‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

by Property 118

16:06 PM, 4th March 2019
About A year ago

‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

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‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

Responding to an announcement from the Government that it plans to work with stakeholders to address the issue of ‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector, John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association said:

“Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis. But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector we need to do more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

“This means giving all tenants the right to choose if they want to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord, working with bank lenders to remove mortgage terms that prevent landlords renting to benefit claimants and ending the Local Housing Allowance freeze which has meant benefits bear little resemblance to rents.”

RLA research has found that the average amount owed by Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears increased by half from just over £1,600 in 2017 to almost £2,400 in 2018.

Around two thirds of the largest buy-to-let mortgage lenders do not allow landlords to rent property to tenants receiving housing benefit.

However, recently the Natwest Bank has bowed to pressure and lifted its criteria restriction prohibiting DSS tenants to rent.

Research by Manchester Metropolitan University for the RLA has found that 53 per cent of landlords reported that the gap between the Local Housing Allowance and local market rent was more than £50 a month. Almost 25% said the gap was over £100 a month.



Comments

Paul Shears

12:53 PM, 9th March 2019
About A year ago

Yet more empty headed government crap.
So I am to be denied the right to not waste everyone's time by making my tenant criteria crystal clear.
Fine you idiots!
So now I will just have benefit tenants applying who have absolutely no chance of being accepted.
Great! Well done bureaucrats!

Deoniaeth

18:46 PM, 9th March 2019
About A year ago

I dread the phone ringing and taking on DSS tenants I have not had one that has not done me yet . When they stop paying the rent and the DSS take over , if there is a hick up they just stop paying and refuse to tell you why. When I evict them they tell the tenant to stay there until the bailiff arrives is this law or just something they have dreamed up over the years.

terry sullivan

19:15 PM, 9th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Deoniaeth at 09/03/2019 - 18:46
it is not law--in fact council could be in contempt

John Dace

12:33 PM, 11th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 09/03/2019 - 11:26
Reply to David Price, i agree - that was my point. I’m saying we should be allowed to decide what risk we want to take. If we are forced to consider DSS or other higher risks - we should be allowed to charge extra. So maybe “DSS 3000% premium” is used instead of “no DSS”

AJ

13:05 PM, 11th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by John Dace at 11/03/2019 - 12:33
Young drivers with no experience pay a premium on their car insurance, older people pay a premium on their life insurance. People with poor credit ratings pay interest on money they borrow, this we all accept as normal business. So as John says DSS applicants should pay a premium.

Annie Landlord

21:07 PM, 11th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by LANDLORD 35 at 09/03/2019 - 10:50
That isn't shelter's case. They are saying that blanket 'No DSS' policies "may" be unlawful under The Equality Act, because full HB/UC claimants are predominantly women and women are therefore most likely to be affected by it. The policy "could", therefore, be ruled discriminatory on gender equality grounds. Just clarifying! Don't shoot the messenger:)

Mick Roberts

15:14 PM, 12th March 2019
About A year ago

Excuse my delay, up to me neck in it with HB tenants being switched to UC & then no rent coming in for 5 weeks & the Govt wonder why tenants are in arrears or more in arrears as soon as they get switched to UC. Don't take a Labrador to work that one out, does it.
I've told Shelter to take me to court, they haven't replied.
It's ok looking at tenants on a case by case basis, but the UC system is big Mother case that all UC & Landlords have to abide by & be abused by.
Frank Field MP who's the main man in the works & pensions committee got in touch with me a few weeks ago hes' going to inquiry this month to talk about why Landlords won't take HB. Well the Govt are looking at saying we naughty boys & MUST take HB, but Frank is using me & I've asked him to get other Landlords on the ground, as evidence, as we WANT to take HB, we just CAN'T at moment.
Main jist of my stuff is in here:
https://www.24housing.co.uk/opinion/why-i-dont-take-housing-benefit-tenants-anymore/
This more or less explains to Shelter from me and many HB Landlords why we don't take HB and Universal Credit any more
And some short text here:
I've loved HB for years and even I am now stopping taking HB.
Why don't shelter come and ask us why we not taking HB instead of telling us we must.
I want to take HB, but can't any more as with Universal Credit, we just don't know if we gonna get paid. I have 4 UC tenants so far, all in arrears from the outset. 100% failure rate.
Fix the system. I can fix it in 4.6 seconds. Did the same with HB LHA in 2012 and it started working again.
So SO EASY to solve if the imbecile Govt and UC DWP listened.
I am now discriminating against DSS DWP UC. Come ask me why.

Robert Mellors

15:37 PM, 12th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Annie Landlord at 11/03/2019 - 21:07
If it is a Government policy (e.g. Universal Credit) that is CAUSING landlords to discriminate against people on benefits (and the majority fall within a particular group, e.g. women), then surely it is the Government policy itself which is discriminatory, in exactly the same way as their Right to Rent policy has just been ruled unlawful due to it causing landlords to discriminate against non-UK citizens.

Perhaps Shelter and the like should bring a case against the Government's Universal Credit policy itself (or some of the Housing Benefit policies), as that it is those policies that inevitably cause landlords to discriminate. - The same (business viability) arguments apply, as stated in the recent Right to Rent case judgment.

Perhaps the RLA (who were part of the Right to Rent case) could utilise their expertise from that case, to bring a similar legal case against the Government's welfare benefit policies (i.e. those policies that force landlords to discriminate)?

Mick Roberts

15:41 PM, 12th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 12/03/2019 - 15:37
Exactly that Rob, Government policy itself which is discriminatory.

Me & u have been taking UC HB for years & would have continued to do so, but We've asked the Mortgage Lender 'Can we not pay u for 18 months while UC does not pay this tenant?' And the Lender said No, they need paying.

Yes, it takes ICE who regulate DWP (Who get funded by DWP-That's the truth) to investigate UC complaints where u are getting no UC rent money from tenant. U quite clearly know what is the easy solution, but ICE can't look for 18 months.

Annie Landlord

0:34 AM, 13th March 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 12/03/2019 - 15:37
Yes I agree. Its government policy that is causing the problem. Landlords have to be able to assess and manage risk. To me that doesn't mean a blanket ban on benefit claimants, but making individual risk assessments, such as can I get RGI for this tenant, can I get a guarantor, can I get bank statements that demonstrate affordability. The problem is, that isn't what Shelter wants, and it isn't what government or councils want, because there is nowhere for those benefit claimants to go! They are trying to force landlords to abandon any form of risk assessment and solve the housing crisis for them.

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