Renting on only benefit income — Scope | Disability forum
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Renting on only benefit income

Ash001
Ash001 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi! My carer and I are trying to move from the north to London at the moment. We've worked out all the numbers and they're fine, but I'm concerned about finding a house that will accept us.

For context: We are both on UC, I have LCWRA and PIP (enhanced daily & standard mobility) and he gets carer's allowance (and the carer's element of UC). We're both entitled to a 1 bed wrt LHA.

A few questions:
  • Has anyone recently found housing renting on full benefits? How did you get them to take your application seriously?
  • How do we prove our potential income? Right now we each pay ~£500 on rent, but the LHA where we're going will cover almost triple that. So our current incoming will be almost £2000 short of what it could potentially be. So is there a better way to prove that than showing general entitlement and explaining that the housing element will increase?
  • Is there anywhere to look in particular for housing that will accept us? We're currently looking on rightmove and openrent, but is there anywhere else we should be looking?
Thank you in advance for any help. It's such a pain knowing we can make it work but not knowing if anyone will accept us anyway.

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,319 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ash001 hi and welcome to scope trust you are well today? It can be difficult finding property to rent when you depend totally on benefits and I would imagine as you say London will be much more expensive, as will I suspect the cost of living.
    Hope you find somewhere.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • bookrabbit
    bookrabbit Community member Posts: 73 Pioneering
    I am trying to move too in a similar position although not wanting to move to London. But my benefits are not fully in place because I was self employed until October when I had to accept that I was no longer able to do the work due to deteriorating mobility. Not that not having the benefits yet has made much difference so far. We have enquired about 14 houses that would suit us and only been given one viewing but our application for that house was entirely ignored by the agent who even pretended she didn't have a pen to try to stop us applying on the spot.
    The property we are living in is being sold and we are becoming a bit desperate. It looks as if we will end up in temporary housing stuck in this miserable town instead of being able to choose where we live despite being entitled to enough benefits to cover market rent:( I would very much like to hear of people that have succeeded in renting privately on benefits recently too. We even have a guarantor and enough savings to pay rent in advance if necessary but there just seems to be too much competition and all from employed people who look better on paper:(
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 52,386 Disability Gamechanger
    It’s extremely difficult to find a landlord that will accept a DSS tenant. If you are lucky to find one then they could ask for a guarantor. Gumtree may have some LLs that will accept you but you need to be careful of scammers in there.

    I don’t what you mean by this. You can’t claim for more than you’re entitled to. If you’re not entitled to it then that income doesn’t exist. You cant prove something that doesn’t exist.

    Ash001 said:

    • How do we prove our potential income? Right now we each pay ~£500 on rent, but the LHA where we're going will cover almost triple that. So our current incoming will be almost £2000 short of what it could potentially be. So is there a better way to prove that than showing general entitlement and explaining that the housing element will increase?

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 1,680 Scope online community team
    Hi @Ash001, this is a difficult one. I'm not trying to be negative, but I'm sure you know the London housing market is not easy to navigate at the best of times and even in shared housing I haven't found landlords particularly welcoming about my benefit situation. That doesn't mean it'll be impossible, but it might be worth giving yourself plenty of time to organise things so you don't end up stuck.

    Many places will be more willing to consider benefits if you can provide a guarantor, is this an option for you at all? I'd understand if it's not. 

    OpenRent is definitely worth a try, and sometimes private landlords will advertise whole properties on places like SpareRoom too. Just be wary of scams and don't put down any money until you're completely sure it's all above board.

    It might also be worth just contacting some local estate agents to see if there are any who can advise you about where you stand and see if they'd be able to approach some landlords for you. That said, I have found going direct to private landlords can be more successful than going through agencies as they're less likely to have strict financial requirements, but it's an option to try at least. I hope you're able to find something soon :)
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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