My tenants want to apply for social housing?

My tenants want to apply for social housing?

0:04 AM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago 39

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Hello, I am a private landlord. I had my tenants before 2016. They have been on a rolling tenancy since the AST fixed term expired.

I also had a ‘Deed of Guarantee’ signed by their guarantor when they moved in. We have been on good terms with each other.

My tenants have small children. They are claiming benefits for rent but I don’t know what they are claiming (Universal Credit, Housing Benefit …?). The current cost of living hit them hard. They would like to apply for social housing.

They have asked me to give them a notice of possession (they call it a ‘leave notice’), so that they can get into the queue for social housing. They think this the most straightforward way to do it. They also promised to pay me the rent while they are on the waiting list for social housing.

If I don’t/can’t give them the notice, then they will not pay the rent. So, I would be forced to give them the leave notice.

I am not clear if I should give them a notice and how it will affect me. I need the rent payments as this is my main income.

I do not want rent arrears. On the other hand, are there any disadvantages me (as a Landlord) giving them an eviction notice before my tenants stop paying their rent (going into arrears)?

What happens if they stop paying the rent after I give them a (Section 21) notice?

Thank you,


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Luke P

16:18 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by MFL at 08/03/2023 - 15:08
You can serve both (at the appropriate times), yes...but don't be that LL that panders to their system-playing.

If they want out, let them give you notice; if they don't, but continue to pay the rent, then no problem; if they don't give you notice *and* don't pay the rent, just issue s.8 notice for arrears. If you serve them notice and they later say they left earlier in that six-month s.21 validity period than they actually did vacate, then you would be on-the-hook for council tax (from their *stated* date).

Reluctant Landlord

17:13 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Angel at 08/03/2023 - 12:26
do both cover all bases. Just because you issue does not mean you have to progress either or both at expiry.

Reluctant Landlord

18:01 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

at the end of the day the reason the tenant has requested you to serve them notice as they clearly think that this is the best way to get a council house/other, that is going to be cheaper rent - otherwise they would be staying put I assume.
If its all about the rent then they have laid their cards on the table and they have looked into it and thought if the LL is going to give me notice anyway then if I dont pay the rent its not going to make any difference.
You can either 'enlighten' them to the reality (will they believe you as a LL anyway?) or be seen to be complying with their wish - at the same time as battening down your hatches and working out the best scenario/outcome for you in this situation.
I personally would go with a S21 straight off - that ticks their box in their eyes. Inevitably they will go straight back to the council to show this with the belief that they can then get themselves somehow 'logged' onto the housing list...
They have then nailed their flag to the mast. The council will either take their duty seriously and move them (to where??lol!) or as per standard procedure tell them to wait to be evicted.
You are in control. Remember IF they wanted to move without causing a stir they could at any time. That is the right of a tenant and they can give notice themselves. It is not your fault they cant do this (for whatever reason) but by their action now they are holding you to ransom.
Game on!
If you are not sure who pays their rent cover both bases...
1. Send a request off to DWP via UC47 for direct rent payment in addition pinging off an email to the Partnership Manager of the area where the property is to explain the situation that they have said they are withholding rent (prob due to cost of living) but now risk homelessness (you dont need to confirm you have sent them a S21!). Tell them all you are trying to do is secure their tenancy etc as they are clearly struggling - never not paid rent in the past etc blah blah blah
1. At the same time a swift email to Housing Benefits to say the same thing - that you wish to have direct payments as tenants have expressed that they will be withholding rent and therefore making themselves at risk of homelessness (again you dont have to mention the S21 and play dumb about not knowing anything about it being 'intentional' or otherwise. State you think its because of cost of living etc and you are trying to help them sustain their tenancy. NB The Council will more than likely contact the tenant to state that a request has then been made. If the tenants refuse to allow HB to be paid to you directly then the council have it from the horses mouth they are intentionally not paying then they shoot themselves in the foot. The council could still pay you regardless as clearly this is a no brainer option as they don't want them back on their list and it costs them nothing more than they are already paying - just it going to a different payee.
This may mean you get all/majority of the rent paid until possession but not the top ups if they pay any. Better something than nothing!
If you get confirmation from DWP/HB that they will pay the rent direct from X date onwards great. If nothing is incoming by the next expected rent payment date then send out a S8 as they you have quantifiable arrears. (If the same by month 2 then send off UC47 for rent arrears and ask for deductions to be made. Contact HB find out how to progress with this too ( its been a while since I had a HB tenant so have forgotten but there is a way!)
If the tenant kicks off at any point after the S21,then you can simply tell them you only did what they asked for and remind them that if the rent remains UNPAID then you have to declare arrears and therefore they will by default not be looked at favourably by the Council/HA (send them a copy of the Council/HA form/actual policy that gives detail about arrears and what classes as intentionally homeless (each council has something to this effect on their website).
What you are doing is just telling them the truth. Tell them to go to the CAB if they want more detail!
Go straight to accelerated possession as soon as possible. Now you are in control. You have done all you can to get rent paid as but if you dont have it now then you have to bite the bullet. Now is the time to get them out asap.
Any damage/rent arrears at eviction then go for the full deposit to cover this. You could remind them that pre bailiff (if it comes to this) photos of any damage will be sent to the Council and they will be inevitably added to their housing list application. Copy in the before rental photos to so the council can see a comparison.
Yes cause them to sting - they are trying to play the system and dragging you into it. Rise above and cover your own butt!
Clear up if necessary and up the rent to bang on market rate and look for another tenant. That may also help top off set any losses .

Luke P

20:18 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 08/03/2023 - 18:01
That’s a good point …serve the s.21, thus giving them what they want, just don’t utilise it upon expiry.

If/when they don’t pay, serve a s.8 (whilst applying for direct UC).


20:20 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Sounds to me like you are being "blackmailed" into assisting with a "fraudulent manipulation" of the Social Housing rules.

I bet the request was verbal? I'd want the request and threat of non payment in writing at very least.

Even then I'm not sure I'd want to issue a S21 as that implicates you.

If they decide to stop paying, then straight to S8, but make it clear you will pursue guarantors for both rent and costs.

If we as landlords don't want a reputation of being "shady", we need to be squeaky clean. Dishing out S21 when you don't actually want the house back may draw attention if you immediately re-let it to someone on benefits.


21:43 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Smiffy at 08/03/2023 - 20:20
I agree with Smiffy 100%. I also can't see how the s21 can benefit the landlord in anyway. Unless the landlord actually wants the tenant to leave. The disadvantages are: 1. the tenant can leave after the s21 expires without giving notice. Therefore, you are unlikely to have another tenant lined up, as this is a scam to get a council property. 2. The s21 won't give the tenant what they want and encourage them to stop paying the rent (once they become aware they need to be evicted in order to be considered legally homeless. Being deemed as 'intentionally homeless' is an issue though. 3. the landlord could be held accountable for fraud. 4. It weakens the landlords position as the tenants think they can manipulate the situation.
The two sides need to talk and to work together. The tenants need to work on their finances and if they are making threats be aware the landlord will pursue the matter if they get into rent arrears. Therefore, pursue the guarantor, get HB/UC paid directly to them and also follow the eviction proceedings. Landlords can also ask for deductions from their benefits to gradually pay off rent arrears. If they are really struggling with housing costs they can also apply for DHP.

Daniel Lewis

22:35 PM, 8th March 2023, About A year ago

Your tenants need to think this through very carefully, they will not automatically be eligible for a social housing property once they make an application it will need to be assessed depending on the social landlords allocations policy. If they are eligible they will not be treated as a priority as they are not homeless and If they are eligible to join the council or a housing association list they could still be waiting years before they are offered somewhere to live because serving a section 21 notice doesnt mean eviction, if they want to be evicted that is a lengthy and costly process and they could be found to be intentionally homeless at the end of it especially if they stop paying rent. If they want social housing on affordability grounds they can apply without the section 21 and will be placed in the appropriate banding. Also social housing landlords will want a reference from you and may refuse to give them a property if they owe you money.
Hope this helps

Tom Jenkin

6:49 AM, 9th March 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Graham Bowcock at 08/03/2023 - 10:23
Even if they get evicted, they will not get a house straight away unless one of the children has a disability.
They will be placed in a B&B for a minimum of 3 months and probably 12 months.
In Lewes there is a 17 year wait for social housing.
If they are struggling they should contact the council and apply to the hardship funds , this will top up there housing benefit to the full rent charged and not the LHA rate which has no changed for 11 years.

This is the big problem with people on HB it is based on the LHA rate which has not been raised since 2012 , so in Lewes the LHA for a 1 bed flat is £599/month and £649 for a 2 bed , average rent for a 1 bed in the Lewes area £735/month.

This is the reason your tenants are struggling because the LHA has not been increased so they now have to more of there earnings to pay the rent .


8:16 AM, 9th March 2023, About A year ago

This happened to me. I went along with it as the tenants also offered to pay for notices I had to serve all the way to eviction. Basically a tenant had outgrown my flat ( 3 kids) and the only way to get a council house was to be evicted. I even got a call from the council asking why I wanted my flat back. Also they would only get it if they had no rent arrears. I said a relative wanted to move in. At the end of the day I helped them and they helped me. It’s a broken system but it’s not your responsibility. Do what’s right for you and help them if they’ve been good tenants.


9:30 AM, 9th March 2023, About A year ago

Hi. Sorry you are in that situation. Many private landlords have same issue.
Thing is even serving notice 21 won't speed up their right for social housing. Only eviction notice will and for that you need to go to court. Spend some money. If you have insurance for landlords they not covering bailiff and that's another cost. My friend just paid almost 2 k for evicting people from her house.
Other thing is if they will stop paying for rent they will be removed from social housing list for good as even councils don't want people who don't pay. If they have benefits they probably covering most or all of their rent so there will be no excuse to not pay you. You can always demand from UC to pay directly on your account.
Be carrfull as you might have more problems when serving them notice 21

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