As a tenant on benefits, what is wrong with us?

I’m trying to find a place to live, I’ve been rejected from viewing all 8 properties I’ve enquired about the last 2 weeks. At first the landlord’s respond with general questions i.e “What is your job?” etc, and when i get back to them with a full explanation that I’m chronically ill but can pay more than 12 months in advance, have a guarantor, and can provide references and proof of payments for rent, I get “Sorry the property is now rented”. In fact these replies have come back all within an hour pretty much, the last two replies came back within 30 minutes, which I thought was more than coincidental. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I feel like I’m being seen as a stereotype.

My question is, what can go wrong with tenants on benefits? I’m trying to understand more to get some insight. My income has been more stable in 3 years of incapacity benefit than it was working 11 years in various shift jobs! And with my savings I’m able to pay off an entire year and STILL have money to spend on bills etc.

The problem is I feel like I have to lie to be taken seriously. Telling landlords I’m taking 2 years off to focus on my own business (which I am trying to focus on making a business) seems more worthwhile at this point.

Many thanks!


" Starting a business"reason with me would be red flag as I know how hard it is to start a business. That would be a bigger rejection


That’s fair. But isn’t the fact payment could be made up front something more attractive, regardless of work / benefits situation? I’ve been paying in advance since I was 17 but the last few years…it seems landlords are less likely to care about that.


Most landlords would not take on someone whos just started a business and with no proof of previous income.

Benefits system creates problem for landlords so they are reluctant IE benefits usually gets paid direct to tenant, If tenant makes fraudulent claim for HB then landlord has to repay it, normally a shortfall in HB so doesnt cover rent…etc

Can you offer a guarantor?

Upfront payment will work for some landlords, but a concern may be what happens afterwards.


Thanks for your reply. Do landlords really have to repay it? One person’s crime isn’t another person’s to fix surely?

I do offer a guarantor and still get the same replies unfortunately.

1 Like

Unbelievably, yes they do. Ridiculous eh.

Many just don’t realise how stacked against landlords it is. The new legislation coming in will see even more landlords sell up, rents will rocket and high risk tenants will have even less of a chance.

It is 100% the system why benefits tenants find it so hard.

It’s difficult for those who work, I had 80 applicants last time, most working all saying desperate due to shortage.


The agreement to pay the landlord direct contains a clause that if an overpayment is made to the landlord,that the tenant is not entitled to, .the landlord has to pay it back.

1 Like

My goodness, even darker times ahead? :woman_facepalming:t2:

1 Like

Now is the time to at least slim down It will not get better. We are seen as cash cows . ,google how much rent arrears Social housing is owed.


I’ve just had a quick peek and I’m shocked.

With so many enquiries, as a landlord ,I often pick 3 and arrange viewings, then further enquiries that arrive hours later or next day, before I action the 1 that goes ahead,are simply too late. Are you applying and replying within minutes of advert appearing? Have to be quick in this market. Sympathy to tenants but can only pick one.

1 Like

Of course one must have sympathy with Jack40.
If the income source seems stable I would accept it Especially with an advance payment and guarantor.
Long-term disability income should be stable.
However benefits can be stopped, without notice or explanation. The"contract" is between HB and beneficiary. LL have no say or rights but suffer the penalty of payments stopping.

Unemployment is in theory temporary. Benefits stop on employment but are difficult to restart if the new job fails. If the T cannot pay then a gap occurs that does get paid.
The fault lies with HB. They are slow, and inflexible.
And I have in the past discovered one cannot trust their promises.

1 Like

Hi Jack40

I am currently receiving Universal Credit, due to a long term health condition. I have always worked until a health condition prevented this. I still support MacMillan on a voluntary basis. I also have savings and a deposit along with references. I have been ignored, on occasions a landlord has been rude then declined my interest. One time I stood outside a property for over half an hour and the landlord didn’t turn up. Then to find the property had already been let the day before. I look at it I have had a lucky escape, I would have to deal with this individual on a long term basis, something I just wouldn’t want to entertain.

Unfortunately any tenant, regardless of whether or not they receive DSS, has the potential to be disruptive and cost a landlord a lot of time, effort, energy and money. There really are no guarantees as it ultimately comes down to an individuals character. And unfortunately there are a lot of shady characters who disrespect the system and take it for granted and make it very difficult for others.

The fact that people receive DSS does not mean that they all share the same character traits. The same applies for people not receiving DSS. Not all of those people are trustworthy, organised, reliable or kind, regardless of how they earn their money. Every case is down to the individual, but a landlord unfortunately has to clean up after the mess an individual has made when they abuse the system, so they can be reluctant to accept a tenant on any form of benefit.

Keep at it, something will turn up.

1 Like

Disposable income and affordability is a big factor.
Savings say a lot.
Benefits system is testing that’s why many LL won’t deal with it.
Based on risk assessment, the stats tell us benefits claimants are a much higher risk.
Not all are the same clearly.
You had a landlord not show up, constant occurance with tenants.



I have noticed on here that tenants haven’t turned up. I sometimes think if potential tenants had to pay to use this site, maybe it would flesh out those that are not serious about finding a home, giving those that are a chance.

Think it upset me more that I was asked would my health condition kill me off as they were looking for a long term tenant.

1 Like

Unfortunately it would be illegal to charge a fee to tenants for this.

Whoever asked you that question needs help.

1 Like

It is unfortunate.

And I hope the individual does get help, we all need a reminder now and again that we are all human beings :slight_smile:


Jack40 i hear u totally on your side my partner is poorly :cry: :sob: :pensive: we have a guartour and money so good to go

As a LL , I would guess that the reasons you are rebuffed is that there are plenty of less risky applicants. Being able to pay 12 months up front is good but a LL might be thinking what happens when the capital runs out? Will you have enough money to top up benefits?'. Benefits do not generally keep up with rent rises in the PRS so someone who is working will look less risky. It’s tough, but with a shortage of rental properties LLs can be very picky. All I can advise is that you try to pre-empt these questions to show you have been & will be a good tenant. Good luck.