OpenRent Community

DSS Income Accepted - really?

Hello,

Adverts saying “DSS Income Accepted” are giving false hope and are misleading if they fail to mention a guarantor will be required.

OpenRent’s policy (https://blog.openrent.co.uk/how-does-tenant-referencing-credit-checks-work-uk/) states a guarantor will be required, so why is this not mentioned in all adverts who claim they accept DSS?

What are the chances of finding a guarantor? I would say there is little to no hope so is there any point in saying DSS Income Accepted?

I invite OpenRent to comment on this topic please.

All the best,

“Trying to get a place to rent but keep getting rejected”

I am so confused about the stigma against DSS. It’s guaranteed income. It’s just class discrimination.

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there is no absolute guarrantee with anything . gov rules change, tenants situation change. people in jobs can lose them, tenants divorce.

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Even those in work may need a guarantor

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Then why rent to anyone?

It’s just discrimination based on class. I could just as easily scoff and refuse to rent to a millionaire because what if they’re involved in embezzling and will have all their assets seized.

If you need a guarantor because your income isn’t enough, fine. But if you would accept £XXXX without dss then you ought to accept that amount with it.

“why rent to anyone/” Are you serious? Without the private landlord 50 % of the country would be living under bridges,tents and shop doorways. I rented 50 years ago. Now I rent out places and have shifted slightly to commercial renting when the Gov decided to pay rent monies to the tenant and not the landlord ,as SOME tenants dont want to pass the rent money on. The problem is goverment induced

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You’re the one saying there’s no guarantees in life. I’m pointing out that class based discrimination shouldn’t be the argument.

It is up to individual landlords whether they need a guarantor or not, not openrent.

It would be better to say dss considered as all landlords will do several viewings and go with their best option, which isn’t necessarily those on the highest income. I have accepted dss income, normally it does require a guarantor although I would be more flexible in guarantors income requirement as they are effectively just guaranteeing you will pass on the benefit to the landlord.

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Hello @e5fd4e700abd3d304bb0,

Happy to clear a few things about referencing, benefits and guarantors.

It’s not OpenRent’s policy for anyone to require a guarantor. The link you share is a blog post that explains how referencing works. Referencing is just a service that landlords can buy to find out more about their tenants. Many landlords choose to reference tenants. Some do not. It is the landlord’s choice. OpenRent doesn’t perform referencing and is not a referencing company. Landlords may reference tenants through our referencing partners, Rent Guard, or through a referencing company of their own choosing.

If a tenant fails referencing, however, a landlord will not usually be able take out a Rent Guarantee Insurance policy unless the tenant can provide a guarantor who passes referencing. Many tenants are able to provide such a guarantor. But many landlords will not start a tenancy unless it can be insured. It is important to note, however, that there is nothing (either legally or to do with OpenRent policy) stopping landlords from going ahead with the tenancy just because the tenant failed referencing.

It is certainly true that tenants who claim benefits face a harder time finding a home than people paid via PAYE or with an established self-employed income. One of the reasons for this is that referencing companies don’t often accept benefit payments as income. We have campaigned and continue to work to try and change this, so that landlords may be able to take out an insurance product when letting to benefit claimants without guarantors.

Although some landlords may see stigma with tenants who claim benefits, it is our experience that most landlords simply feel unable to face the risk of an uninsured tenancy, and many are put off by terms in their mortgage or insurance that require them not to let to tenants who claim benefits. Even despite the great work many campaigners have done to challenge these terms and conditions, many large lenders and insurers still have policies with this wording. Landlords are not able, in general, to challenge a large corporation on these items.

An example I posted on the Community recently was Churchill insurance, one of the largest brands in the UK, who still have wording on their website that tells landlords they won’t insure them if their tenants claim benefits.

I hope this has been useful and I wish you the best with finding a property to rent.

Sam

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It has nothing to do with class or a those with a chip on their shoulder. It is very simple a finance and the ability to successfully pay the rent on time and look after the property well - decision. Renting privately is not a god given right, you have to be able to pay your way as you do in life.

We rent to DSS, UV individuals and families, all managed to get a guarantor, all are paying their rent on time and are good tenants. Our last one is probably the best tenant we have every had, rent on time, good communicator, spotlessly clean, a model tenant. Yet, at the time they would not have passed a credit referencing but as with most things you get a feel for people and this person is now on their feet once again.

So all the rubbish spoken about class, guarantors not around at all are unfounded, they are out there as are good tenants; it’s down to an individuals circumstances as to whether they have a circle of appropriate family, friends or contacts. If they haven’t don’t knock the landlords looking after their investment or pension.

The regulation for landlords is growing, as is the cost of ownership, servicing costs of the property are all going one way - upwards, legislation makes it harder to do things (and rightly so for those bad landlords who tarnish the rest of us) - all this means the landlord has to be even more choosey who they rent to - DSS, in employment - or retired. There are good and bad tenants in them all.

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Totally right … a lot of chips on shoulders … I prefer mine with a nice fish from the chippy

The original point of the thread was that OpenRent’s ‘DSS Income Accepted’ flag is misleading and ambiguous. I would agree - it wastes both parties’ time and cannot communicate useful information about a landlord’s capacity to consider housing benefit as an adequate indicator of affordability. It can only lawfully advertise one response across the board - so redundant as an informative tool, unless designed to be a legal trap for the unwary.

Please remove it, or conceive of an alternative option to convey something meaningful.

Hi Nicholas,

Landlords can convey this information in their property description. Indeed, we encourage landlords to include as much information of this kind as they can in the description.

We are certain that the ‘DSS Income Accepted’ filter is valuable to tenants. We surveyed 400 tenants who claim benefits, asking if they would like to keep or remove this filter. 90% of these tenants preferred keeping the filter to losing it.

Sam

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Sam, You’re missing the point - for sure, the information is useful for both tenants and landlords … but only if conveying content induced without prejudice.

The posts that you reference above and elsewhere on this site explain well the illegality of posting the ‘No DSS’ flag (is that really so difficult to understand?), irrespective of the circumstances underlying its selection. Frankly, it’s surprising that OpenRent persists with it.

To clarify simply: OpenRent needs to make the indicator opt in only, not (in effect) compulsory ‘yes/no’ for all listings - then the selected option will convey the positive information intended.

Regarding OR’s campaign wrt benefits: it could aid general understanding if OpenRent presented an article reviewing the mechanics of housing benefits - what are their components, who qualifies, under what conditions they might contribute, what if any are applicable ad valorem limits, which department provides what (DSS has not existed for nearly a couple of decades apparently)…

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