

After her was nightmare guy who ripped me off for loads of rent and ended up in court for benefit fraud.Currently have lady escaping domestic violence with three children moved in about 3 years ago, a complete wreck. Has met new partner, has a baby with him and life has turned round for her, is a great tenant.

happychappy Mon 20-Dec-10 08:15:31

I'm moving back to the UK and initially will be on DSS for about a month. After that my job will start and therefore won't need to. However, its very difficult finding a new home. Maybe meet her.

Nettlerash Mon 20-Dec-10 16:53:39

Thats all interesting stuff - many thanks. I didnt realise about the insurance etc.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
I think it would be wise to insist HB paid directly to myself though if that is possible.

I swayed more towards waiting a while atm tbh thinking about it.

Feelingsensitive Mon 20-Dec-10 21:59:47

My BTL mortgage won't let me rent to DSS so make sure you check.

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