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Jonathan Sandford
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Jonathan Sandford
Many tenants using the term “DSS” have no idea what it means. The “Department for Social Security” hasn’t existed since 2001 but most people recognise the acronym, especially within the context of “No DSS”. We had a mother of 2 children apply for a tenancy, based on housing benefit plus working the maximum allowable hours in a supermarket. She gave us the impression that although she was living from hand to mouth each month with absolutely no spare income, she would rather have a finger cut off than miss a rental payment and for the first 14-15 months she was a model tenant. However, after rejecting advances from a co-worker, said co-worker shopped her to the council by saying she was working excess hours allowed under the receipt of benefits rules (she wasn’t but why let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to visit grief?) The council immediately issued a sanction and suspended her housing benefit. The English legal system works on the presumption of innocence. Not the benefits system. She was deemed guilty from the outset and was absolutely mortified that she was immediately in arrears with no prospect of recovering the deficit. Our experience trying to speak with the Council wasn’t as bad as Genevieve Nash but they were absolutely impenetrable. Our landlord client was unsympathetic and asked us to start eviction proceedings against her. In the end, her stepfather paid her arrears but not before she had almost become a nervous wreck despite the co-worker being found out to have lied out of malice. Our tenant is still in situ and hasn’t missed a rental payment since but sadly, she is the exception. The easiest way to avoid problems is “Sorry, no DSS”

From: Jonathan Sandford 20 April 2021 10:44 AM

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