Checks needed for DSS / LHA tenant?

by Readers Question

13:53 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

Checks needed for DSS / LHA tenant?

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Checks needed for DSS / LHA tenant?

Hi everyone,

I have found a family that I want to rent my house to and they will be claiming the local LHA allowance for a 4 bedroom property in North London. Currently they are in temporary accommodation as they were made homeless due to previous landlord wishing to sell the property they were in. Checks needed for DSS LHA tenant

Now my question is; does anyone know the best procedure to safe guard myself when letting my property to them?

For example my understanding is that we will sign the AST but will not know for certain what rent the council will pay her untill they make a housing benefit claim and I am supposed to go with them when they do this. Is it right that any shortfall will be made up by the tenant as top up?

I understand they have a rough estimate of the claim but its not exact.

In my instance the 4 bed LHA rate is £1,667 per month which the family tell me they should get most of due to their circumstances. My worry was that if I get the AST signed and take their 1 month deposit (which I will safeguard), will I be up sh*t creek if there benefit claim backfires and they dont get it or get much less ???

I really like the family and I dont get any bad feeling from them but that can sometimes be a sign to take extra care!!

Any advice about safety checks or standard procedures when dealing in the DSS/LHA market would be greatly appreciated as I really could do without messing up!

Many thanks

Cheers

Joel Herne



Comments

Alan Loughlin

18:42 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

guarantee if you take them on you will be back on here with a tale of woe, or worse.

John

18:42 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

There is a cap on benefits which is £500 per week, so this = roughly £2k per month. I understand if someone is working then they do get more, so you need to check out exactly what their income will be. Most HB families are having to move out of London for this reason as £2k - £1667 only gives £333 for the family as a whole to live off and pay other bills.

Google HB allowance for La's as it will give all local authority rates and you will see what yours is.

Alan Loughlin

18:45 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

so they should, move out of London that is, why should taxpayers fund housing most would only dream of having, the cap should be lower in my opinion, a lot lower.

Graham Durkin

18:45 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

To be fair to ALAN ,most landlords that have had H/B Tenants have come unstuck and it costs them time & money including myself so his obsevations are well meant.

If it is your intention to go down this route then try and reduce your liability where possible .good luck but please post if it goes wrong cos we all like to know when good advice is given then ignored.

Joel Hearne

19:33 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

Surely it cant be this bad working with HB departments???? I think we need to hear from that Housing Benefit Champion in the name of Mick Roberts I believe, I believe his whole portfolio is geared that way. Where are you Mick?

In any case I appreciate the comments and advice left so far. On a personal note I dont think all expensive HB should be shifted elsewhere cheaper, problem with that is if we do that we create Ghettos of sorts and living in mixed income brackets is always nice I think. What a more sensible solution would be would be to not allow someone who has only lived in the UK for 2 years with 9 kids to claim expensive HB, they on the other hand should be sent to the hebrides or even Mumbai which I think is cheap per square foot! However a complicated subject but as long as I can get £1667 I am happy!

Alan Loughlin

19:36 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

I would take no pleasure in saying that I told you so.

Kulasmiley

19:52 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

Peter, with respect my friend there is nothing funny about what Alan is saying. I rent to LHA tenants, and it is a process only for the thick skinned hard working landlord that is used to getting lied to. Joel has to go to HB college to understand the various rules of local HB office. Believe me, Joel can lose thousands homing a family that is/was homeless. "There is a reason for everything". I spend ALL DAY EVERY DAY in renting to LHA tenants and am forever undergoing maintenance on their properties (my assets). Joel needs to go to council first on his own and take in all the facts, ie, numbers, bond, references, added guarantor, social worker????

Graham Durkin

19:57 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

I would just like to clarify my last jotting ,it was not my intention to cause offence or seem smug , H/B tenants in some cases could present some further problems for landlords than others, but i can also say iv,e had some good ones,I think doing your homework on each tenant and reducing your exposure monetary wise will clearly assist you in the long run.

I can recall one landlord telling me to stay away from H/B,his tenant had a job,stopped paying after 1xmth,extra people staying there plus pets ,hotwired the electric supply and just waltzed off just prior to the six months,reported him to the police when they found him,they wouldn,t tell the landlord where he was due to D.P.Act .Cost him a few bob that one so you just never know till they are your tenants.

Joel Hearne

20:02 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "AA Properties Wales " at "19/01/2015 - 19:52":

Hi,

Thanks for your reply, I hear your pain but look my thinking is that councils surely cant be that bad or otherwise no one would rent to them, I mean why do you rent to them if they are so bad?

Alan Loughlin

20:04 PM, 19th January 2015
About 5 years ago

if only that were so, the real world is not that way.

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