Helping your tenants to pay the rent

Helping your tenants to pay the rent

8:47 AM, 13th April 2022, About 2 months ago 8

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Would an extra £10,000 per year help your tenants pay their rent?

If any private landlords still have (or accept) tenants in receipt of welfare benefits, or on low incomes, it is in your interest to ensure that your tenants are receiving the maximum benefits that they are entitled to. Why? so they:

Have more personal income so can afford to pay their rent.
Can be exempt from the Overall Benefit Cap (so entitled to more housing costs).
Can pay their utility bills.
Can feed their families and heat their home (so less chance of damp and mould).
Are less likely to suffer from relationship breakdowns or further health problems due to financial hardship.

I have 22 years experience of helping people who have physical or mental health issues to claim the disability benefits they are entitled to, and I offer a “no win, no fee” claim service, which often obtains benefit increases for eligible tenants of over £10,000 per year (maximum Personal Independence Payment, plus premiums). However, you don’t need to use my personalised service for this, you can encourage your tenants to contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), or other benefits advice agency, to check if they may be entitled to Personal Independence Payments (PIP). Some CABx also have benefit caseworkers who can help the tenant complete the forms, (and maybe carry out mandatory reconsiderations, and appeals?).

This really can make a huge difference to a tenant’s income and it could be the difference between them paying the rent and keeping their tenancy, or them being unable to pay their rent and losing their tenancy.

With the current rise in the cost of living, it is more vital than ever that people maximise their incomes.

Robert Mellors



Comments

by DSR

11:41 AM, 13th April 2022, About 2 months ago

I completely see where you are coming from Robert and I have offered to help tenants in this situation in the past (nothing actually to do with securing the rent as a consequence).

The issue is it comes down to tenants themselves to actively pursue this and in most cases they don't bother for whatever reason. They all know they can approach the Council advice line, the housing department, social services, mental health... the local CAB and other agencies like Age UK...

I am also sorry to have to bring up the most obvious point. We are landlords - should we be really going down this route of becoming essentially a CAB ourselves? I find in many cases it comes back to bite you in the bum. Once you offer help - you are the first port of call thereafter.

We should be advising tenants go to the people that ARE specialists in this field not taking on the burden of assistance personally. It sounds heartless but the government have put them in the position, the government should be helping them.

I house tenants - I do not adopt them!

Many landlords will not be accepting the 'none than perfect' tenant now so the reality will be that such tenants will not get into private tenancies from the offing. Housing such tenants and supporting their varied needs will be right back at the door of those who should be dealing with this in the first place. And we all know that its going to be a very crowded doorstep indeed....

by David Price

7:44 AM, 14th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 13/04/2022 - 11:41
I am a landlord, I provide accommodation, I do not provide mental Health services or any care services, I am neither equipped nor qualified to provide such assistance. So only perfect tenants need apply, the government has made renting toxic for all but the very best individuals with perfect credit records.

by Paul Shears

12:14 PM, 14th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 14/04/2022 - 07:44I entirely sympathise with your comments which accord with my own view.
Further to that I made an astounding discovery this morning.
I have a jointly and severally liable rental property with four sharers.
The council tax is over £2,800 per year but is only shared between three of the four tenants as one is a post graduate student nurse.
There is no discount on this and the council have confirmed that this is correct.
Further, if a second student were to replace the professional that leaves at the end of the month, then the remaining two professionals would be liable for council tax of over £1,400 each!
Yes that is right. Both I and my lead tenant have checked.
Presumably this holds true with larger shared property.

by Jonathan Clarke

10:52 AM, 17th April 2022, About a month ago

I understand why some LL`s don't want to learn about or get involved in the benefits system. Some maybe don`t have the skills to learn about it. Fair enough . I didn't, but I do now . Not as a charitable act ( even though it certainly does give me a good feel buzz to help the homeless) but principally to increase my ROI. I`m aware the councils are sluggish and obstructive much of the time . So I work around them. An employer has to work around their sluggish and obstructive employees sometimes. It goes with the territory
So I consider the `perfect ` tenant not to be the one necessarily with the A1 credit rating but in some of my properties - a benefit tenant . But you have to have the ability to think laterally on this . So if I can get say an extra £200 pcm on a unit by learning a bit about the benefit system then it is a good payback for my time . As LL`s we have many skills and have to know 150 odd bits of legislation anyway . If I do a bit of extra self tuition which I did my hourly rate of return increases exponentially in the years ahead .
Say you have 10 units and earn an extra £200 pcm per unit that`s a £2000 pcm uplift or £24,000 pa . Over 20 years thats nearly an extra half a million in income . When i sat down 25 years ago to learn about it all, it took me maybe 50 hours to get to grips with it all . So the pay back on educating myself back then ( plus a bit of continuing education ) has returned me in the region £10,000 per hour on those 10 units .
So some say well I am just a LL and I provide accommodation . Well so am I but there is no reason I cannot also become a part time tenancy sustainment officer as well. Its so closely related to my skill set in being a LL anyway that its relatively easy . I now though pay a private tenancy sustainment officer to do all the paperwork and support for me . Maybe £50 per tenancy . But I am the one who benefits really from the £200 pcm uplift as they are paid just an hourly rate . My extra return is now passive for that extra £200 pcm. So £150 extra for the first month and £200 for every month thereafter
My ROI is therefore circa 4800% in the first year.
That's worth looking at surely
Think laterally

by Badger

11:48 AM, 17th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 17/04/2022 - 10:52
"...tenancy sustainment officer..."

Is this somebody you employ directly within your organisation or do you contract with a commercial service?

by Jonathan Clarke

12:49 PM, 17th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Badger at 17/04/2022 - 11:48I don't employ then direct no. I`ve engaged several different ones over the years on a self employed basis who I have come across through my own networks. They are often not exclusive to me but often have other employed / volunteer roles within housing charities , housing associations , mental health teams etc . They do this type of work as part of their daily remit anyway so its just like a bit of overtime for some of them. They dont need training up and have good interpersonal skills . I pay them more than they are getting as an incentive . They often have good links with councils and dwp so are a great time saver for me . I even cultivated a Romanian contact who had created herself a niche role for her own community as a sort of ad hoc housing advisor, sourcing LL`s like me for the prospective tenants on her data base then also acting as an interpreter if required . I am very impressed in general with the East European`s ability to keep on top of their paperwork . I tend to steer clear of council housing officers though as I find they are often of poor quality have a high turnover so no in-depth knowledge and often have a negative attitude towards the PRS

by DSR

13:32 PM, 20th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan Clarke at 17/04/2022 - 10:52
when you rent to benefits tenants you end up by default being a 'tenancy sustainment officer' by default. You cant talk to the council direct even if its something the tenant is not bothered to do for themselves to ensure the tenancy continues, so you end up doing the work anyway. The problem becomes when you 'help' the tenant once you become the default - they know you need them just as much as they need you...only for a tenant perspective they milk this as much as they can....

by Jonathan Clarke

20:32 PM, 20th April 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 20/04/2022 - 13:32
I guess yes by definition of us just being Landlords we automatically also take on the role of tenancy sustainment officers . But that can apply to a greater or lesser degree to either HB or working tenants. Both sometimes get into a spot of bother .

I get my tenants to sign a letter giving myself and my support officer permission to discuss their circumstances with the council if they are LHA or DWP if they are UC. I find many just bury their head and get overwhelmed with the process so the support officer visits them at home with their laptop gives them encouragement and gets it all sorted. I also look in some cases to give the tenants cashback when its all sorted to create a win win incentive for both parties.


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