British Army tenant with DSS / Housing Benefits / Universal Credit, good or bad?

Dear all,

We’ve got a potential tenant who is employed by the British Army and they report that they receive DSS / Housing Benefits / Universal Credit.

May we ask, while we understand DSS / Housing Benefits / Universal Credit is often associated with low-income families, is this different when we’re talking about the British Army? Is it just their “normal” benefits? Or does this raise a flag?

Thanks a lot!

If they are actively employed it does imply their income is low and is being topped up with benefits.
Perhaps in a low income position or part time?

the husband of the couple reports an annual salary of over GBP34,000 in the British Army while the wife reports a few thousands of annual income yet they also report they receive DSS / Housing Benefits / Universal Credit.

May I ask if this sounds normal?

Thanks a lot!

if this is normal I am changing jobs

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Most definitely not normal.

Hi Otomo, DSS is just an historic term for Dept. of Social Security - replaced years ago by DWP (Dept. for Work & Pensions) but DSS is still used!. Universal Credit appears to be the more recent ‘umbrella’ term catching all different benefits, including. e.g. certain disabilities/health conditions. It could be that the specific benefit which either of them (maybe the partner?) receives is for e.g. DLA / JSA / ESA or any of the others? As a result of receiving one, it often entitles them to others, e.g. Housing Benefit thro’ the Council. Just a thought (:). Hope someone on here with more knowledge can advise you.


good point a soldier may be disabled still employed, and getting some type of benefit. The only way to fjnd out is to ask them

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You can get benefits even if you have around £40k of salary, so £34k within limits.

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DLA/PIP/AA are not means tested and so these could be in addition to a salary.

However, UC is means tested so if someone has a salary of the amount you state they would not qualify for UC.

For a couple monthly UC is around £525pm so if their salary is under this, UC would make up the difference to this amount.

Housing benefit is means tested too so a salary at that level would not qualify.

Think you need to ask exactly what they are on and to see the paperwork.

Ask also to see their wage slips and bank statements.

Don’t just take someone’s word for it, if you are seriously considering then as tenants

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People can be on benefits for many different reasons. Maybe they have been injured in some way and are receiving disability benefits. Either way, I say break the thought process that people on benefits are a flag, moreso because it is now illegal to refuse to rent to someone on that basis. Asking to see their proof of benefits, as some have suggested, would seem questionable, moreso because if you then refused the tenancy, they could say it was on that basis, which would be against the law.

I would give more credit to the fact that they have declared to you that they are on benefits and did not hide it. They may have been struggling to find somewhere else for the same reason, and by taking them on as tenants, you may be giving them a chance that others (wrongly) haven’t, meaning you’ll possibly get very reliable and trusting tenants as a result.

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