Housing Benefit Policy
Do Topproperty Services accept DSS?
The use of the word DSS is anachronistic. The Department for Social Security hasn’t existed since 2001. Instead, we will use the word “tenants in receipt of benefits”.
Our policy for all tenancy applications is based on suitability, affordabilty, and referencing.
We expect all tenants to be able to afford the rent for the house or property they apply for it. This applies to working tenants, students, or tenants in receipt of benefits. We use a standard criteria method for all tenants, which looks at the above three areas.
Are they suitable for the property? For example, a family of six isn’t ideal in a two bed family house. A long term unemployed tenant will not be a good fit in a house of working professionals or with students – their tenancy expectations may not fit in with shared house where the property is re-let to a new group every academic year.
We use industry standard methods to ascertain if the property is affordable. This is usually a gross annual salary of at least 25 times the monthly rent. In many cases, especially for the under 25s, we require a guarantor as standard. In other cases where affordabilty is marginal, we require a guarantor.
We always reference tenants, in fact it is a license requirement that we do so. This includes current employer as well as previous landlord. In some cases we will require additional referencing such as the landlord previous to your current one. We will need to see supporting evidence of your income and expenditure, to build a picture of affordabilty for the property.
In light of the above, we have a very clear policy not to discriminate against any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act, however tenants in receipt of benefits will be considered – like all tenants – on the basis above.
What about if the landlords mortage or insurance doesn’t allow it?
This does happen and there is a trend away from this – more lenders are willing to accept tenants on benefits. In cases like this we will advise landlords of the options available to