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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Refusing DSS tenants is ‘not’ discrimination, say most landlords in poll

The practice of refusing to rent homes to those in receipt of housing benefit has been ruled unlawful this week, but insisting on ‘No DSS’ should not be considered discrimination, according to the majority of BTL landlords polled yesterday. 

The survey of more than 200 landlords from across the UK, carried out by Landlord Today, has revealed that 69% of buy-to-let landlords do not ‘accept that refusing DSS tenants is discrimination’. 

In a case that was heard at the York County Court, a 44-year-old disabled single mother of two challenged a letting agent for rejecting her application for a privately rented property on the basis of her being in receipt of housing benefit.

District Judge Victoria Elizabeth Mark ruled that the tenant had experienced indirect discrimination, with the letting agent found to have breached the Equality Act. 

But despite this ruling, landlords have hit back at claims of ‘No DSS’ discrimination.

One landlord commenting on Landlord Today stated yesterday that “there is no importance in this [court] decision”.

He added: “The owner [landlord] can rightly still choose the tenant they see fit and reject for any reason they wish to say.”

Another landlord commented: “There would be less of a problem if the government reversed the 'Prescott' imposed law which paid the benefit direct to the tenant, who is sometimes unreliable, and enabled the benefit to be paid to the landlord from day one”. 

The comments from landlords continued: “There would be .. ' less of a problem ' - if Shelter stood as Guarantor for benefit tenants, instead of taking legal action for sound business decisions.” 

Another landlord stated: “Nothing will change until the government gets rid of the clawback. There are a million reasons why an agent or landlord can reject a tenants application, all this means is they can no longer have a one size fits all "No DSS" policy which most have stopped doing anyway. There is also the constant threat of HMG meddling with the eligibility criteria behind the scenes meaning that there is also the risk that the government themselves might prevent the rent from being paid at some point in the future.” 

And finally, “This a completely hollow victory as I suspect not a single tenant on benefits will be helped by this. Shelter are milking this for all the PR they can get to boost flagging donations.”

You can read all the comments, by clicking here

Poll: Do you accept that refusing DSS tenants is discrimination?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • David Gibbs

    Also what is not mentioned is that when a landlord serves notice on a tenant on HB the council will advise the tenant to stay out until a bailiff turns up on their door. So the landlord has to pay to take the tenant to court.

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    And technically, it is illegal that Local Housing Benefit offices do give that advice.

    Of all organisations, THEY should and be forced abide by the law, which means that the date on the eviction notice is the day the tenant MUST leave........NOT wait up to 3 months more for bailiffs to arrive.

    How is it they get away with ignoring a legal requirement?

     
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    One of my previous HB tenants left the day before the bailiff taking curtains, poles, lampshades and white goods, leaving malicious damage, rubbish and a huge debt. I gave him a chance when others had discriminated against him, and it bit me badly. Whilst trying to nicely reason with him at the front door before going legal he threatened me with a screwdriver (I was pregnant) but it was him who had rights and he called the police on me for harassing him. I've rented property for 21 years now and absolutely every one that has included HB has ended in me being owed money. Who is there for the landlord when tenants milk the system? The council for telling them to stay? Shelter? My mortgage company saying have six months off? No. No one.

    Ok, not all tenants on HB are bad, and I'm sure there are many people on DSS that are worthy of a tenancy. But without a gold plated guarantor I would absolutely say no.

     
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    Who I rent to is my decision and mine alone , so the no DSS stands

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    Simple really isn't it?

     
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    Discriminating against a DSS recipient forvso being is discriminatory. Much as is discriminating against someone for their gender or skin colour.

    There is plenty wrong with the way that landlords lose out to bad tenants. But the Rachmanish behaviour of a few damages the standing of us all. And there are more votes in tenants than in landlords too !

    A good managing agent to chase up late payment on day one and to inspect one's property is not cheap but such people to me are gold dust

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    You are very Clearly Not a landlord Michael.

     
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    I hear what you are saying, but it is not as black and white as you say. A DSS tenant becomes a victim of discrimination by default, not because of who they are but because of the local authority behaviour who pay the rent on behalf of the tenant.

    An agent can chase a tenant all they like, the payment is coming from the local authority or DWP and only the tenant can talk to these bodies. Furthermore a tenant will have to be in arrears of minimum of 8 weeks before the local authority steps in. How many landlords can afford that, not many.

    What people also forget is that a lot of BTL mortgages stipulate that the tenants must be professional or working and will not accept DSS tenants.

    The nail in the coffin is when a tenant is served notice they wont move because the local authority advises the tenant to not only get a court order but a bailiffs order before they will assist the tenant in rehousing.

    Do let me know where in the above common scenario, the landlord is at fault. A landlord makes a commercial decision based on the amount of rent he/she will get not based on the social standing/status of a tenant.

    In fact in the social housing sector more than 40% of housing properties are provided by private sector landlords, so landlords do want to give back and help the system as long as the system is fair to them.

    I am a landlord and worked in social housing for over 10 years, i have rented to private and social tenants and both "I and the tenant" have been victims of THE SYSTEM.

     
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    Surely, as it is MY property, I can and will be the final arbiter of who lives in it.
    Not some unknown piece of paper can make that decision.

    Over 25 years in this business I have always insisted on having a face to face to face meeting with all potential tenants and partners and children too if any.

    If they disagree to the meeting, then I will not let the house to them.
    After all, would you hire someone without an interview? I bet not!

    And I will continue to do this. It is my right to decide who I decide to use my very expensive asset.

     
    Mark Wilson

    Micheal i agree with you. Discrimination is socially unacceptable and government needs to legislate. Some people here have a very twisted outlook and if that really is their view, then laws need to exist to keep their anti social behaviour in check. Some of the comments are so repugnant that I wonder if the are a bit tongue in chief. If they are heart felt then they really are a grim bunch.

     
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    Micheal; You have yet to experience the emotional trauma and wasteful expense an errant, conniving tenant can impart on you as their landlord.
    When this occurs, the landlords frustration to be victim of the housing laws that protect these shysters is intolerable.
    But for the consequences of illegal actions for the landlord.....some of these tenants would & should be in fear of their lives.

     
  • James B

    Survey 200 from 2.6 million landlords not the best barometer
    Anyway easy done request a guarantor or decline for another reason don’t know what all the fuss is about

  • Andrew McCausland

    I understand LL's frustration but the ruling just clarifies existing law on discrimination, and I know I won't win any friends here when I say I support the result. LL and agents need to work within the laws, not disregard them.

    Not all DSS tenants are bad and putting a blanket ban on them in your properties means you can miss out on some excellent people. LL can and should control who rents their properties but a blanket approach is not the way to do it, and opens you up to a claim for discrimination. If a LL wants to stop particular people renting their property they can legally do so on numerous grounds from lack of guarantor to issues around affordability.

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    Thank you for that.there are alot of working people who can't even pay their rent.i am unable to work because of disabilities.i am a good tenant.and I have proof but yet still I get knocked back on properties!

     
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    no thanx

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    With all the jobs going to go with furlough ending they will be a better bet

  • Paul Barrett

    I would have thought for many LL DSS LHA rates mean that the rent can't be afforded anyway.
    The issue only arises when DSS tenants can afford the market rent which in the SE would rarely occur.
    I charge double the LHA rate so I can't see me being bothered by DSS types.

    I suppose some of them might game the system by doing 16 hrs pw to obtain unlimited welfare but from my experience most of them are too lazy to even do that.

    With unemployment expected to hit 4 million all those mickey mouse part time jobs will go.
    If these DSS types can afford the rent then the easiest exclusion method is to state a RGI policy is required but that unfortunately that costs the LL to carry out checks which I am not prepared to pay.
    They can do it themselves though obviously it wouldn't be a requirement but if they didn't do it they would be rejected.

    Andrew McCausland

    Paul, you are spot on. You don't put a blanket ban on DSS tenants, just review their affordability and make an informed decision then. It takes about 5 seconds and keeps you legal - avoiding the now standard £3k+ fines plus court fees if you had adopted the blanket ban approach.

     
  • NW Soc

    In the financial services industry a Lender would not discriminate based on financial stability, they would just review the advertised interest rate offered to reflect the risk. So why can't landlords protect their investment by increasing or decreasing the rent based on the credit risk. Also what the insurance industry does. Live on a flood plain and expect higher premiums, is that discrimination of location. Same old mad world.

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    A brilliant idea actually.

     
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    Gotta be a good way forward.

     
  • Paul Barrett

    All I can say on this DSS issue is there must be some very cheap rents being charged in the SE for them to be affordable by DSS tenants.

    I suggest that perhaps most of these LL don't have mortgages.
    Irrespective of what the mortgage cost is I stress mine at 7%.
    The rent must cover this at least or the LL is setting himself up to fail when rates increase.
    At 7% I would be bankrupted.
    Low interest rates have saved me and no doubt many other LL.

    So for me it is very risky remaining a LL unless I substantially deleverage.

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    Is it discrimination for a mortgage company to decide on the basis of affordability, credit rating etc.? Of course not! No DSS is just a shorthand for credit worthy solvent tenants only. I say No Smokers which is almost the same as No DSS. The ban on No DSS just wastes everyone's time and doesn't help DSS tenants get better properties that they can't afford anyway. My practices won't change.

  •  G romit

    My understanding is that this case is for indirect discrimination i.e. there is a higher proportion of women claiming than men, so "No DSS" was indirect discrimination of gender.

    So as men generally earn more women will this make affordability a discriminatory offence?

  • Paul Barrett

    This judgement can be ignored.
    But what should occur is the NRLA should refer to the Supreme Court.
    No way would indirect discrimination be accepted.

    Just because certain genders can't afford things is not discrimination when for very sound business reasons DSS tenants are rejected.

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    I like the typo in this story: " ....the letting ganet...."

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    So as a landlord I intend to request a "disclosure scotland" from any potential tenants. It costs about £25 (and the the tenant has to applyf for it) and will inform if they have a criminal record or financial issues.. No details just a yes/no.. Then as a landlord I can select a tenant on that basis.. I work in a company building IT servers.. It compromises my position/career if I rent/associate with criminals/financial risks individuals.. Therefore DSS or not I can't rent to them.. Thats a fair non-discrimintary way of selecting the best tenant whether black,white, blue, dss or otherside.

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    Great idea. I think this is the way it should go. Tenants pay for their own referencing & they can present to multiple LL's.

    "We need you to do this check so that we know you are not on the sex offender register - We have a duty of care"

     
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    It is not discrimination. It’s a business decision. As with all other businesses , landlords have the right to assess risk - it’s as simple as that.

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    Trine - You are just so so right.
    Excellent.

    On a more basic level, in a free market environment, it normal that an entrepreneur can chose what he needs for his business and be free of Government interference.

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    So Shelter are claiming a win here are they? Makes no difference to me really. We still as LL's own the right to choose our tenant. You can still ask how they intend to finance the rent. Its always been a reasonable question.
    All this will do is create false hope & waste the DSS applicants time. Now the silver lining is some left leaning LL's that have always felt guilty (that they let a property out for gain) can take these DSS applicants on leaving us professional LL's to provide quality housing to responsible working tenants. Win Win really. Less time I'm spending on these management intensive tenants.
    These naive LL's will soon see the foolishness of their decisions in their pockets

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    I don't give a toss if its discrimination or not, IT'S MY HOUSE and I put in it whoever I want, or not.

    Most LL find out sooner or later that Dss tenants, on the whole, are a nightmare. Whether its the system at fault or the tenant, at some point more than likely you will start losing money from one of them, your house getting recked, harassed neighbors, or a whole host of other lovely problems along the way.

    Good luck if you can afford the risk of taking one on. I wont.

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    John - Excellent.

     
  • Matthew Payne

    There is way too much focus on the tenants themselves being the issue, to demonise landlords/agents and make the debate an emotional one, when it has very little to do with them at all. It is a shame that many cannot find accomodation because of the stigma attached to DSS which is centered on them apparently being 2nd class tenants, discrimination against single mothers as in this case, disabled people etc when it is anything but in the majority of cases.

    However, Shelter, and now the Courts have fanned the flames even further without even any acknowledgement that it is the system created and maintained by the government that is causing the issue, not the claimant of these benefits. Whether DSS or a privately funding employed tenant, or a company, very few landlords will elect to take a tenant when the proposition is "I have no savings or other source of income, I won't pass referencing, and the organisation that pays me my rent may stop paying it at some point without any notice, and in fact they might want some of the rent back from you, perhaps even after I have moved on, and there is nothing you can do about it. That ok?"

    Could you see many lenders underwriting mortgages on these terms? Credit cards being offered? Government agencies like Help to Buy? Yet no one seems to pick up stories where credit cards are refused, mortgages declined and run with the descrimination card, yet I am sure many single mothers like anyone else have these applications declined. Why is it acceptable to decline them (or their backers) on financial capability when they want to buy or get a credit card but not when they want to rent?

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    Its not to do with them being 2nd class citizens. Its the fact that they invariably don't compare to working applicants & make 1st class tenants.
    Can you honestly say that a single Mum on benefits is a similar tenancy as regards to management? Look at your last 6 DSS tenants and compare to the last 6 working tenants that you have taken on & tell me that the costs to have them in your property is the same? Any experienced LL knows this answer

     
    Matthew Payne

    Surely saying they are dont compare to working tenants who are 1st class and the dilaps are greater is saying they are 2nd class citizens, or is there an upper and lower section of 1st class? I am also surprised that after 1 bad tenancy, so many landlords, if this is their experience would then agree to 2,3,4,5, & 6?

    Either way it is not relevent to my point. The debate is centered around the emotional, rejecting tenants becasue they are single mums etc when it is the system that is letting them down. Sure there are bad apples in every barrel, and I am sure some are a nightmare, like other non DSS tenants can be a nightmare. If these single mums had support from a system that made sure the rent was paid on time each month, would be contractually guaranteed until the end of the tenancy, there was no clawback, and perhaps if it is important to some landlords to have a higher government funded deposit, then I am sure far more of them would get accepted.

    Or would they all still get rejected becasue they are single mums, as Shelter claims is the reason? I doubt it.

     
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    Matthew You'd make a good politician but thank you for answering the questions I didn't ask.

    So are you able to answer my question re your last six DSS tenants compared to your last six working tenants regarding management time & costs to house both types of tenants? I mean is this sector something you have experience in?

     
    Matthew Payne

    Hi Jahan

    I did 2 politics degrees actually, lol. When I was an agent I wouldn't entertain DSS applications (before blanket bans were stopped), but only because of the financial implications I have already covered, and I didnt want to expose my landlords to that kind of risk having been stung badly on clawback as well to the tune of about £20k. As as landlord myself, I judge each tenant on their merits, and have had DSS before, I have one now, touch wood I have had no problems but then context is relevant, and no it has not cost me anymore. No arrears, no evictions, no extra dilaps. I look at their entire history and get underneath why they are on benefits etc, recently I had one guy who was recovering from cancer for example, couldn't work, another was divorcing.

    The WHY they are on benefits is more important then the IF they are. Maybe you have been unlucky or your agent isn't being as thorough to understand. I appreciate there are huge variables as well in terms of geography, local employment, housing stock type etc. I have turned some DSS down, and have turned down as many who are full time employed, I can usually smell whether they are messers or not having done it several thousand times. The only two real nightmares I have had over the years were with supposedly respectable full time employed people who flew through referencing.

    Equally I am not recommending any LLs @ paulbarrett or you Jahan should acccept DSS tenants for whatever reason. My points are 2 only.

    1. Lets stick to the the facts and get away from the emotion and stigma, Shelter want to drag the debate into the gutter. Next they will say landlords want to deny children a place to live and have pets put to sleep.

    2. If those facts include that some landlords wont ever consider DSS tenants for a variety of reasons, bad experiences etc, then so be it, horses for courses, but let's be honest about that to disarm the discrimination claim, as that doesnt appear to be a driver for anyone. Equally though even in this trail you can see that there are many that would consider DSS, if the flaws in the system were addressed, including that of eviction.

     
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    Appreciate you responding Matthew. Two degrees in Politics eh Im not surprised. LL's (like me) after a while are just blunt straight to the point & as my wife says (become more miserable over the years)
    The discussion points you bring up are really the benefit system, getting paid, clawback etc that you are referring to. The other is does a DSS applicant in general make a good tenant. Of course they can I have three tenants now that I know to receive LHA. 14, 10 & 9 years respectively. They are to all . A couple that have Downs syndrome, An Eastern European & a woman of near 80 Yrs of age. All look after their properties, all polite and easy to communicate with. So your point stands really. The WHY they are on benefits.
    However there is a large amount of tenants that can only rent via HB/UC that have never worked, have multiple issues quoting depression being a popular one & yes I'm saying it: Single Mothers the most expensive tenant in anyone's portfolio. I know its generalising but its true I have the bills to prove it. Ex boyfriends kicking UPVC doors cos the baby father is back on the scene. Tenant then claims that the door doesn't close & when am I sending someone round to fix it. Boiler not working & they scream Human Rights abuses & all because the pressures dropped. Vandalism or their version of decorating without permission skills on show. High wear & tear of the carpets and walls then to top it off their mental health worker calling you up threatening & demonstrating complete misunderstanding of a law. We are automatically regarded as scum landlords when they call. Claim suspended because of 'change of circumstances' is a good one. You will say the system is to blame but then you have two weeks of pleading for them to sort the claim out to get it reinstated.

    Now this is a mere snapshot of managing a DSS/Single Mother tenant. Compare this to a working tenant and honestly none of these issues seems to occur as much. The costs of taking these tenants on are eye watering. From your remarks I don't think you've enjoyed this experience.As for Shelter. This is a business to them Polly Neate makes six figures & will go onto another six figure job like her predecessor. All by slating the private LL. They are not really bothered by homelessness. If homelessness went overnight they would have to find another job. They need it to exist. The obscene Government handout to this organisation along with subsidised charity shops, Blatant lies pushed during the pandemic by media ads. Special place in hell for them!! 
    This Matthew is why we run when we get these applicants. Do you blame us? 

     
    Matthew Payne

    No of course not, I think we agree Jahan. If you know the why, and you do a thorough assessment of the tenant you can easily distinguish between the honest, reliable people that need a break who for no fault of their own find themselves on benefits and the colourful characters aka known as "wrong uns", but its not being on benefits that's driving their differences in behaviour, its just two different types of people with different educations, work ethic, values, etc. It's a change in the system that would help the former category, tens of thousands who many landlords would support if they had their financial concerns underwritten by HMG, but many wont take the risk as it stands. Even we we took a punt at 50% wrong uns and 50% of people that deserve support, thats a lot of people who may not be getting it currently.

    And yes you are probably right, Polly cares more for her career and pension that she does for the people she claims to represent, which is why our industry should perhaps try and do what she is failing to do herself, as this judgment and her campaign so far has done nothing to help people who should not be rejected simply because they are tarred and feathered as "DSS".

     
  • Paul Barrett

    @ matthewpayne

    You make excellent points and for me what you suggest could persuade me to take on DSS tenants.
    But before that I'm afraid the eviction process for rent defaulting only would need to be a fast track process.

    I believe if LL were permitted to have HB tenants removed by Police after 2 months of rent default which is one month and one day then I believe many LL would take on HB tenants.
    But the dysfunctional eviction process mitigates against LL and so LL don't bother with these tenant types.

    Rarely do LL have a prejudice against specific tenant types.
    It is more as you suggest the dysfunctional SYSTEM which prevent LL from wishing to take on HB tenants.
    A business decision needs to be taken on each applicant.
    DSS tenants are currently a very poor business risk.
    Not their fault but we are where we are
    There are no signs of the dysfunctional UC and eviction system being amended to be effective.
    Consequently LL continue to make business decisions declining those they consider poor business risks.

  • Paul Barrett

    After this CV19 thing I won't be accepting any tenant who works in the flakey hospitality industry.

    In fact any worker who wasn't in full employment whilst this CV19 thing has been going on will be declined by me.


    So any Govt worker will jump to the head of the queue as far as I am concerned.
    Anyone in the food industry especially supermarket workers will have precedence over any hospitality workers who I regard as new DSS types and therefore poor business risks.

    Thankfully I never touched students as my opinion of students is so low that I wouldn't wish to engage with them at all.
    But certainly my initial question of any applicant will be to ask what they did during the lockdown.

    I appreciate that I would be excluding many tenants as they would be from these categories.
    My business CHOICE!

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    Not impressed Paul. May your god go with you; even though it's crass greed.
    Gives us good landlords an undeserved bad name.

    Paul Barrett

    I'm afraid your perspective on being a LL is completely flawed.

    We normal LL are subject to normal business practices.

    That is we seek to maximise our hoped for PROFIT as best as we are able.

    You may call that greedy; normal people don't.

    Where I do agree with you regarding what might be termed GREEDY LL is where such LL do not offer a decent product for top money.
    Most good LL offer quality propositions and are totally justified in seeking to maximise profit from that asset.

    LL like you who choose not maximise rents depress overall rent levels.
    But that is fine we LL know there are LL not operating as proper businesses.
    We understand this affects our market rents but that as they say is simply business.

    If I had a preference I would much prefer hobby LL like you didn't exist.
    But we are where we are and of course you have every right to conduct yourself as you do irrespective of the negative depressive effects your less than business like methods have on the market.

    But good LL offering a good product have every right to attempt to achieve maximum rent.

    You may call that greed I don't.
    It is the case that people like you are never willing to indicate at what point they deem a LL to be greedy.

    I'm sure we agree that maximum rent for a poor product offer is greed.

    We all know the LL types who have these poor product offerings.
    Few of them have traditional British names.

    So as a LL who offers an exceptional product I charge market rents.
    That doesn't make me a greedy LL.

    Oh! and as far as any reliance in any omnipetent being I have no belief in any fantasy figure.

    Religion is so much bunk.

    If people choose to have such bonkers religious beliefs then fine just as long as they don't try and impose their beliefs on ME!!

     
  • icon

    Yes, Landlords are upset because they can no longer exclude people from housing, which is an essential service in this country. What a crying shame. Stop whining snowflakes, the law is what you MUST do.

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    Sorry Sue you are wrong there we don't have to rent a property to anyone that we don't consider suitable, we just cannot say no DSS , we still will not rent to them though as we know that the chances of getting the rent paid is low

     
    Paul Barrett

    Oh! Dear another simpleton that doesn't understand that a CC ruling has NO influence or precedence over LL.

    Unfortunately for those in receipt of welfare LL are still entitled to reject any tenant prospect in receipt of welfare.

    It just means lots of wasted phone calls with the DSS prospects being rejected as soon as they reply to a question as to how they intend to pay rent.

    As soon as they reply it will be bye!!!

    Even if they could afford the rent my Council requires a valid AST BEFORE they assess someone for any potential HB award.
    Plus my lender won't allow DSS tenants.

    So obviously I will NEVER be able to let to HB tenants at the outset of a tenancy.

    Only an idiot LL would issue an AST before knowledge of a HB award would be known.


     
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    rubbish--try that in car hire shopping--you either can pay or no service

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    Not all HB tenants are bad. However, councils actually advise them to withhold rent, challenge every rent increase and send rights they do not have. Should you have a clause the council objects to, the tenant will be asked to challenge it, making a total farce of the whole point of having a contract. The council pays the tenant so if they can't pay you, then tough because the council won't make them. Should you serve notice on them for this breach, the council tells them to stay put without paying back what they owe until you go for an eviction. If you serve notice to quit, the council will go through the paperwork to make sure that it's valid and actually arm your defaulting tenant with advice in an attempt to delay/thwart recovery of what is rightfully yours. Finally, insurance companies expect a working tenants or you to pay a premium - possibly because they know DSS = giant pain in the butt. All these have happened to clients I mediate for!

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    Not all HB tenants are bad. However, councils actually advise them to withhold rent, challenge every rent increase and send rights they do not have. Should you have a clause the council objects to, the tenant will be asked to challenge it, making a total farce of the whole point of having a contract. The council pays the tenant so if they can't pay you, then tough because the council won't make them. Should you serve notice on them for this breach, the council tells them to stay put without paying back what they owe until you go for an eviction. If you serve notice to quit, the council will go through the paperwork to make sure that it's valid and actually arm your defaulting tenant with advice in an attempt to delay/thwart recovery of what is rightfully yours. Finally, insurance companies expect a working tenants or you to pay a premium - possibly because they know DSS = giant pain in the butt. All these have happened to clients I mediate for!

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    Landlords need to have laws put in place to regulate them, the amount they charge for rent is ridiculous, the government state no more than 35% of a person's income should be spent on rent, landlords end up taking in most cases more like 70%. It's disgusting how they behave, and they have no idea of the impact it has on the tenant landlords should not be able to refuse to let a property because someone has a pet, or children or if they are on benefits, how dare you presume to control other people's lives it's immoral and wrong the sooner private landlords have caps put on the amount they can charge the better, they also need only one rule of you have a property to rent and someone is in need of housing they can rent it if you don't like it sell up find another way to go on a power trip.

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    Ask a solicitor to act for you in a legal case and he will consider taking the case on, he like everyone else is fully within his rights to say no, a builder, a car mechanic, etc can all say no as can a landlord, seems to me Mr Watkins you have a problem.

     
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    I agree in principal with landlords deciding on the person but in my experience they don't. The last time me and my partner we trying to move because we had been offered jobs paying more money, btw we both received promotions within 3 months in our new jobs we were told no because we have a cat a lot. Most would not consider us because we would be in a probation period with our employers. Those who did consider us had all our information and took a couple of weeks to think about it then said no, with no regard for the impact on our lives and not a single one met with us. All went through agents and made a decision on bits of paper. If a landlord wants to decide who to rent to fine but make the decision on the person not on what a piece of paper says. We eventually did meet our lovely landlady, we pay more than letting agents said we could afford but it's a beautiful house the first month we moved in we completely redid the garden with the permission of our landlady. If you go through an agent you don't get the chance to say yes or no. There needs to be a cap on rents so that renters can afford to save up to buy their own property, high rents only prevent those who are on low wages from owning their own home that is what needs to stop.

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    For what it is worth I am one of very few landlords who will consider pets, presently I have 3 properties with pets, if the government want landlords to consider tenants on benefits they need to guarantee their rent payments or a fast track method of evicting non payers 2 months max, but lets face it that will never happen so most of us will still not be taking tenants on benefits

     
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    But a blanket ban is not the answer meet with the person talk to them and not just about their ability to pay rent but who they, their interests what their aspirations are. Some people can't work for legitimate reasons, one of my friends has severe fibromyalgia and rents when she had to move it was so hard because of the standard no benefits, it's the approach that needs to change as many have said it's a few bad apples that give the rest a bad name, you should not be allowed to turn a person down without meeting them and seeing past lines in a page

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    Unfortunately myself and most other landlords have had so many problems with tenants on benefits it has become a blanket ban, give me a sure fire way of getting rid of nonpaying problem tenants quickly then myself and many other landlords might just risk a tenant on benefits, business, what ever the business is all about minimizing risk, it's a hard world out there and that's the way it is, once bittern twice shy

     
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    Yes I agree.i had to stop work because I get very bad siatica.am no use when I get it.plus I have other health conditions.i rent in the private.sector.i have to find another property by the end of July 2020.i have been on numerous viewings for other properties.buf everytime they tell me oh sorry the landlord will not except dss.then I told them I have a guarantor.they ask how much that person is earning.they say sorry your guarantor has to be earning between 30 to 40 thousand annual.not everyone in a full time job earns that.its so unfair.so I feel stuck in this 2 bedroom flat.plus I have 3 sons.i feel so hopeless! Yes I understand theirs allways a few that spoil it for others.but everyone is an individual and it's so unfair that we on dss get labelled!!!!

     
  • Paul Barrett

    Whilst what you suggest is admirable the problem is we LL operate in a very harsh environment.

    Consequently we have to be very careful who we let to.
    There is far more to the letting conundrum that the ability of a tenant to be allegedly able to pay the rent.

    The major problem for LL is the COMPLETELY DYSFUNCTIONAL EVICTION PROCESS.

    It is this which guides LL as who they wish to risk letting to.

    It is also the case that for LL it is of no interest what the circumstances of prospective tenants are.

    It is nothing personal just business.
    We LL are NOT social housing where potentially the things you have mentioned would be considered.
    We are in the game to make PROFIT.
    If you can't afford our offer..........TOUGH!!

    Of course that doesn't mean LL lack empathy towards yours and other difficult circumstances.
    But it does mean we are NOT prepared to use our capital to subsidise such difficult circumstances.

    To me all a tenant is; is a PROFIT unit.
    If I make little or no PROFIT from my tenant profit unit then why bother being a LL!?

    Of course that doesn't mean that I try not to provide the best service I can.
    I do endeavour to provide the best service I can and am successful in achieving this to the extent that former tenants return to me.

    But despite your potential merits you must recognise that a LL may deem you as a significant business risk and choose not to offer you a tenancy.

    But what you CANNOT presume to do is to tell a LL on whom he should risk his capital on.
    That is for individual LL to decide.
    Every LL will have differing perspectives on who they consider are good business risks.

    You actually seem quite good ones.
    I have a vacant 2 bed 1st floor flat

    £1900pcm fully inclusive.

    Want it!?

    If you qualify for RGI or have a guarantor that could be even better.

    You must also remember that LL have their master they have to satisfy.
    Namely their lender.
    Lenders will not offer forbearance to mortgage defaulting LL.

    LL have to be ever so careful and pass onto tenants the harsh lender attitudes.
    Miss two mortgage payments and they will repossess.
    So you can see why it is important rent is paid!!!

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    Jimmy, if I may call you that, Paul's properties are near London hence the cost, I'm in Norwich where a 2 bedroom Victorian terraced house would cost you around £600 - £700 a month it's all about area and market rents the same as second hand cars have a market price, the difference between a Ford and a Bentley , and no I don't drive a Bentley.

     
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    Fair enough I know London is expensive I still think it's over priced but that is my opinion, the entire market is over inflated. Also the calculations for affordability on a regular mortgage is so it of date it's ridiculous according to rental affordability I personally can afford over 1100pcm in rent yet would only be able to afford a mortgage with repayments of 470pcm that is why I have such strong views on regulation of the rental sector

     
  • Paul Barrett

    Mr Watkins I provide a good service at market rents.
    Just TOUGH if some like you can't afford my rents.
    Go and find a cheaper LL as is your prerogative.
    All you are to me is a profit unit.
    I DON'T bother with those that can't make me profits.

    What would be the point if my doing so!?
    I'm in the game to make profit.
    If I can't I will leave the PRS as in fact is my intention despite making profit.

    There are too many negatives for me to remain a LL.
    So I will be selling up depriving future tenants of 4 rental units as I won't be selling at discounted prices to other LL.

    Full retail prices for me.

    If it wasn't for possible profit my capital would be sitting socially useless in a savings account.
    It will be returning there shortly as I get out of the PRS

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    Well I'm glad you're leaving maybe look at stocks and shares it's a good time to invest at the moment as the covid crisis has pushed a lot of prices down, personally I only buy shares that pay dividends and reinvest the dividends in to more shares, compounding is a much better way than ripping tenants off

     
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    would any of you rent to someone on partial HB with 6 months upfront and a 14 year rental history all with one landlord with no late or missed payments. the whole 14 years was on partial HB with no issues.

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    Possibly, not all HB tenants are bad ones, but so many are and the way things are the risk is just too high

     
    Paul Barrett

    Yep you would be a prospective tenant that many LL including me would be interested in.
    Your ostensible initial provenance seems sound.

    But could you afford my inclusive rent of £1900pcm?
    I would allow you to have lodgers to share costs.
    On an exclusive basis £1700pcm
    Utilities are roughly £300pcm.
    But how would you know what HB award would be available as East Herts District Council won't consider a HB application until the tenant has a valid AST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Only a complete fool would issue an AST without knowing for certain sufficient income was available.

    See the problems!?

     
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    paul barrett- having 6 months upfront allows me to sort HB or universal credit plus it's easy to find out roughly what your entitled to, we have grown up children working who contribute. I took a break from working to get 2 autistic children independent, my husband works full time. if I worked this wouldnt be an issue. I can totally get why landlords dont rent to HB but each case should be judged on merit. Rent is priority over all other Bill's and I have the bank statements to prove it but no one will give me the time of day

     
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    NOPE
    NO
    NEVER
    NICHTS
    IMPOSSIBLE
    AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN
    NO WAY
    YOU MUST BE JOKING!

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    Most DSS are false claimants for sure Council are not concerned about that, how could it be illegal not to Rent to an illegal Claimant.

  • Paul Barrett

    @jimmywatkins

    You may be happy I'm leaving the PRS.
    My occupants aren't.
    They like me and my circumstances.
    But I don't care.
    Govt wants me gone and I'm happy to go.
    I will become a lodger LL making about the same profit.

    Personally I will be glad when I'm all sold up and am rid of tenants.
    But I won't be paying any tax of any sort as a lodger LL.
    Personally I can no longer tolerate the stress of potentially being bankrupted by feckless tenants as I rely on mortgages to maintain the properties I have.

    Whilst I make good profits it has become increasingly tiresome to keep the whole show on the road especially when Govt and Councils conspire at every turn to put me out of business.
    I care not for the millions of homeless as LL leave the PRS.
    It won't be my fault.

    But I know I have been a very good LL providing an excellent service for a decent market rent.

    It seems that no matter what I do I'm not wanted.
    As a lodger LL my life will be substantially easier and more PROFITABLE.
    So my main objective of rent seeking and subsequent PROFIT remains.

    I accept that opportunity for CG across multiple properties will be gone.
    I will have to be satisfied with tax free CG on the lodger property.

    No CGT with my PPR.
    If Govt made it worth my while I'd sell up tomorrow.

    Trouble is it isn't easy to exit the PRS.
    Believe me I won't miss tenants at all!

    As a matter of fact I support your sentiments as far as OO is concerned.

    I would abolish MMR for a start.
    I would have lenders offer IO mortgages for a term til age 90.
    I would have lenders offer 95% LTV
    I would make it that NO repayment vehicle was required beyond that of selling the mortgaged property.

    I would restrict BTL and LTB mortgages for no more than 60% LTV.

    Using these strategies would give those wishing to become OO an advantage over LL.

    I would much prefer there to far more homeownership.

    Govt needs this as it will need to rob the asset value built up over decades to pay for Care Home fees.
    Plus a mortgage tends to stop people from striking.

    Having people mortgaged up to the eyeballs makes for a supplicant population.
    Which I totally agree with.
    I would far rather a substantially reduced PRS.
    A big problem for the likes of you is that large deposits haven't been saved.

    My strategy gives unfair advantage to OO.
    I consider that good.
    OO should always have more advantage than investors.

    Sadly Govt won't facilitate this.
    But for me there are too many negatives that have occurred since 2015 and still coming to remain in the AST sector.

    The CV19 issue has seen Govt throw LL to the wolves.
    Enough is enough time to go and make some more occupants homeless!!.

    My changed business methodology will be bad news for family households but very good for singles.
    I intend to have my lodger household as like a proper home with all the home comforts I can provide.
    My lodgers shouldn't want for anything!!!




  • Paul Barrett

    @abhalla

    The only lodgers that should be taken on are single people.
    Avoid any other type of lodger.
    Problem solved

  • Paul Barrett

    @jimmywatkins
    Nah mate shares are rip offs.
    Just gambling.
    I can't afford to lose capital which is why I will continue rent seeking as a lodger LL.
    Investing in property is far superior to the casino stock market etc
    I never ripped off any tenant.
    They were willing to rent at the rates I required.
    Only ever had two tenants vacate due to an annual rent increase.

    It is only the useless eviction process that makes BTL dodgy.
    Otherwise it is fine.
    Just I cannot afford feckless tenants not paying rent and then refusing to vacate so I have to sadly change business model.

    It is of course annoying having to do this but we are where we are.
    Govt is to make the eviction process even more dysfunctional when it bans the AST and S21.
    I sincerely hope I'm all sold up before that situation occurs

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