Housing Benefits

I do not wish to accept those on Housing Benefits, how can I stop receiving applicants.

Setup screening questions

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find out what the UC housing cap is in your area and set the rent above that amount

You can’t forbid it. The law changes at the end of March. You cannot discriminate against people in a difficult situation, much less control benefits. This is discrimination.


@Natalia21 Every choice is discrimination. Good luck stopping people.

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on your screening question ask “where do you work?” if no answer say " I am sorrry I cannot help you"

A heck of a lot of honest, hardworking, employed people in the nursing and care sector are also on benefits, as the salary is abysmal.

Maybe have a think about the type of responsible person you do want.
As previous poster said, if law changes you’ll have no way to prevent DSS applicants anyway.


This is a very good point. There is ignorance of what a benefits claimant is. There needs to be a simple way of separating types of benefits claimants at application. Clearly there are both ends of the scale.

The law won’t change much though, there will be a lot more wasted time as DSS tenants will end up viewing properties they have no chance of getting.

What it may do is get good DSS tenants in front of landlords though.

A landlord will never be forced to let to a tenant they dont want regardless of what the law says.


I don’t think applicants are good at stating their monthly income on the openrent screening questions as this may not take into account things like UC/tax credits, PIP, child benefit, etc. To me the income of the occupants is the most important thing but I got ludicrous answers like £20/month, £75,000 a month, even zero. I doubt anyone actually added up their salary plus benefits. Something like 52% of all working people also get UC so I think openrent need to point this out more clearly to applicants that it should be their income plus benefits.


It only takes one bad tenant on benefits and in rent arrears. Never again.

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But what questions were asked of the tenant? Have you become more thorough with vetting now, which you hadn’t done before?

I’ve seen on this forum that there have been prospective tenants offering to pay 6 months rent up front, non housing benefit. Which indicates a likelihood of criminality. And yet landlords have said they’d accept them, worryingly…

My point is, as landlords -and tenants - we must look to asking questions to work out if the arrangement would suit both sides. Do the personalities gel? Can you imagine discussing any potential plumbing issues for example, and how do you feel they’d react? Do you actually LIKE the person who is going to be living in your house/whose house your going to be living in for, hopefully, long term?

We must heed our gut instincts, and not just consider the financial aspect first and foremost.
Good housing is one of the foundations of our happiness. So let’s get to the core of the person, not prejudices.

People often do this because of poor credit also.

I have had tenants pay 6 months up front Never criminals. good tenants.

The people wanting to pay me 6 months upfront were refugees not criminals!

See what I did there?

Previously bad credit rating, now trying…Refugees…and good tenants…maybe even people trying to turn over a new leaf…

They were given a chance. You got to know them.

The point I’m making is, if they were on housing benefit, many potential landlords would’ve said “Nope”. And they wouldn’t have even had the chance to get to know more about their circumstances and treat them as an individual.

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Did you not make assumptions yourself there iE probably criminals?!

We keep saying the reasons why.

Government policy needs to change.

Risk is all on the landlord.

When there are 70 applicants for a property, as I have just had, how is a landlord supposed to choose?

Why would they go with the high risk, long winded option when they can have a professional tenant who’s been employed for 5 years, steady income, with plenty of it disposable and savings. Of course personalities have to fit also.

Those working and topped up with benefits I feel should not be a blanket no.

Which tenant would you choose if you were a LL?


If you were a landlord, would you prefer to let to those who don’t work at all or those who work and receive benefits also?

It’s not practical to meet all tenants and get to know them, even if it were, all tenants are lovely and act like butter wouldn’t melt when they want your property!

@Mark10 I was using the phrase “criminals” to play Devils Advocate as an example of how we can prejudge.

I think from a position of having a lot and then not having much I can better determine others who also need the help to get back on their feet again. But I wouldn’t expect others to do so.

But granted, that’s not the job of private landlords, to take that risk.

These things need to happen to make it easier for benefit claimants;

  • HB needs paying direct to LL by default. And cannot be reversed.

  • It must be easier to evict defaulting tenants.

  • Benefits cannot be repaid if tenant has made a fraudulent claim.

  • bigger deposits not capped at 5 weeks rent

The new measures being introduced by gov will have the opposite effect. Landlords will only take the best tenants as will be harder to evict still.

Whatever the law says about not discriminating against dss will not make it any better for them. It will work against them. Now they have a chance, soon they won’t .


For many landlords its not a question of morality or being judgemental about lifestyle, but simply a business decision with two factors:

  1. Universal Credit can be very difficult for a landlords cashflow and there is a risk of non-payment or clawback of the funds under a range of circumstances.
  2. Any tenant can get into financial difficulty and fall behind with their rent or have an accident which damages the property beyond the value of any deposit. However, tenants without any money of their own cannot afford to pay for this and the landlord has no realistic way of recovering their losses.
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