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Won't accept me because I get universal credit

125 replies

keysonthehighshelf · 27/12/2019 19:57

I'm really shocked. I bring home 1500 a month, but am a lone parent who has left an abusive relationship. I get no maintenance for my son and due to this my outgoings are massive. 700 a month for the child minder full time. I'm trying to find a place to rent, found somewhere perfect for me and my one year old, but they won't accept me because I am on receipt of universal credit. Is this right? I didn't know this was a thing.

OP posts:
Treacletoots · 27/12/2019 22:03

@purpleme12 when it all comes down to it, a landlord is not going to take out insurance / mortgage that costs them more so they can take on perceived higher risk tenants. That's the reality.

Lazypuppy · 27/12/2019 22:05


What happens if a couple split while renting from you and the man moves out, leaving the woman a single parent?.

Do you really have to kick out a tenant who is probably still paying rent and looks Ng after their home?

Yes otherwise i am in breach of my mortgage. Also, if the tenants go from 2 to 1, they would need a new tennacy agreement just in sole name and so new credit checks etc and then they may not pass affordability tests on their single income.

purpleme12 · 27/12/2019 22:05

Actually I have had insurance policies in the past that haven't cost any extra when we note down that a tenant on benefits is living there so you can't really quote that as a reason

Treacletoots · 27/12/2019 22:10

That's great. But at the end of the day a landlord can choose who they rent their house to.

If this weren't the case I could see even more selling up and causing even more housing shortages leading to, guess what, even fussier landlords. This is the cycle that nobody making housing policies seems to grasp.

gamerwidow · 27/12/2019 22:10

AnotherEmma gamerchick isn't on this thread so I assume you are talking to me?
In some areas being a victim of domestic abuse is not enough to get you a place on the social housing waiting list in any capacity.
I know this from personal experience from trying to get my sister housed when she left her abusive partner with her 3 children.
He strangled her until she was unconscious, the local council said that's a shame but you need to try to save up or see if someone can lend you 6 months rent or act as guarantor. I attended many meetings with the council, social services and the police to try to get her added to the list with no success, We even met with the local MP and nothing helped.

purpleme12 · 27/12/2019 22:12

@Treacletoots well yes and that's really the point that people here are trying to make, that it's really the landlord deciding it because if the landlord wanted to let to different people they would find a mortgage/insurance that let them

sarralim · 27/12/2019 22:16

Please take this to your local MP, OP. Even if this due to the insurance companies, it's still proof that so many people on benefits, even if it's just a top-up amunt, lead incredibly vulnerable lives. It also massively discriminates against women (together with the cost of childcare...the lack of flexibility in the work place...no statutory paternal leave etc etc etc...the list is infinite.) Another example of a very ill-thought out Conservative policy. The core problem is the ultra capitalist insurance companies. I would take it up with your local politicians or take it to the press. Wishing you all the best - well done for leaving your abusive partner. Maybe one day society will take a stand against the misogynistic outcome of money before all else.

sarralim · 27/12/2019 22:19

Correction: I meant statutory paternal leave that matches the one of women's.

happycamper11 · 27/12/2019 22:27

Next time they ask just say no... you earn enough to cover regular costs without UC, they don't need to know about your childcare costs.

BerwickLad · 27/12/2019 22:30

I agree, just tell them you don't get it. If they ask to see bank statements, print out your online ones showing salary going in only. They don't need to see anything else. You're not getting the housing element, no skin off their nose and they don't need to know.

creaturcomforts · 27/12/2019 22:33

This has happened to me, husband left our home we had a joint tenancy. At the end of the tenancy they were more concerned about the fact I was receiving part payment universal credits than that I was a sole tenant. I could demonstrate that I could cover the rent through earnings and benefits and had to write a formal letter to the landlord. Lucky he agreed to keep me and dd, but he only renewed for 6 months so I will face the worry again in February as to wether we will have a home

Should mention I've been renting for 17 years and always been on time with rent, good landlord reference etc. I'm not sure if another landlord will take us on. So worried 😟

purpleme12 · 27/12/2019 22:37

It is awful.

Babyroobs · 27/12/2019 23:58

Berwicklad - Anyone on UC who is renting will be getting paid a rent element. It is not possible just to claim childcare costs. If you rent you get awarded a rent element and the whole award is reduced by wages. So everyone on Uc who rents will be claiming help towards housing !

cabbageking · 28/12/2019 00:18

Two thirds of mortgage providers for buy to lenders don't allow you to rent to those on benefits.

ChristmasCarcass · 28/12/2019 00:20

MomOfABeast lots of landlord just won’t rent to people with children full stop - a couple of our friends were given notice within a week of the letting agents becoming aware she was pregnant (they’d been in the same flat for a couple of years, so it was absolutely down to that). They had an awful job finding a new place, lots of landlords just said no without any further discussion. And they are a professional couple, no benefits/financial risk whatsoever.

safariboot · 28/12/2019 00:27

It's been the reality for years, many (probably most) landlords won't rent to people on benefits. The landlord may claim it's a term imposed by an insurer or mortgage lender - but the landlord was the one who was quite happy to agree to that term! It's institutionalised and ingrained discrimination and it won't be stopped unless and until it becomes definitely illegal.

breakfastpizza · 28/12/2019 00:29

'Just don't tell them' is terrible advice. Every landlord I know does a tenant credit check. You'd need to prove your income with wage slips as part of the application.

What about your parents acting as guarantors?

Cryingoverspilttea · 28/12/2019 00:34

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BerwickLad · 28/12/2019 00:35

Depends how much the rent is. Round here if you can prove you've got a 3x the rent coming in without benefits you've passed the affordability threshold and only need to show bank statements for three months with that money coming in. I've done it myself and it's been fine. I just went to my online bank statement, selected show [employer name] and printed that.

ivykaty44 · 28/12/2019 07:20

If you rent a property & you don’t claim any type of benefit then you change jobs or have a baby and start claiming UC then you don’t have to alert your landlord if this fact....your landlord can’t find out through other sources due to GDPR - it’s your personal and private information.

Anyone in benefits office would lose there job divulging that information to a third party and wouldn’t risk it for a landlord

Never ever have your UC paid into the same bank account as your wages

IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 28/12/2019 10:30

Just don’t tell them is awful advice. Who would risk someone else’s property by lying possibly rendering their insurance invalid should something happen?

gamerwidow · 28/12/2019 10:43

Just don’t tell them is awful advice. Who would risk someone else’s property by lying possibly rendering their insurance invalid should something happen?
Completely impractical too if you don't have separate bank accounts for your universal credit and wages.
Letting agencies are not going to let you rent a house having just seen half a bank statement.

Dontdisturbmenow · 28/12/2019 10:54

There's a lot of risks that comes with being a LL, especially when it comes to trying to repossess the house, whatever the reason for doing so. You can easily lose £1000s when a tenant stops paying and it takes almost a year to evict them. If they have no income, you know you'll never see any of it and you are just grateful they are out.

As such, many LL will just go for what appear the least risky for them. If they can get a professional couple, where both could afford the rent individually or a retired couple etc... then they'll go for them. They are told to treat being a landlord as a business, and as such, it is not their problem if some people struggle more to rent than others.

Saying that, how many have you visited? You need to persevere, you will find a landlord who doesn't have an issue renting to a working single parent.

VioletCharlotte · 28/12/2019 11:36

I wouldn't tell them. I've rented for years and have never had to show a bank statement, just references from my employer to prove my income. They don't need to know you pay childcare or that you get UC. So long as you know you can afford the rent and can get references and pass the credit check you should be fine.

radioband · 28/12/2019 11:48

Talk to the agents about your circumstances, a lot will be willing to give you a try I would of thought. The rent element is now paid within UC so people end up spending it very easily, this is what puts Landlords off as people on UC are on low incomes so it is tempting for them to spend it. I work for an estate agents and we judge people individually so like I said speak to them about your circumstances.

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