The terrible position councils put benefit renters in

The terrible position councils put benefit renters in

9:56 AM, 11th January 2019, About 5 years ago 23

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There is an article in I News yesterday titled “This single mother works full-time, but still needs housing benefit – so landlords refuse to rent to her”: click here to view.

The story is obviously about how difficult it was for a working mum to find a new home to rent after she was served a section 21 notice from her existing landlord.

However, the real juxtaposition to why benefits tenants have difficulty in finding landlords willing to take them on is shown in the advice it was reported the council gave the tenant before she moved out of her existing home:

“They told me to stay put. That if I moved out of the flat I was in it would be seen as me making myself voluntarily homeless and I wouldn’t be entitled to council housing. I explained that I had an eviction notice, but they said to wait until the landlord called the baliffs in. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”

The tenant, Limarra, subsequently ignored warning notices and contined to look for a new rental home without success or help from the council. This stress ended up seriously affecting her health. The council did later offer temporary accomodation only after the landlord obtained a possession order.

Limarra said: “They’d told me they would be able to find me temporary accommodation but the only two places available were a flat in Essex and another in Croydon, Surrey. If I didn’t accept one I would be taken off the housing list and be out on the street, so I said yes to the one in Croydon. There was no way I could travel from Essex to work each day and Nevaeh wouldn’t have been able to get to school.”

Limarra had to accept the property which had a cooker next to the bed and her daughter had to live with her grandmother.

Surely it must be obvious that Local Authorities refusal in most cases to work with landlords and often against them is a major factor in the difficulties and stress faced by benefit tenants?

Also see our recent readers question “Terrible time with council tenant and shock at how law treats landlords” Click Here

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Kate Mellor

19:09 PM, 12th January 2019, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 11/01/2019 - 23:03
Everyone seems as usual to focus on the wrong end of the problem...
PROBLEM: Not enough landlords accepting HB tenants.
GOVT et al: How can we force landlords to accept them?
QUESTION THEY SHOULD BE ASKING: Why won’t landlords accept HB tenants? How can we resolve the issues & make it a mutually beneficial arrangement?
It’s the old story of the sun & the wind competing to get the mans coat off. The wind (gov) tries to blow it off, but the man (landlord) only holds on tighter to his coat. When it’s the sun’s turn it shines down making the man so warm he no longer needs his coat & takes it off voluntarily. It strikes me that the government could take a lesson here.

Seething Landlord

0:18 AM, 13th January 2019, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kate Mellor at 12/01/2019 - 19:09
I believe that the government know full well why many landlords will not accept HB tenants but to do anything about it would require a reversal of current thinking on benefits, tenancies and attitude towards landlords. The chances of this happening are extremely remote.

Ian Narbeth

10:26 AM, 15th January 2019, About 5 years ago

It is interesting that the writer of the article does not appear to have spoken with the landlord or, if they did, have chosen not to quote him or her. The first approach is bad journalism - you should always hear the other side's view. The second is even worse and would suggest that there was a perfectly good reason for serving the s21 notice but it would have spoiled the story.
The young tenant appears honest and sensible but, sadly, is paying the price of "falling pregnant" (a euphemism for having sex with an unreliable boyfriend who is nowhere mentioned and is presumably not assisting in supporting his daughter).

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