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Thread: Private house renting question

  1. #1
    Biscuitgazer
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    Private house renting question

    Does anyone know whether landlord's insurance commonly does not allow a property to be let to anyone in receipt of any benefits? My mom and I live together and want to move house and we both get annoyed because letting agents always say the landlord doesn't want people on benefits. We get housing benefit + DLA + ESA + the benefit she gets as an OAP with no private income (not sure what it is) and have done though a couple of house moves over the years, somehow skimming over the problem of the agents' stock answer. My brother rang an agent today about a house he'd spotted that looked suitable, and he only mentioned my DLA as it's the only benefit whose name he knew, and the agent said no way forget it, the landlord insurance doesn't allow any benefits at all. As DLA can be claimed on its own as an in-work benefit, that sounds OTT, really.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    It's a very common problem.

    Lots of landlords will not let to tenants on benefits, and yes some landlord insurance policies, and some buy-to-let mortgages, have clauses forbidding it.

    They reasons given for this are usually financial and go on the lines of-
    "Well those on benefits can be sanctioned, or have them stopped altogether, and then they can't afford the rent. It then takes months to evict them whilst you are not getting any rent".
    When you point out that a working person can easily loose his job these days giving the same situation, they get evasive.

    One or two are more truthful and admit that they "don't want that kind of person in their nice flat".

    It is discrimination, but it's legal discrimination.

    We had a good discussion about this over on landlordzone forum last year, and got some interesting comments from landlords.
    http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ants-animals-)

    There are private landlords who will take take those on HB and benefits, you just have to search harder for them, and they often want a larger deposit if you are on benefits.
    You tend to find them by asking around and looking at the local newspapers rather than going to letting agents.
    Last edited by nukecad; 22-10-16 at 08:02.
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  3. #3
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    There are some insurance companies that do not cover tenants on benefits and others that charge a premium for doing so.

    Unfortunately you will never find out whether the landlord's insurance company covers them or not as the truth of the matter is that many landlords do not want tenants on benefits because of the perceived problems that it may cause. They may have had a bad experience in the past or they just view benefit claimants as 'trouble'.

    Whether you agree with this or not does not help your situation. It is as it is.

    So, some possible options.

    Do not go through letting agents - they are generally more 'fussy'. Try looking in local newspaper/shop windows/asking friends/family.

    Get a good reference from your current landlord to give to prospective new landlords.

    Ask the council if the HB can be paid directly to the landlord (beware, not all council will allow you to do this)

    Find a guarantor (even letting agents love these as they become responsible for any rent arrears)

  4. #4
    Biscuitgazer
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    Very interesting answers, especially your link, thanks nukecad. When my church was letting the house on the church property, the committee members dealing with the letting simply took the letting agent's advice, "no benefits, of course" was the agent's view. That's what agents say, but I'd thought maybe landlords had more say in it. And in the past we've found that what is advertised by the agent is sometimes not how the landlord see things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Housing benefit used to be paid directly to the landlord now the rent is paid directly to the tenant. If the tenant forgets to pay the rent they could face eviction.

    If a landlord buys a home to rent out and they took out a standard mortgage they may not allow lodgers.

    Building and Contents insurance may not allow lodgers or Tenants to live there. If you don't tell the insurance company that you have a lodger staying and your house is burgled the live-in landlord isn't covered.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    HB & UC housing element can still be paid direct to the landlord.
    It is a bit harder to set up than it used to be.

    The point some landlords make is that even when direct payments are set up (or especially when direct payments are set up) any sanction or other problem stops them and it's a PITA to get them srarted again.

    I've been in that situation myself and it took 3 months to get things corrected.
    Luckily I have an understanding landlord who was prepared to wait. But not happy about it.

    If you haven't already take a look at that link I gave above.
    I started that debate - being deliberately provocative in the terms I used - and it gave some interesting opinions from both renters and landlords.
    Last edited by nukecad; 21-10-16 at 17:10.
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    Unfortunately if its a PRIVATE landlord, they have the right to say, No DSS. Very annoying, and unjust, as i find to my cost, but they own it, they can say it.
    All you can do is also look for housing association properties. Lets face it, if thats the landlords attitude, he is not going to be a very willing landlord anyway.
    i dare say there are shitty benefit tenants and programmes like C5 and C4 don't help. (always the bad news, never any good), but there are also folks like us just trying to LIVE!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddivine View Post
    Unfortunately if its a PRIVATE landlord, they have the right to say, No DSS.
    That's another laugh, the DSS was disbanded in 2001 and replaced by the DWP.
    Just goes to show that their knowledge, and atitudes, are out of date.

    So they are trying to exclude something that doesn't exist anymore.
    Technically as you are not getting DSS you could say the exclusion does not apply to you and ignore it, won't get you very far though.

    Some of the stories on that landlordzone forum are way stranger than what you see on the telly.
    There's one landlord on the forum who calls one of his flats "The Bambi flat".
    Why? because when he visited once the tenant was butchering a whole deer on the kitchen floor. (With an axe).
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    ... the tenant was butchering a whole deer on the kitchen floor. (With an axe).
    Did the Tenancy Agreement state that he couldn't?

    I reckon that many landlords give very little concern as to what's contained in 'their' Tenancy Agreement, but seem to give great emphasis on stereotyping a specific group of society from what they've heard and read; rather than researching prospective tenants backgrounds.

    They just concentrate on getting the money in each and every month from who they 'think' will be the ideal tenant, which can easily prove to be a wrong and very costly mistake in a very short space of time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    Followed the link,and have to say I. Found it pretty tame
    A couple of years ago,my daughter was being evicted,and I was helping her ring ( hundreds) of landlords ,to no avail
    My daughter works as a nursery nurse,and is now raising her three children on her own,since splitting up with their father,so received top up benefits including partial housing benefit
    After finding no one would take her on,I was googling and accidentally ended up on a landlord forum,where the terms used to describe benefit tenants was more than discriminant,it was downright insulting

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