DSS Tenants – does this video say it all?

DSS Tenants – does this video say it all?

16:11 PM, 19th June 2013, About 11 years ago 110

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I am a landlord specialising in renting to DSS Tenants – ask me anything 🙂

Update

You may remember the video’s I shared with you back in June and November? Well this is what the place I video’d in November looks like now, just three weeks later …

My original video’s from June and November are below.

Some people think I’m must be crazy to accept benefits tenants. Well maybe I am but it works for me and I have dozens of very happy tenants and a waiting list as long as your arm for my properties. I have no voids and never need to advertise. In short, this video does not tell the full story but I am happy to to tell you mine if you care to ask 🙂

Looking forward to reading and responding to your comments.

DSS Tenants - This video says it all


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12:30 PM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Mick,
I applaud your decision to open yourself and allow people to learn from your experience.
I also have experience with low income LHA tenants, many of whom are in this situation through no fault of there own. Many peoples lives have had a sudden and irreversible changes forced upon them, such as death, divorce, redundancy, some people who's coping ability may not be as resilient as our own, have in my experience, succumbed to drink , drugs or simply they have fallen "off grid" into depression. Homelessness in these cases could lead to suicide.

In our experience as Landlords, I am surprised at how many people do not know a single Homeowner to act as guarantor, some of our older tenants who have remained with us for 10 years + would not be considered today, but they have proven that it is the tenant and not the vehicle in which the rent is paid, which is the important factor.

I have been compelled to write due to the short sighted and ignorant comments left by some users of this forum,

quote "If people are given a sh*thole to live in, their behaviour will reflect the conditions they have been put in." We have all booked a holiday which has not been up to scratch but how many of us have decided to trash the hotel??

The "It needs decorating and the boiler vent" comment, made my teeth hurt it was so stupid. If people are being invited by the administrators to take part in these forums to bring heated discussion, please by their own admission let them have an interest and experience in this sector. If the agenda of these landlords is to learn from the best landlord then think before typing or better still just read .....

My own portfolio is roughly 50/50 DSS and working tenants, our average tenure is 8 years, like Mick they move within our portfolio and wait until we have a property which suits, and to this day its really down to a coin toss from above, which tenants go "bandit" due to the unforeseen circumstance most of us call real life. Without Private social landlords the most vulnerable in our society would fall through society's inadequate safety nets.

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18:36 PM, 26th June 2013, About 11 years ago

We need a few more brave individuals the likes of Mick to provide accommodation to the underclasses.
Expecting him to do things that one would do for 'normal' tenants is just plain unrealistic.
His costs would afar outweigh any profit he might make.
There has to be an acceptance that unfortunately not all tenants are the same.
HB tenants; especially the ones that don't bother working have to be treated differently.
Mick provides the basics at the correct standard.
Requiring his tenants to add their own stamp to the property; with some assistance from Mick; seems to me a pragmatic way of dealing with these tenant types.
It would seem he doesn't suffer many voids!!!................................how many LL can say that!!?
HB tenants are a different breed of people not subject to how normal people behave.
they have to be treated differently.
It seems Mick has a successful strategy and I for one would follow what he does.
It would be NO more decorating the property for the new tenants.
Mick's strategy seems an eminently sensible approach to the problems he has with HB tenants.
There is no definite way each LL should behave; but I bet Mick doesn't have the council EHO's at his properties about damp; mould, defective heating etc.
Now that would be a bad LL; Mick ain't one of those!!

Mick Roberts

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8:17 AM, 27th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Yeah, I’ve watched that video before. I’ve been doing that for years, several tenants in same house, quite common with me when 18 year old gal with baby wants to move back in with Mum & her kid. Not uncommon to get £1000pm for 50k house.

I do get asked several times by my mates, that I should check more, but my mates answer to when house is damaged, is ‘to chuck them out’. What then? I’ve then got to fix the damage. I’ve said it before I had gal smash 10 doors up in house approx 11 years ago in the first week she lived there. Approx 11 years later, she’s still there. I do understand monthly visit inspections, but for me & my tenants, it would have the opposite effect. For my business, better to have 1-2 damaged ones a year than to kick 10 tenants out every month & fix THEIR damage every month.
You do have very fair point, but it’s only the same as new builds are being built now, having kitchen diners-I think fire-break’s are more where there is bedroom with no dividing wall next to the kitchen. Council’s don’t visit their’s for years.

Every no is one step closer to a yes.
U can take me for dinner one day Vanessa, or me u, but I don’t think you’ll be getting me on camera, making me look foolish, you’ll run rings round me. And I han’t got time to travel for at least 6 months, so I’d be making a lady travel. Mark has my number-Only Mon-Fri 8-5 calls though if it’s about work, by all means send me a joke after hours, but note work after 5pm.

John, I din’t open myself, I think Mark co-erced me into it ha ha. And seems u have similar experience to me.

Ha Ha Paul, u say what I’d like to say, but then if some of my good HB tenants heard me generalising, they’d think I’m talking about them. The bad ones wouldn’t mind at all & have in the past signed stuff ready to be interviewed about their serious plight & how they will readily admit they are crap with money & ‘If u give me the LHA, I will spend it’. I even had one sign she spent it at the weekend with the Bosnian refugees on booze & pizza & had a great weekend, but please don’t send me any more LHA otherwise I will have another great weekend at your expense.
I used to have the EHO’s, never about heating ‘cause the instant they bell or text me, the plumber gets told. If they can. I Iet them contact him direct, saves me a job. EHO’s used to come about mould, but they don’t anymore when they hear it’s one of mine, unless the EHO don’t know me, they know most mould (not all) are generally caused by something the tenant is doing. I had one a few months ago, her senior knew me, she belled me first, I sent her the dog poo back garden pics & I mean POO ALL OVER, she more or less refused to come out, if u want them pics Mark, let me know.
Paul, here’s a common text I am having to send to my tenants quite regular for them to get a FREE more efficient boiler, if u was fitting me a FREE boiler, u could come at midnight:
Dave, boiler people are trying to ring u to fit your BRAND NEW COMBI CONDENSING BOILER FOR FREE! U hant got to go to work for it. U hant got to travel for it. U hant got to pay for it. All u have to do is just ruddy answer the phone and be there when they come and we can replace your broken down boiler.

Jonathan Clarke

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9:12 AM, 27th June 2013, About 11 years ago

Doors yes - the council should provide proper punch bags to families with anger management issues. I`ve lost count of the ones I have have damaged. The tenants promise to replace them but never do. I like trying to guess by working out from the height of the punch hole damage which member of the family lost their rag. It makes them laugh about it and reduces the tension.

Micks got it right again. I use the EHO as project managers as well but I dont pay their wages so its a free service. I invite them in to do their survey then they print out a list of what is a `must do` legal list and what is a` nice to do list`. I then give it to my guys to fix. Everyone`s happy then - the tenant, EHO, SS and me. I got one coming at 2.15 today. I will send my guy around to meet them and they will chat about the technical side of window locks, fire doors and lighting circuits. The list will be sorted but my time is freed up to concentrate on what i do best .

Streamlining everything is the key to good effective management

r01

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20:08 PM, 2nd July 2013, About 11 years ago

Well, how refreshing to find landlords like Mick & Jonathan taking on the worst tenants (from my perspective) and finding innovative ways to deal with them. Clearly, you guys speak their language whilst other landlords sadly fail to even communicate with them.

Perhaps the local authorities could learn a lesson or two from you guys. Sadly though, they'll probably pass a whole raft of legislation to put you out of business 'cos that's what authorities guided by so-called social landlords seem to do. "cutting off the nose to spite the face" seems an appropriate quote.

I've only ever had one HB couple and they wrecked my place so I never took HB again and have never had a problem since, but these people still have to be housed.

Keep it up, the housing crisis certainly needs you guys and I for one doff my hat to you.

R

Pauline McDougall

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22:05 PM, 2nd July 2013, About 11 years ago

I have 30 properties ranging from a detached bungalow value £250,000 to an ex colliery house value £20,000. 80 percent of my tenants are on housing benefit and are no bother at all. The worst tenant rented my most valuable house for 4 years and paid the rent on time. She was a social worker in child care and I assumed that as her job involved making judgements on home conditions of children in the child protection arena, I did not need to check the property. When she left the property it had to be seen to be believed, filth, damage and destruction, a green and black mouldy fridge, filthy oven, garden covered in animal excrement and the toilet!! The least said about that the better. I subsequently let it for 6 months to tenants on housing benefit at a reduced rate and they cleaned it up and decorated. I am always kind to my tenants, flexible within reason and respectful to them. I never have an empty property, I never need to advertise and never take a deposit. I find that if I get a tenant in on the day I get the keys to a property then that is worth forgoing a deposit, especially as I am saving on council tax, utility bills and have rental income from day one. In 20 years I have had 3 tenants who left dirty damaged houses and one who left owing £2000. I am very happy with the DSS tenants that I have.

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6:26 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 11 years ago

Pauline;
You were and are fortunate that you could take the risk on HB tenants.
I cannot take the risks you have as I don't have any spare monies if I do end up with a wrongun tenant.
This means I have to have RGI on the tenant which means very few; if any HB tenant would qualify!
You have been fortunate that you have only been stung lightly and have been able to cover the situation.
NOT many small LL can manage this scenario.

Mick Roberts

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7:12 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 11 years ago

I have had local authorities Housing Strategy whoever they are, ask me for advice, but that’s mainly on HB issues, not how to deal with the HB tenant in the house.
I get sick of telling, but no listening, as with the Government, same as this bedroom tax now, how come some of us on the bottom with these people know a lot ain’t gonna’ be paying it, it’s gonna’ cost more to implement than the Government receives, & that is now becoming apparent, why did I & loads of others know this several months ago, but the Govt chaps that went to Eton didn’t?

One of my tenants is part-time cleaner & she ain’t the cleanest.
Yes quick good tenant is worth taking deposit weekly to me.
And I am very 99% happy with my DSS tenants-Just when they ruddy leave they fail a bit.
I’ve had 5 tenants do house swaps at the weekend. All of ‘em filled bins, left loads of rubbish, all blaming the other. They get to new house, say the way old tenant has left this is disgusting-Yet the one she has just left is as bad if not worse in cleanliness. It’s like they can’t see their own stuff. And we all know when u sell & buy your house, homeowners, u just don’t & ain’t allowed to leave full bins & a skip full of rubbish.

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8:36 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 11 years ago

Perhaps I misunderstand; but iIthought the BT only applied to social housing.
Of course if the domestic circumstances of a HB change in the PRS then their LHA is reduced.
So if a 3 bed property was commensurate with their domestic circumstances and then these change then they are paid the LHA for that circumstance.
However nothing prevent the LL accepting the reduced LHA for that tenant.
LHA is awarded on the basis of domestic circumstances.
You cannot expect the LHA to be the same for those changed domestic circumstances.
NOTHING prevents a PRS LL renting a 3 bed house to a tenant who now only qualifies for a 2 bed house.
BUT the LL will have to be prepared to accept less HB; effectively that which be awarded for a 2 bed property.
There is NO such thing as a spare room subsidy in the PRS.
LHA has always been awarded on the basis of domestic circumstances.
If they change then LHA is adjusted up or down.
This was always done way before the spare room subsidy was introduced for social housing tenants.

Jonathan Clarke

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9:33 AM, 3rd July 2013, About 11 years ago

BT doesnt affect PRS.
LHA rate goes with the person not the property.
So someone entitled to 3 bed rate can take a 2. Better yields.
As long as its not classed as overcrowding.
A dining room can be a bedroom as can a lounge. £300 pcm per room if needs be
The council use that rule to their advantage by saying they wont rehouse someone if they have a baby as the living room is a livable room in effect as a bedsit. Foldaway bed etc. Not ideal but every space is squeezed these days

Ive got some big units where the utility room is about 7` x 3` with window. It fits a standard mattress and affords the user privacy. I know some landlords use that ( i dont) as a bedroom. For instance east european builders on a site. They are quite happy with the set up and they pay maybe 200 pcm for it.

It may come to it that a council will say that is now legit bed space for say up to 2 year olds and whose to say its not. Its a hideaway for them and an exciting space they can call their own. They make it a den . The japanese have those pods in the city for workers during the week. They are just one up from a coffin. All legit.

My loft is only a 4 foot high pitch with velux. It can fit 7 double mattresses. What a sleepover that would be for 14 mates. Remember tents in the garden and youth hostels. You only have to visit 3rd world countries to compare my loft with their conditions. Mine would be 10 fold better living conditions. No open sewer running outside my door. There is a balance to be had. Aim for the best standard as a country yes but think how bad it could be. England has lots of poverty of course but its the world perspective which should be brought in to be the real judge. Just my view

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