Desperate potential tenant stuck in an unfair grey area

Hello. Would be grateful just for some advice or helpful suggestions. (Really sorry for a long sounding post)

So sadly I am in a ‘unique’ situation.

Currently work part time and a full time student. Expecting first child. Live with my mum (which was only supposed to be temporary, been here since 2020 :frowning: ) anyway worked out my ingoings which include maternity allowance, PIP (monthly payment) and universal credit. Plus my partner (who won’t be living with me) has agreed to be my guarantor and pay me child maintenance each month. Also researched how much housing benefit I will get and made sure I will be entitled to it which I am.

Been looking into a 2 bedroom house which I feel is essential for me and my newborn son (average pcm cost around £850)

This is something I have fully researched and worked out, know I am capable of paying the rent. Even have savings (the equivalent to around 6 months rent)

I have always been desperate to move out of my mums but my barriers were having a dog and no guarantor. Since being pregnant, my mum has agreed to have my dog and my partner has agreed to be my guarantor, so thought happy days, especially with a nice chunk of savings in the bank.

But I have found the whole process of trying to find somewhere to live very stressful. I seem to have identified a few barriers.

First one, just simply its already been let (renting is just insane overall at the moment)
Next one, the questions they ask and I explain my situation. I tell them everything and extremely honest. I either get told my guarantor doesnt earn enough (even though he works a permanent full time job and does not own or rent himself) or I need to pay 12 months upfront… sadly 6 months doesnt seem to be enough.

If I pass the questions which a couple of times while looking I have. I have the viewing, I really do all I can to stand out, print out as much evidence as possible to prove what I am saying is true. Include the fact I have had a perfect record of renting, always get my deposit back, my near perfect credit rating and as a student I dont have to pay council tax (thats a big expense so more money for rent/bills) but because so many others going for it too, I get rejected (I assume due to my situation)

Really sorry for the long post but I really dont know what else I can do.

I cannot get student accommodation with a child and even living in an overcrowded place with my mum, wont be considered a high priority for social housing (been on housing register for 3 years now)

I do understand landlords have to do checks and talk really is cheap. Wish I could do more to prove what I am saying is true and that I am responsible and reliable. I am sure at the end of the day landlords just want someone who just pays the rent on time and keeps property in good condition. Me? As a tenant I just want a nice, safe place to really make a lovely home for me and my little boy. Pay my rent and bills and have a home for long term.

I really feel like I am in a horrible grey area and not much I can do about it apart from keep living with my mum even after baby is born and save till I can do 12 months upfront and even then because of competition from standard couples who work full time, still no guarantee will get accepted.

Any advice from a landlord point of view would be extremely appreciated. Anything that could help me stand out a bit more or things to really highlight (show proof of)

Thank you.

(P.S, I have a question which I have always wondered… so currently on a break from study but when back I will be getting again my student maintenance loan which works out around £800 a month) but its not accepted as a form of income, I just wonder why? Because thought the main purpose of it was to help with rent/living costs)

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It is definitely a tough market out there for many renters, and you have my sympathy. There is so much competition, and the supply of rental properties has been decreasing due to a variety of reasons. Many landlords use a risk-based approach when selecting tenants i.e. what tenant would be the least risky in terms of timely rent payments, affordability, keeping the property well, etc. So anything you can do to demonstrate your appeal and minimise your risk as a tenant to prospective landlords would be helpful, such as:

  • having readily available bank statements showing that you have a number of months saved up, documents proving your benefits, etc.
  • offer to arrange payment of housing benefit direct to landlord.
  • offer to use a professional guarantor service. If your partner doesn’t earn enough to be a guarantor, he won’t be accepted even if he is in full time employment. The guarantor generally needs to earn 40x monthly rent so at £850pcm rent, guarantor needs to earn at least £34k a year.
  • be more flexible in your housing criteria, maybe look at different locations/areas, consider flats as well as houses, 1 bedroom properties as well as 2 bedrooms, etc.
  • wait and save 12 months rent in case you need to offer that upfront, since 6 months probably won’t be enough to reduce the perceived “risk” to landlords.

Apologies if you are already doing the above, I’m just saying what I think a landlord would want to see. Hope that helps. Good luck.

Hello Mita.

Thank you for your reply and advice

Yeah most of what you suggested I am doing but will mention about I am happy to pay housing benefit directly to landlord. Whenever I can, I always make it clear I am extremely flexible in terms of trying to give as much reassurance to landlord as possible.

For now though my search is on hold. Currently 8 months pregnant and I do struggle with my mental health so all these barriers I am experiencing is just too much at the moment. My own fault really for not looking sooner.

Still waiting for one house outcome after viewing. Not having much hope though. I did impress the letting agent at viewing at my organised folder full of copies of bank statements, proof of benefits, personal statement etc plus I did mention I have rented with them before and was a good tenant.


I considered this as a landlord, but concluded the service is just too restrictive as only covers upto one year and needs renewing, whereas a real guarantor is bound up until the tenancy ends.


Hello Mark10

Yeah, I wouldn’t use that service. Quite anxious about the whole thing overall to be honest as unfamiliar to me. As you said, someone who is related/close is always best.

Frustrating though for me as I have used 2 guarantors in the past (my dad, sadly gone now) and my mum. She was accepted as a homeowner but a high majority won’t accept that. Never for once needed them. Ive always been able to pay rent but as I said, to landlords who dont know me its just words.

Times like this wish I had a very distant but rich relative who recently passed away with no will. :rofl:

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Ah ok, that’s useful to know. I don’t have experience of this service but I’d seen some feedback on this forum that some tenants had found it useful.

Sounds tough.
You’ve probably thought of this but I’d maybe use your personal network. Post on the uni board, FB, any local organisation you’re a part of - ask if they know of anyone renting out a home.
Hairdresser, church, old primary school if still in the area, neighbours… there are also mum WhatsApp groups and NCT groups who may know of somewhere.
A friend of mine also gets in touch with local big farm estates and ask if they rent out cottages and it’s where they’ve struck gold twice in 10 years.
I can’t believe 6 months isn’t enough. That is bananas. Perhaps your guarantor could give you the additional 6 months in lieu of child maintenance initially. Otherwise it sounds like you’ll have to save it yourself or go for a one-bed.
Good luck. I’m sorry - it’s so ridiculous.
Hope you can enjoy your pregnancy.

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I feel for you I really do. Back when my son was born (some 23yrs ago now!) My main obstacle was finding decent properties that would even accept DSS tenants. We were very much seen as a bad risk. Luckily I found a place in the end, with a great landlord who was willing to take the risk & we ended up being in that house for 14yrs. My point being, don’t give up. You never know who will be willing to give you a chance. I would also suggest trying to deal with landlords not going through an agency - just because in my experience, it’s agencies who are ticking boxes based on criteria and you have a better chance dealing directly with the landlord themselves, who can make a discretionary decision. Whatever happens, good luck with everything. :+1:t2: