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landlords, do you ever rent to DSS?

(20 Posts)
memoo Wed 29-Oct-08 19:36:30

DP and I are in the process of renting his old house out, can't sell in current climate.

The estate agents has contacted up to ask wether we would consider DSS tenants.

We're a little wary but I think we're just been a little snobby and so wondered if anyone had experince of renting to tenants on housing benefit etc.

KatieDD Wed 29-Oct-08 22:00:48

You used to have more chance of getting the rent with DSS tenants because the money went straight to the landlord, now it doesn't.
My house was trashed by housing benefit tenants and I would never allow them again I'm afraid. They left rubbish behind, committed fraud with catalogues, didn't pay the rent.
The agents were to blame really, they accepted a reference from her mother as a referee and let her get 2 months behind with the rent.
The truth is that anybody could loose their job and become a DSS tenant, which is what happened in our case, I would say meet the people first and be very careful with refs and credit checks.

nancy75 Wed 29-Oct-08 22:04:43

i used to be a dss tenant, i always paid all of my bills, my house is now and always was immaculate (cleaner when i moved out than when i moved in), in fact when i visited my landlords house to get my deposit back at the end of the tenancy i saw it was a total shit hole that i would not have let my child into because of the dirt.

some people are dirty/unreliable ect some people are not, being in reciept of benefits does not change you from a normal person into a scum bag.

CarGirl Wed 29-Oct-08 22:08:10

Presumably you could ask for an extra high deposit, I think so much depends on whether you are going to do the work or employ an agent etc.

Aero Wed 29-Oct-08 22:15:57

My Dad rents to people receiving benefits. on the whole, he's had no major problems. I think he's only ever had one bad tenant who was very young and didn't care much about the flat, so he tends to let to people with a bit more life experience these days. He always meets the tenants beforehand and makes his decisions based on gut feeling. The rent is paid directly to him and is therefore pretty much guaranteed.

Liffey Wed 29-Oct-08 22:18:29

I'm on social welfare, and any landlord would be lucky to have me!

I don't smoke, I don't fry smelly food, and I clean up.

I don't have a pet either.

nancy75 Wed 29-Oct-08 22:19:59

liffey my point exactly, most of the places i have seen dont meet my high standards, not the other way round!

Plonker Wed 29-Oct-08 22:24:44

Not sure i understand your reluctance.

Being in receipt of housing benefit does not make you any less reliable than someone who is renting privately ...

scaryteacher Wed 29-Oct-08 23:05:19

I don't as I am unable to under the terms from my mortgage lender, and also in the terms of the property insurance. You have to check your mortgage terms carefully.

hatrickortreat Wed 29-Oct-08 23:10:03

Message withdrawn

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 23:17:08

hatrick - so did my vicars mortgage and insurance (she rents out her tiny 2 bedroom house that she had before she became a vicar) - apparently she wrote to the insurance and mortgage provider and they said ok!! (and didn't charge her anymore either)

JuxBackFromTheDead Wed 29-Oct-08 23:19:08

We rent out our basement and when the tenants who had been there when we bought the house moved out, we advertised and were quite happy to have a DSS tenant. However, we would not do it again.

Our tenant is lovely, a really nice chap and kind and considerate, brilliant with dd, helpful, friendly etc. However, the Benefits Office are a nightmare to deal with. It took them nearly a year to sort out his housing benefits payments, by which time the poor guy was so broke that he needed the money to eat. He signed the form to say that they could discuss his case with us and also signed to say that the benefit should be paid direct to us. It was another 6 months before this started happening.

They will only pay HB every 28 days in arrears. Our rent is calculated per calendar month and was supposed to be paid in advance. As the elec, gas and water are all inextricably linked with our supplies, the rent we set was inclusive of bills. DSS, however, decide an amount for utilities and deduct this from Housing Benefit, so we don't get the full rent from them anyway. These are things you need to bear in mind.

The benefits office are ghastly to deal with. They treat us as if we are slum landlords out to cheat. Basically they treat us with contempt, give us as little information as they can possibly get away with and are pretty rude.

No wonder DSS tenants find it so hard to get anywhere decent to live. The whole system is disgustingly managed and the housing people are rude, ignorant mini-Hitlers.

hatrickortreat Wed 29-Oct-08 23:20:37

Message withdrawn

FAQ Wed 29-Oct-08 23:22:45

I guess it probably depends on the lender (or perhaps they just didn't want to say no to a Vicar grin)

I'm currently on the hunt for private rental that will take HB - found one and viewed it yesterday, was nice, but not sure I'll be able to do it without leaving myself seriously short for a month or 2 sad

beaniescreamyb Wed 29-Oct-08 23:28:55

Kind of off topic but RE this "My house was trashed by housing benefit tenants and I would never allow them again I'm afraid." All bonds now have to pe paid into the Tenancy Deposit Scheme

If you are not protecting a tenant’s deposit you will be ordered to repay three times the amount to the tenant.

ilovemcdreamy Wed 29-Oct-08 23:56:56

We have 5 rental properties and rent out 3 of them to single mums who get housing benefit and though we had initial anxieties, they have all been dream tenants. All 3 are looking after the houses beautifully, have never failed to pay the rent on time and are renting from us long term. We manage our properties ourselves and always, always meet and consider new tenants very carefully and take up references. We would not hesitate to do it again.

twinsetandpearls Thu 30-Oct-08 00:05:40

I have been a tenant in reciept of benefits so no objections. Out mortgage and I think insurance states we can't rent out to people in receipt of benefits/

memoo Thu 30-Oct-08 08:41:49

I should just point out that I was on benefits and in a council house until last year when I started working and DP moved in.

I don't think that being on benefits makes you a less decent person, believe me I know what it is like to be judged because you're a single parent, on benefits etc.

Its just that DP questioned it and that made me worry that I was being naive. We've never been landlords before and tbh the whole thing makes me nervous. Ideally we wanted to sell but can't because of the finacial climate at the mo.

Thanks for the advice, DP spoke to prospective tenant last night and she is a single mum with 1 DD. We're going to say yes. Would be worried if it was a couple of young single blokes wether they were on benefits or not but I'm happy to rent to this lady.

bambi06 Thu 30-Oct-08 08:51:47

we rent to dss and onto our second tenant..both have been single moms ..we ve had no probs and have our rent paid directly into our bank acc..we vet the tenants ourselves and try and get refs as well as the housing officer helps..our local borough is brilliant and very helpful with tenants..we decide we dont want someone they ask no questions..both tenats have lasted over the initial 6 month term and much longer..they have to agree to stay a minimum of 6 months and give 1 months notice but housing office have found us tenants literally straight away again..good money if you ask me pus we get a thankyou gift of money everytime we take on a new tenant!! go for it!!

KatieDD Thu 30-Oct-08 13:39:51

memoo, just keep an eye out for boyfriends moving in etc, that's where ours went horribly wrong.
And I also think renting yours out is a good idea, I did the same until we got married to give myself a safety net if anything went wrong.

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