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If you could ask a local council housing worker one thing

‘DSS’, Universal Credit, homelessness and eviction — Housing workers in councils are the front-line workers helping people with these complex issues.

They also try to find landlords for tenants who are at risk of homelessness.

If you could ask these knowledgeable people one question about what they do and how it affects you as a landlord, what would it be?

Let me know in this thread, and I’ll pass the questions on to a housing working in an English council to answer.

Then I’ll come back here with your answers,
Sam

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one question will not be enough unless you let me put in… " and "… several times!!

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How often, if ever, do they check on the tenant and is there any feedback

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Councils are desperately wanting Private Landlords to house individuals receiving DSS benefits but what they don’t appreciate is the first question asked by property insurance companies is “Are your tenants professional working people” the moment you answer “No” either the premium goes up or they refuse to insure. As a result Landlords get labelled as being prejudice which is unfair

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  1. ‘Why are the people at risk of homelessness?’ (when they ask me if I will rent my flat to a homeless person/couple).
  2. ‘Can I have the rent paid directly into my account?’.

Possibly at risk of homelessness as their Landlord wants to sell up Or they are going to be evicted… RISK of homelessness indicates that they are somewhere, so the council can help them to stay there.Rent direct to your account ? good luck .with that !!

Hi Sam

You can ask them why councils, universal credits pay rent in arrears and that is about almost over 38-42 days in arrears ? Also when the property is empty and not using the properties then councils want the landlords to pay council tax in full and in advance and not in arrears and if it get a few days late send a reminder for payment.
Council should understand that they should pay in advance directly to landlords like other tenants do and landlords have to pay service charge, mortgages and any other expenses in advance too.
For so many landlords, this is their full time job as they have created jobs for themselves to provide the service and have right to earn what they working for.

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Prafula. You are wasting your time. The councils /goverment will never do this . They listen to “Human Rights” people and just do the easiest way out. They have no common sense and never will have, I have seen many goverments come and go. They are all the same . Thats why many landlords will not accept people on benefits as this is controlled by idiots.

Sam.
I have a tenant on benefit who was a risk of homelessness after I sent an eviction notice. Apparently Brent Council wrote to the tenant in writing advising them that they don’t have to move out until the landlord applies for a court possession order and the baliffs attend the property. It is only when the process reaches that point that the council will place the tenant in emergency accommodation. This seems to be a blanket policy and contrary to the “Homelessness Guidance for Local Authorities”.

Why does the council adopt such a policy that contravenes national guidance? Why do they perpetuate the stereotype that DSS tenants are unreliable? Why do they want to put additional pressure on the courts and waste taxpayer’s money?

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Hi everyone, thanks so much for your submissions so far. They are fantastic and I will be be sending your questions over on Friday.

There’s still time if anyone wants to add their own.

Here is some inspiration for areas you might want to ask about

  • do you fully understand who enforces housing law locally?
  • what do tenants have to do to actually claim their benefits?
  • why can’t tenants go into social housing if they are on benefits?
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because they dont have the resourses to house people till they HAVE to. So the landlord carries the can They are reactive not proactive

Because they have a massive shortage of places that these “at risk of homeless” people can go to.
Therefore they take advantage of the private landlord, because the council does not suffer in anyway by doing this, in fact it looks good on their figures as it lowers the time people are homeless.

Once again it’s the private landlord who takes the massive hit, - court charges + loss of rent while waiting for the court to rule, runs into thousands - because private landlords are easy targets for the government and the councils.

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Jennifer5 They wont take advantage of us if we say NO to their clients!

Sam if these tenants go jnto social housing this could possibly add to the millions owed by tenants. Even the housing associations try to be carefull about who they accept if their stock is limited and their housing stock IS limited. so they cant help everyone. This is a sad situation, Good simple housing is just not the TOP priority of goverment, .we can all see examples of wasted public money.

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In reply to Colin3…They may not have paid the rent, or been the neighbours from hell, or grown a cannabis farm. The reasons for homelessness would be important to me before I let my flat out to anyone. That’s why I would ask. Yes, if it’s just that someone has fallen on hard times, that is completely different.

We can all fall on hard times .ill health, or abandonment. Whilst climbing out of hard times a help to them may be a home and not paying rent… . How will you ever find out the true story of hard times when you only get one side of the story… Its good to have a buffer against hard times, which is not easy to do … Good luck with judging hardship

Only problem is then we get accused of discimination.

I will discriminate all I want with my properties

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An update! Sadly I’ve not been able to ask your questions because the council worker I was in contact with stopped responding, which is sad as I think it would be fantastic to get some answers to help understanding on both sides.

I’ll try and find another person working in housing at a local authority to pick this up.

In the meantime, I’ll close the thread.