NO DSS! But We Will Take Your Pets
A recent survey reveals that landlords are more likely to accept pets than they are recipients of housing benefits.
Research undertaken by Manchester based law Firm AWH Legal on 33,350 properties in London shows that a landlord is more likely to accept tenants with pets over claimants of housing benefits.
Similar to a recent survey carried out by the BBC on 11,000 properties advertised on Spare Room, the law firm’s research found that discrimination against those on housing benefit was widespread.
Of the 33,350 advertised properties in the analysis, only 1.59% actively welcomed those on housing benefit compared to 5.37% for those with pets. More striking were adverts advising that smokers were welcome with nearly 49% stating that smoking in properties was acceptable.
A representative from AWH Legal said “Despite the perception that some people may have about housing benefits claimants, for many it is a way of life and a necessity in order to house themselves and their families. Ever increasing housing costs in the rental sector makes independent renting unattainable for many, as for buying a home, for many this is a distant dream. It is impossible to save for a deposit quicker than house prices increase and it’s made worse by exorbitant rents swallowing the vast majority of many people’s wages.”
Further analysis shows that only 5.89% of all recipients of housing benefits were also receiving jobseekers allowance. “Landlords are not just worried about tenants ability to consistency pay their rent, although this is the main concern. They are worried that the terms and conditions of their buy to lets mortgages will be in breach and that their landlord insurance will be invalidated by providing lodgings to claimants, and in some cases, they are right to be fearful”, they explained.
Of the 4,550,616 people receiving housing benefit in November 2016, 1,164,606 were also receiving Employment and Support Allowance, which provides for those with long-term illnesses and disabilities. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. If they are completely precluded from the housing market, where are they expected to go?
Like most state support, housing benefit is paid directly to the claimant and not the owner of the property, so landlords are completely at the mercy of tenants to be truthful about their status.
If you are a landlord worried about the status of your tenants and whether your current insurance policy is inclusive of benefits claimants, then why not call Insure 24-7 for a policy that does.