Trying to rent on UC

I am looking for a property to let and quite often get viewings with High Street estate agents however as soon as I tell them I am on Universal Credit they either
1 insist on a guarantor (I have no one except my 78 yo dad who obv dosent work and due to medical conditions lives in a rented bungalow)
2 say no the landlord won’t accept UC
Surely in this day and age with the economy as it is UC is MORE certain and guaranteed than a wage as anyone could be “laid off” or have their hours cut
So as long as it’s paid direct to landlord surely it’s safer
I am also willing to pay 4-6 months rent upfront (obviously depending on rent)
I am currently living in the bungalow with my dad however when he passes I will need somewhere to live so want to find somewhere before hand

You are correct - if the landlord gets the money paid directly from the Council the rent is secure as long as you fufill the obligations you need to comply with UC ( not sure what these are ). There is a housing shortage and sadly most landlords have had very bad experiences with tenants and damage.

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Yeah it seems that UC claimants are all tarnished with the same brush as unreliable payers and won’t look after the property obviously this isn’t the case I know
It just seems very frustrating when I tell them I am on UC and my partner has an IVA (non rent related) she has rented from local authority for 10 years plus and never missed a payment
And they say we need a guarantor who earns however much the yearly rent
The only other person I have in the world apart from partner is my 78yo disabled dad who doesn’t even own his own home so I cannot provide a guarantor


Do you have records to show that you have paid on time every month? I would maybe get a file together showing your great track record. Go to estate agents armed. The only issue could be if you are looking at properties out of reach on benefit as UC will not pay.

I have an EXTREMELY top notch flat with very expensive fittings etc (used to be my home) & was shocked at people applying to live there who had absolutely no income and the flat was way over benefit threshold so no way could they pay the rent. This happens a lot. In this case the flat was just way too expensive & it wasn’t reasonable for them to be looking at such a property.

But I do get that there is a massive problem out there with almost any property being over the threshold. I was a single parent without any financial help working 50-60 hours a week & still could not afford rents for a 2 bed in London (many years ago) it was so so tough. And it’s worse now renting! I’m so sorry you are going through this.

Hi Gary, Landlords or Agents can’t really refuse tenants on UC alone, as that would be discrimination.
However it states in the " How To Rent Booklet " which you can access from the website that your rent should be no more than 35% of your income. Your income is all the monies you have each month at your disposal, that’s either from benefits including UC or a mix of salary and benefits. The LHA part of UC has not increased in the last 3 years, however personal benefits and UC have quite considerably, so before making an enquiry, why not tot up your income and see how much you can afford. this may help. Also, as a senior renter you should be able to get assistance from your local council, they must have an allocated department to help tenants find a place to rent, if they don’t then speak to Adult Social Care, this service should include renting from the council, social housing or private rented.
With regard to landlords requesting guarantors that is not unusual, however a way around it is, if you can prove affordability, along with 3 years of rent being paid on time, and that you have taken care of your property along with no advisories, they may waver this.
We are is South Yorkshire and we successfully rent to tenants on UC, however their top up rent is now higher than it used to be, as rents are increasing, so affordability and tenant property care are key elements of the decision making process, being a senior renter, you may have individual requirements, so if you have social services, a home help or relatives, visiting regularly then you may wish to include that on your application, this lets Agents and Landlords know there is a support network in place, should you require this, as compliance for letting, as well as tenant care is all part of it.
I wish you the best in finding a home soon. Kind regards Denise

Its only in vary rare circumstances this happens and can be cancelled by tenant at any time. It’s a ridiculous situation that hurts tenants.


Public sector workers jobs are pretty secure. Basically unsackable!

If someone does lose job then they may well qualify for UC.

Mass shortage of properties and high level of applicants means landlord will go with the low risk option.

If you can prove haven’t missed rent for a long time, have savings, good credit and can easily afford it then this will go in your favour. Don’t expect to be able to compete for the best quality properties.

I just read about partners IVA, this will cripple you without a guarantor. There are companies that provide a guarantor service, worth googling.

What if I was to offer to pay some rent upfront would this be acceptable say 4-5 months rent in advance?

It may help with a very small number of landlords, but the IVA will be an issue for most.

Have you looked into guarantor service?

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Just had a look now seems ok but do many landlords/letting agents use them

I looked into the guarantor services available. As a landlord, I wouldn’t want to accept them in place of a home-owning guarantor. They are very expensive (the one I looked at charged 10% of the annual rent), and rely on the tenant renewing the policy each year.
I have previously accepted 6 months rent upfront, but I wouldn’t now. One tenant decided not to continue to pay, once the 6 months was up. Remember that landlords are not allowed to accept a deposit larger than 5 weeks, so the possible solution of holding a larger deposit is not an option.

Dealing with UC in my experience is a nightmare, you can’t contact anyone and you don’t know what periods are paid for and if you leave they stop paying. That’s the reality, maybe look at HMO’s who are more used to benefits tenants

If tenant leaves early/out of contract?

Maybe they make it hard deliberately, to make more landlords refuse them, to incentivise them to go back to work. :grinning:

Possibly however being a full-time carer for my dad it’s not possible for me to work unfortunately

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