DSS Tenants and Pets Considered “subject to guarantees”

DSS Tenants and Pets Considered “subject to guarantees”

21:12 PM, 15th August 2012, About 11 years ago 10

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If you want to get your phone ringing off the hook next time you advertise a property to let just add the words “DSS Tenants and Pets Considered subject to guarantees.”

In this readers letter yesterday several landlords shared their horror and dare I say naivety of the law in some of the comments they left.

DSS tenantsIt is not a criminal offence for a person not to pay their rent, no more so than refusing any other household bills, perhaps with the exception of taxes.  You will not go to prison for failing to pay your gas or leccy bill, nor your phone bill.

Yes, you stand a good chance of damaging your credit history if you don’t pay your bills and in extreme cases you may even be declared bankrupt but off to prison you are NOT.

Like it or lump it, they are the rules we all play by.

Therefore, if you are worried about letting your property to a tenant who might not pay their rent or might damage it or have a pet that damages it you have three choices:-

  1. Refuse to let your property to them
  2. Take the risk and suffer the consequences
  3. Protect against your risks
It’s all very well knowing that you COULD make somebody bankpupt if they damaged your property or failed to meet their committments but how much will that cost and will you be any better off as a result?
The answer is really, REALLY simple. Choose option 1) or 3).
Let me expand on option 3) a bit.
Anybody can find themselves in a position where they can’t afford to pay the rent. They could lose their job, their partner could lose their job, they could be long term sick, their partner could leave them etc.

So how can landlords protect themselves without saying NO to DSS tenants or tenants with Pets?

Say YES, subject to tenants being able to get a guarantor who passes credit referencing and who you can take Rent Guarantee Insurance against.
OK, so lots of tenants will say they can’t and that’s fine. I’d love to be able to finance a 100 metre yacht but chances are I’d get declined – such is life 🙁
However, in the same way that some people can get finance for a 100 metre yacht, DSS tenants and people with pets can also get guarantors.
Trust me, if you add these words “DSS Tenants and Pets Considered subject to guarantees” to your next advertisement you will have more telephone calls than you can possibly cope with.
When you give it a try and don’t know what to do next due to the phone ringing off the hook, email your question to me or post it as a comment below.
It’s not rocket science is it?

PS – You can arrange referencing of guarantors and 12 months rent guarantee insurance for less than £100 these days.

PPS – tenants with pets and DSS tenants who can get guarantors tend not to move out. They pay their rent and stay pretty much forever! WHY? because they can’t find another landlords that will take them, that’s why 🙂

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Rog Brown

19:14 PM, 16th August 2012, About 11 years ago

It took me a while to get my head round it, but in the end its not rocket science.
Tenant moves in with guarantor or insurance. They never want to leave, so no void period. Now theres a nice saving of one month rent on average every 18 months. Not to mention the set up fees. If they do any damage, they have to live with it. You fix it if they eventually move out, and charge it to the guarantor. SIMPLES!!!!

0:35 AM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

So what would you do if the guarantor refused to pay!?
Take him to court? What if no equity in property as its been taken up by charges applied by credit card companies and he has no job.
Then you would have a problem.
It ain't simples I'm afraid.
Granted under normal circumstances you would be successful; but it is not guaranteed.
Now if you ensured that a guarantor qualified and you took out on him a RGI polcy; that gives you far better security.

8:07 AM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

This video may put u off taking pets-The dog chewed the ACTUAL STAIRS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WRT8yNFsjs&list=UU1_dGtaUBYP9TKGGPShpJwQ&index=1&feature=plcp

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:48 AM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

That's a very scary movie Mick. I too have seen damage like that but never in one of my properties. There are some very simple steps that I take to ensure that I never have to do a check out video inventory which turns out like this >>>

Presumably you didn't pop around after they'd been there for a month to see how they were getting on with the property? Maybe they took the pet in mid tenancy? If you had been in regular contact with your tenants chances are you would have known about that too. My tenants tell me if they are taking in a new pet. I always get excited for them and ask if I can pop around to meet the new member of their family. I then arrange something after a few weeks. If there's a problem it gets dealt with very quickly. No animal can do that much damage in a few weeks Mick.

If you had visited their former home I think you may have had a clue what to expect of these tenants too.

10:05 AM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

Nativity of the law? Is your mind turning to Christmas already?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:25 AM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

LOL - good spot Paul. I've now corrected the typo.

Christine Howard

13:39 PM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

Please tell me an Insurance Company which will allow us to let a property to a DSS tenant?
Direct Line certainly won't and I am unable to find one. Once the policy is up for renewal - a tenant must be either retired, disabled or working!

16:39 PM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

Also read, the posts by Ben Lewis on this site about the problems of invalidation of insurance caused by non-disclosure of criminal offences etc
Very worrying, especially as LHA claimants tend to have criminal records compared to a normal PRS tenant who passes a RGI check.
Very few LHA claimants will be able to pass checks like that.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

17:06 PM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

I thought the outcome of that debate was that insurance would NOT be invalidated in the event of an unrelated tenant having a criminal record on the basis that insurers do not ask that question and no readers could find any exclusions in this regard in the T&C's of their insurance policies? Please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

17:14 PM, 17th August 2012, About 11 years ago

No I have no reason to doubt what you advise.
You are going to be more right than me!
I shall therefore presume that there would be nothing to be concerned about.
But I would still advisr my tenant to ensure that if ever asked his status is the same as when he took out the tenancy.
Very few insurers, if any would check an employment status of a tenant.

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