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  • FIRST POST
    • brianqq
    • By brianqq 6th Oct 17, 7:16 PM
    • 8Posts
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    brianqq
    Why don't landlords like DSS?
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 17, 7:16 PM
    Why don't landlords like DSS? 6th Oct 17 at 7:16 PM
    I do not use housing benefits and just ask this question out of curiosity.

    When I look for a place to rent, I see in most ads "NO DSS". I wonder why are landlords reluctant? Isn't the rent guaranteed by the governmental scheme?

    I understand that it is better to have a professional tenant rather than an unemployed one, but it should be better in terms of a guaranteed rent, as the government pays it. Or I have misunderstood the whole concept.
Page 2
    • Old Git
    • By Old Git 7th Oct 17, 2:23 AM
    • 4,251 Posts
    • 3,716 Thanks
    Old Git
    In Ireland you are not allowed to advertise no DSS or housing benefit .

    I have one tenant on benefits.She receives her HB every two weeks in arrears .She gets it on a Wednesday I have it no later than Friday.I get a text from the bank as soon as its paid .

    I have a couple renting from me ,both working.They are the one's I have trouble getting the rent from. I have to collect the rent in cash due to problems with their bank. They got broadband and phone from BT ,both disconnected after one month due to no DD in place.
    Last edited by Old Git; 07-10-2017 at 2:36 AM.
    "Do not regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many"
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 7th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    • 16,111 Posts
    • 39,994 Thanks
    FBaby
    trouble evicting
    This and more, but this alone is enough of a reason. It's not just about the costs that comes as a result, but the massive stress that goes with dealing with evicting a tenant, who could be totally in the wrong but knowing how to play the system and as such getting away with totally unreasonable behaviour. This can happen from people who appeared to be very well spirited before, but easily turn into the tenant from hell when they suddenly don't get all they want.

    Then after you've dealt with unpaid rent for month, legal costs etc..., the high chance of getting your house back in a total state, you get to rehearsed the fact that you will never see a penny of the money they owe you despite the ruling against them, because they will claim poverty and at best pay you £10 a month.

    If you have a property that can attract professional people, who would want to avoid a ccj at all cost, then why wouldn't you want to go for that easier option? Once again, LLs are told over and over to treat being a LL as a business transaction. If you have the choice of buying two cars at the same price, one has half the mileage than the other and is in a much better condition, would you decide to buy the second one just because you want to be fair to the buyer who doesn't have as much income than the first one? No, you want the best car for the best price. That's how landlords operate too.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 7th Oct 17, 8:32 AM
    • 11,196 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    DSS is in common parlance though, like MOT
    Originally posted by Car1980
    The Ministry of Transport test and testing centres are still officially (on government documents) used terms even though there hasn't been a Ministry of Transport since 1970 whereas the Department of Social Security hasn't existed since 2001 nor does it live on in any official government documents. The department has not existed for 16 years. There are people approaching their 40's who were still in primary school when the Department of Social Security was dissolved who therefore would never have had the chance to use the services of said government department.

    The terms DSS is generally only used by lazy and ignorant landlords and letting agents. I suppose all the landlords and letting agents who continue to use the term "DSS" also pay their taxes to the Inland Revenue.

    If landlords won't accept people claiming housing benefit then that's what the advert should say. Just using a lazy term like DSS makes it sound as though they won't rent to anyone claiming benefits. Let's not let to all those pensioners and the raft of benefits they are allowed to claim and whilst we are at it why not exclude anyone claiming child benefit or working tax credits.

    There seems to be an assumption that just because someone is claiming housing benefit that they are out or work however, It is entirely possible to be in work and still be eligible for housing benefit. We somehow have a whole section of society called the "working poor" 1 in 8 workers who are now living in poverty, in part, to a combination of low wages and ever-increasing rents.

    There also appears to be the assumption that those in receipt of housing benefit will not take care of the property. I would have thought that in the majority of cases the opposite would be true. Since it's so difficult to find landlords willing to accept housing benefit claimants the tenants would do all they can to ensure that they can continue living in the property for as long as possible.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 07-10-2017 at 8:45 AM.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • gycraig
    • By gycraig 7th Oct 17, 10:03 AM
    • 409 Posts
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    gycraig
    takes far to long to boot problem tenants out, people on housing benefits generally have less to lose and aren't affected by ccjs etc.

    Looking into being a landlord myself I want to carefully vet my tenants I know it's not 100 percent who will rip you off but watching can't pay etc you do wonder how the landlords thought renting to them was a good idea.

    Benefits are also a political thing so if you have ten houses with 6 housing benefit tenants in and they decide to move goal posts / lower housing benefits you are gonna be in a bad place.
    • alleycat465
    • By alleycat465 8th Oct 17, 2:16 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    alleycat465
    I asked an agent this and they said insurance reason primarily as I'm entitled to £45 a month LHA the rest I pay (I work but low wage and lone parent) and also because of the cap and (his words) wha some people don't realise is miss A for example is receiving £15,000 a year in benefits for her and 2 kids that's not in her hand, that's everything including rent and if they are in the city it's not uncommon for rent to be more in a week than what some of us pay a month. Even though mine was only part apparently that made me more likely to have rent arrears, I disagree as I've always been in advance but hey nvm!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 8th Oct 17, 7:48 AM
    • 16,111 Posts
    • 39,994 Thanks
    FBaby
    The other issue is that if you have someone in their 30s, earning £30K, if they were to lose their job, they would be more likely to find another one earning a similar amount.

    If you rent to a single mum, who earns £15K and receives £15k in benefits, it becomes a problem if for whatever reasons her benefits are stopped as it will likely be harder for her to be able to make up the difference.

    This is what happened to friends. They rented to a family of 3 children, through an agency, who confirmed they met the income test, but she failed to ask details and didn't realise that took tax credits into account. The problem is that 2 oldest children were 17 and 18, and within a year, both left education, so their tax credits got seriously reduced. The inevitable happened, they prioritised other things and then got to the point when they said they couldn't pay the rent any longer. It took them 6 months to evict as they waited to be rehoused by the council and the council would only do when evicted by bailiffs.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 8th Oct 17, 8:01 AM
    • 3,284 Posts
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    Murphybear
    The Ministry of Transport test and testing centres are still officially (on government documents) used terms even though there hasn't been a Ministry of Transport since 1970 whereas the Department of Social Security hasn't existed since 2001 nor does it live on in any official government documents. The department has not existed for 16 years. There are people approaching their 40's who were still in primary school when the Department of Social Security was dissolved who therefore would never have had the chance to use the services of said government department.

    The terms DSS is generally only used by lazy and ignorant landlords and letting agents. I suppose all the landlords and letting agents who continue to use the term "DSS" also pay their taxes to the Inland Revenue.

    If landlords won't accept people claiming housing benefit then that's what the advert should say. Just using a lazy term like DSS makes it sound as though they won't rent to anyone claiming benefits. Let's not let to all those pensioners and the raft of benefits they are allowed to claim and whilst we are at it why not exclude anyone claiming child benefit or working tax credits.

    There seems to be an assumption that just because someone is claiming housing benefit that they are out or work however, It is entirely possible to be in work and still be eligible for housing benefit. We somehow have a whole section of society called the "working poor" 1 in 8 workers who are now living in poverty, in part, to a combination of low wages and ever-increasing rents.

    There also appears to be the assumption that those in receipt of housing benefit will not take care of the property. I would have thought that in the majority of cases the opposite would be true. Since it's so difficult to find landlords willing to accept housing benefit claimants the tenants would do all they can to ensure that they can continue living in the property for as long as possible.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    What raft of benefits? I get £100 in the winter and a free bus pass I can't use (no busses)
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 8th Oct 17, 8:07 AM
    • 5,889 Posts
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    GwylimT
    What raft of benefits? I get £100 in the winter and a free bus pass I can't use (no busses)
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    No state pension?
    • haras_nosirrah
    • By haras_nosirrah 8th Oct 17, 8:18 AM
    • 1,322 Posts
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    haras_nosirrah
    I rent to a tenant on housing benefit. It didn't start that way. I rent privately not via an agent. It was my first time buyer home that I rented when I bought with my husband.

    He has been in situ since 2009, always kept the property spotless (ex army) and is a gentleman in his 60's.

    In 2013 he had 3 heart attacks and was out of work for a while. He got 3k behind on the rent but rather than evicting him he is now paying his nomal rent using housing benefit and is topping up £50 a month towards the arrears. I wasn't comfortable evicting a sick man who had for the prior 4 years been a model tenant. I also knew that it would mean I didn't get the arrears back. He is down to something like £1300 in arrears now but has made every payment since that bad spell on time and in full.

    I have kept the rent low (he pays about £150 a month below market value) but as I have no letting agent fees to pay and he keeps the property nice with very few issues I am ok with that. I only raise the rent £25 a month every two years. The agreement we have is that in return for the low rent he is responsible for the day to day things in the house (e.g. when the shower broke he fixed it) and I am responsible for the big stuff (when the back door failed I got a new one, boiler etc) Apart from an annual check of the property I rarely hear from him and he gives me no hassle. Working full time with two young children that is worth a lot to me.

    I have to pay a bit more for my insurance because he has housing benefit. Also I am aware that eviction would be difficult - realistically I plan on keeping the house until my children are of an age where they want to buy - I then plan to sell the house and split the proceeds. I don't think the tenant will still be around in 25 years due to his health so I don't think I would need to go down the eviction route - he certainly wouldn't get another property for the rent he is paying for mine.

    I wouldn't have deliberately sought out a tenant on housing benefit but to me having a tenant who looks after the house and treats it as his own and gives me little hassle is worth getting a lower rent for. Not all housing benefit tenants are difficult - mine had a change of circumstance which can happen to anyone.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 8th Oct 17, 2:09 PM
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    Murphybear
    No state pension?
    Originally posted by GwylimT
    That's not a benefit any more than a salary is. And it's considerably less
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 8th Oct 17, 3:29 PM
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    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    That's not a benefit any more than a salary is. And it's considerably less
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    The state pension is benefit and is defined in law as a benefit.

    The use of the word “benefit” for retirement pension (latterly known as State Pension) has always been classified in law from the time of the1946 National Insurance Act, which applied from the inception of the National Insurance scheme.

    Furthermore, the term “contributory benefit”, forms the legislative framework of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. Section 20 of that Act is entitled “Descriptions of contributory benefits”. Contributory benefits under Part II of that Act are listed, and the sixth is retirement pensions.

    In addition, the introduction of the new State Pension from 6 April 2016 is also classified as a “benefit” under Section 1(1) of the Pensions Act 2014.

    Currently the state pension is universal but I predict that for those of us under 40 it will either be means tested or have vanished completely by the time we retire, if we ever get to retire, which is what all the auto-enrolment schemes and LISA are gearing us up for.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 08-10-2017 at 5:19 PM. Reason: typo
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Oct 17, 4:24 PM
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    Silvertabby
    I rent to a tenant on housing benefit. It didn't start that way. I rent privately not via an agent. It was my first time buyer home that I rented when I bought with my husband.

    He has been in situ since 2009, always kept the property spotless (ex army) and is a gentleman in his 60's. Posted by haras_nosirrah
    Is he entitled to an Army pension?
    • Dorian1958
    • By Dorian1958 8th Oct 17, 4:32 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    Dorian1958
    As for landlords being "lazy" for referring to HB claimants as DSS, in the past when I haven't mentioned it in the property description I have had applicants ask "do you take DSS?". So, not really LL being lazy, just a universally accepted term which everyone understands.
    • haras_nosirrah
    • By haras_nosirrah 8th Oct 17, 4:52 PM
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    haras_nosirrah
    Is he entitled to an Army pension?
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    possibly - when I first rented to him he worked for my handy man (hence why he is good at fixing stuff in the property). He gets the housing benefit then pays me and I only know that due to having to ask for insurance purposes. I don't really know what his income is since he stopped work
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 8th Oct 17, 5:21 PM
    • 1,731 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    Tarambor
    It can be a condition imposed by their insurance.
    Originally posted by comeandgo
    This. My insurer was Direct Line. They will only insure me if my tenant is on a disability benefit, not unemployment.

    If landlords won't accept people claiming housing benefit then that's what the advert should say.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    They don't say that because it has little to do with the tenant getting housing benefit and everything to do with their mortgage lender and/or insurer not allowing unemployed people - working people claiming HB would be allowed. So they say "No DSS" because they don't want unemployed people.

    I guess that the chip you have on your shoulder about landlords seems to be quite a large one.
    Last edited by Tarambor; 08-10-2017 at 5:27 PM.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 8th Oct 17, 6:07 PM
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    Pixie5740


    They don't say that because it has little to do with the tenant getting housing benefit and everything to do with their mortgage lender and/or insurer not allowing unemployed people - working people claiming HB would be allowed. So they say "No DSS" because they don't want unemployed people.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    Why not just say "no unemployed people" or "no jobseekers" rather than being lazy and using an outdated term then? What happens if your tenant who was working finds themselves out of work?

    I guess that the chip you have on your shoulder about landlords seems to be quite a large one.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    It's not my fault that you can't move with the times.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Oct 17, 6:12 PM
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    Silvertabby
    “ Is he entitled to an Army pension?
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    possibly - when I first rented to him he worked for my handy man (hence why he is good at fixing stuff in the property). He gets the housing benefit then pays me and I only know that due to having to ask for insurance purposes. I don't really know what his income is since he stopped work. Posted by haras_nosirrah
    The reason I ask is that there are, unfortunately, a lot of ex Service personnel out there who have misunderstood the pensions system and assume that as they weren't contacted by Pensions when they reached 60, then they're not entitled to anything. That may not be the case at all.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 08-10-2017 at 6:29 PM.
    • GwylimT
    • By GwylimT 9th Oct 17, 6:14 AM
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    GwylimT
    That's not a benefit any more than a salary is. And it's considerably less
    Originally posted by Murphybear
    It is a state benefit.
    • saajan_12
    • By saajan_12 9th Oct 17, 9:11 AM
    • 983 Posts
    • 664 Thanks
    saajan_12
    Of course not all landlords prefer non DSS/unemployment benefit/whatever term tenants, but this is a common criteria in ads as well as insurance policies. Potential primary reasons:

    1. Rent not guaranteed: a fixed sum is paid by the gvt usually to the tenant so you're still relying on the tenant passing it on, and the tenant has to pay a top up themselves if the property rent is higher, which they may be able to ill afford.

    2. Rent likely to be stopped / delayed: HB is paid in arrears, so unless the tenant has an extra month's rent saved to pay in advance, they end up paying the LL at the end of the month. So, you only know of rent payment issues after the month, in order to begin eviction procedures if necessary. Also, if HB is stopped as the tenant is believed to be not eligible, it would be very hard to get back into employment and they are likely to have lower savings to cover the gap (else they'd probably be getting lower benefits). Whereas a professional person who lost their job already has the CV / experience and is more likely to find another job quicker and likely has higher savings to cover in the interim.

    3. Difficulty evicting: A tenant mostly paying rent through benefits receipts is more likely to aim for a council house, with the council advising them to wait until bailiffs, thus increasing the cost / rent void for the LL. The tenant also likely has lower savings to pay for rent arrears or court costs as well as any potential damage beyond what the deposit covers. Meanwhile for a professional person, a council house is less likely to be the aim, making them more likely to try to protect their name from a court order / CCJ and work with the LL to get a good reference for the next rental / job prospects. They likely have higher savings to pay for any damages or new tenancy and moving fees upfront so they are likely to be able to be more proactive about moving on.

    4. Property damage: Anyone is less likely to care for a property when they have nothing to lose, for example when being evicted as it won't be their home for the near future. Per (3) this is likely to go on for a longer period with DSS tenants, plus if they are aiming to get into a council house for which a reference is less critical they have nothing to lose. The result is greater damage to the property towards the end of the tenancy, resulting in costs to remediate and a rent void during the works.

    As a result, this greater costs presents more risk for the LL, which presents secondary reasons:

    5. Insurance policies often refuse to cover or charge more to cover ‘DSS / housing benefit’

    6. Worried other LLs will not want to rent to tenants on ‘DSS / housing benefit’ making them harder to evict.
    Last edited by saajan_12; 09-10-2017 at 9:22 AM.
    • aneary
    • By aneary 9th Oct 17, 9:23 AM
    • 799 Posts
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    aneary
    The Department of Social Security hasn't existed since 2001 nor does it live on in any official government documents. The department has not existed for 16 years. There are people approaching their 40's who were still in primary school when the Department of Social Security was dissolved who therefore would never have had the chance to use the services of said government department.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I'd check your maths, I was 21 in 2001 and I'm not yet 40!!
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