Property Hawk the landlord's homepage since 2006
Free Tenancy Agreement FREE tenancy agreement
Free Landlord Software FREE landlord software
Home | Property Manager | Free ASTs | Landlord Forms | Mortgages | Insurance | Inventory | Magazine | Landlords Bible | Directory | Forum | Training | News / Blog |

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Why won't landlords rent to benefit tenants?

This Guardian article asks why landlords are increasingly against renting to tenants on benefits.

I'm sure readers of this blog will have a few reasons/personal experiences they could list.

The system seems to forget, the heartache, financial cost and work that is burdened upon landlords when a tenancy goes bad. 

Maybe greater protection for landlords might increase their willingness to risk renting property to tenants on benefit.

However, I doubt that Shelter will put forward such a proposition. 


Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is that tenants on benefit generally have that payment made direct to them and they consider paying their rent as a lower priority to their other individual needs. This situation is worsened by the local council usually paying 4 weekly in arrears plus when only part benefit is paid and by definition 'benefit receivers' have difficulty in making up the shortfall. There is also the issue that many of these individuals, especially long term benefit receivers, have an attitude that their problems have to be resolved by anyone but themselves and are less caring about the homes they live in and they way they live. I'm not saying all are this way inclined, I'm sure they're not but I'm afraid I have only encountered benefit receiving tenants on the varying scale of the 'world owes me a living' type.

Anonymous said...

You simply have to be prepared to sort the wheat from the chaff. We require a guarantor for benefits claimants and we are choosy about which ones we accept. We have had a number of bad benefits tenants in the early days, (some of whom are still with us), however now with our new more selective process in place we accept only the good ones and I'm pleased to say that we have some wonderful tenants who are very reliable. If you just automatically discount them without taking the effort to carefully vet them you will miss out on some really good tenants.

The Editor said...

Really good point on the vetting front and the use of a guarantor is a no brainer. Don't forget to check out the gaurantor too. A home owner with no mortgage is ideal and you can check this online using the Land Registry and the title deeds for £3.

Anonymous said...

The benefit tenants I have dealt with usually have a don't care attitude, as long as the benefit money keeps coming, but when the council send our new paperwork to complete they leave it and the cheques stop rolling in. Then the problem becomes your problem. The sad thing is my friends think I'm mad for not taking on these kind of tenants, they are the best as "the state pays so you can't lose", apparently! The only tenants I have that have done a runner are the benefits tenants, always for arrears. It amazes me how after 8 weeks of arrears when the benefit comes to me, the tenant then leaves the following week. Leaving me to empty the wheelie bin of empty cans of lager and de-smoke the house.

Anonymous said...

I currently have three properties with HB tenants. The tenants themselves are fine but dealing with Harrow Council has proved to be a soul destroying experience. If a tenant fails to supply a document within 7 days they stop the rent and then expect me to behave as their enforcer to get them the documents if I wish to receive my rent. This has led me to review the situation with HB tenants and therefore I will be moving on from HB tenants in future. There is no protection for social landlords at all.

Anonymous said...

Did it once and she was a total ***** blamed everyone except herself, knew everything, her kid was golden at school, her partner had left her with tons of debts and finally her boyfriend, who was stopping there without my knowledge and had a set of keys given to him by her, beat her up and slapped the daughter one. Oh forgot no he didn't she retracted both statements after 4 months, played the battered woman through the safe houses and ended up getting a flat from another council. Once bitten twice shy babe

Anonymous said...

I have had HB tenants in my 4 properties for the past 12 years , I have had some shockingly bad tenants and some very good ones. In the past the Local area rent paid an average rent for the house type in that area which seemed to be above the private rent , sadly that is now not true and private rents have outstripped HB rents , as with previous posters I agree the councils are a nightmare to deal with , stopping rent and as the tenant still has the property most are in no hurry to sort the paperwork.The only way round this situation is my council now want to become letting agents , charging up to 13% of the rent for fully managed with a 100% rent guarentee wether the property is let or not. I am currently considering selling a house I have owned for 23 years (was paying a 40k mortgage and fitting central heating out of my wages at 22 while most HB tenants were out on the P*ss if you wonder how I did it) and the Council will advise the tenant to remain insitu until the bailifs evict her (at my cost !!) as that is the only way she will be re-housed!!

Anonymous said...

It has cost me over £1000 legals to evict a HB tenant,and I lost over £1000 in rents,she refused to make up the short fall that resulted in the recent benefit capping.
She said it was not her responsibility to make up the shortfall.
As a thank you for the eviction, all the sapele doors were punched in, and the 8 year old house needs a refurb.
NO more benefits tenants for me.