Anti-landlord policies not helping prospective tenant

by Readers Question

14:20 PM, 18th November 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Anti-landlord policies not helping prospective tenant

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Anti-landlord policies not helping prospective tenant

My name is Balbine and I’m looking for a flat/house to live in with my daughter. I’ve been searching for a home for a year. now, and every time I’ve found nothing. I’ve even emailed estate agencies to see if they would take housing benefits and only 2 out of the 13 agencies that I emailed, emailed me back to say no, they don’t take housing benefit tenants.

I have a daughter, who is 15. She’s at the stage in her life where she needs to have her own space, she needs to be able to prepare for her GCSE’S and it hasn’t been easy for her. I’ve lived in Brockley my whole life and I work in Brockley, so it would honestly be the ideal place for me to live. I do have alternate areas such as: Nunhead, New Cross, Honor Oak, Forest Hill, Crofton and Peckham.

The council is trying to be of use, but its always a “no we can’t, because.” I’ve done a lot too. I haven’t just been siting down waiting for a phone call or hoping. I’ve put in an ad on Gumtree, I’ve asked friends and family, I’ve joined the Housing Waiting List etc. I just need to find a property for the sake of my child, for her. She’s everything to me and she has been my rock during this time in our life. Her words of encouragement is what has kept me going.

I am employed. I have 2 jobs. And so I am reliable when it comes to payment. I’d be able to provide a guarantor. I’m clean, I don’t smoke, I don’t own any pets. I just want a place to call home for me and child.

So, if there is a slight chance that there is someone out there who can help me, please contact me.

Thank you

Balbine



Comments

Rob Crawford

17:24 PM, 18th November 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Maybe sell yourself more as employed with some benefits. Rather than "on benefits"! Private landlords advertising via Gumtree is probably your best bet. Does the council have their own agency? Also, maybe consider a house share with someone advertising on spare rooms. Unfortunately many landlords find themselves unable to let to those on benefits as insufficient income, as you top up with employment then this will make you more attractive as a candidate. Good luck.

Mick Roberts

9:23 AM, 19th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

You've summed it up with what the Govt & councils are doing to Landlords attacking them. Hurt the Landlord, u hurt the tenant.
Landlords are either selling, or only picking highest earning best ever credit check tenants out there.

Dave Driver

9:43 AM, 19th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

You need to understand why so many agents and landlords are reluctant to let to tenants in receipt of benefits. Firstly, Housing Benefit and Universal Credit are paid in arrears, and landlords require rent to be paid in advance. Many benefit tenants live from week to week so cannot pay rent in advance and a deposit where required. Many benefit tenants are unable to pass referencing and credit checking. A minority of benefit tenants are really unable to manage their money so if given a large sum to pay rent and living expenses they will spend it on booze, fags, scratch cards, etc. rather than paying the rent. Even if a landlord succeeds in requesting direct payment from the council, the rent can legally be claimed back from the landlord if the tenant makes a mistake or a fraudulent claim. The landlord can be left out of pocket with no way to recover lost rent or pay for repairs.

Many landlords are selling up because of the repeated anti-landlord policies imposed on them by the government. This leaves a shortage of properties, so the remaining landlords have a better choice of good tenants.

If you are working and have a referenceable guarantor then you are in a better position, but you need to sell yourself really well. You need to offer all you can to show that you are a good prospect. You need to show that you are in control of your finances, perhaps that you are able to regularly save a little money for a rainy day. Perhaps you could market yourself in some kind of a brochure that you could offer to a landlord. Show a brief income and expenditure statement. Screenshot your credit rating and offer proof of no CCJs, include bank statements, and details of your potential guarantor. Get a reference from a previous landlord if you can. Be as pro-active as you can in showing how good a prospect you are.

Good luck.

JohnCaversham

10:03 AM, 19th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Some councils have scheme's where they guarantee the rent to the LL for the duration of the tenancy be it 1 year or 5...I partake in such a scheme with Reading Borough Council to good effect, the LHA rate is slightly lower (by £60pm) than the open market rate however i'm saving on rent guarantee ins and i have de-risked the tenancy to good effect, plus i choose tenants such as yourself ie reliable hard working mums with older children who can manage their accounts and look after the property...A few local LL's have realised this is a good workable scheme, and of course the council only select accredited LL'ds to work with too. Would be well worth you looking into your local boroughs to see if they operate any such schemes as a lot of councils have realised that this is a cheaper route than temporary housing and associated problems/costs..Best of luck..

Jireh Homes

11:18 AM, 19th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Balbine - as a landlord who has a mother and daughter with rent paid from Housing Benefit we have no issues with considering applications such as your own, although no properties in your area! Agree with comments above that declare self as working, and that you are able to pay rent in advance and the deposit. This way payment of HB in arrears is less of an issue. Look on other portals on which LL advertise direct (e.g. OpenRent).

Jay James

19:14 PM, 19th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Hi Balbine.
How is it that you have two jobs but are (you imply) on housing benefit?

Kathy Evans

11:25 AM, 20th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jay James at 19/11/2019 - 19:14
It's quite possible. The cleaner for one site I delivered training courses at had two P/T cleaning jobs on min wage and got HB (and working tax credits) for herself and two children.

11:58 AM, 20th November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Obfuscated Data

Alison King

9:31 AM, 21st November 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Unfortunately I don't have any houses in your area, but I have accepted a tenant in your circumstances. Initially I thought I couldn't because a condition of my mortgage was "no benefits claimants" but I called the mortgage company and explained that the tenant was also working and they said in that case it was OK. The tenant failed referencing automatically because of the benefits claim but I tend to look at the tenant as a whole and use the reference as input rather than as the only criteria for acceptance. Four years later the tenant is still with me and has never missed a payment.


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