Disabled people
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Renting or help with deposit

colon1970colon1970 Member Posts: 14 Listener
Hi all my landlord is selling her property and she wants me out so I have to find somewhere but not having no savings and being disabled I'm not sure I'm going to be able to be housed. I'm on waiting list with the council but they said it could be two years before I get something. So wondered if anyone knows what I can do. Thanks in advance.


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    I'm afraid it's not easy out there to find anywhere to rent when claiming any benefits. Having gone through all the nightmare myself, it took me 18 months to finally find a house with a landlord will to accept me because i claim housing benefit. I also needed a guarantor before the landlord would agree to take me as a tenant, despite renting for more than 10 years and having no arrears previously.

    Gumtree for your area maybe a good place to start. Do come searching on google for you area for landlords that accept DSS. Finding somewhere to live is your main concern right now because very few landlords accept DSS tenants.

    Also ask your local council if they have a list of landlords in the area that accept DSS tenants.

    Once you successfully find somewhere then you can apply for a discretionary housing payment for help with the deposit.

    If you have no success in finding anywhere soon then i'd advise giving shelter a ring to see what advice they can give you,

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • colon1970colon1970 Member Posts: 14 Listener
    Thank you. Well that's not good news then.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. I wish i could have told you it's easy but sadly not. Give shelter a call tomorrow and see if there's anything they can advise you with. Good luck.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,370 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @colon1970 it sound as if your council have accepted a duty to house you as you are on a waiting list. However as you currently have a residence your priority is not as high as it could be. This is difficult, but once you have been been given notice if nothing is found by the time you have been evicted your priority will be higher as a homeless person.

    For a better understanding of how the current system works I would recommend reading https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2012/oct/26/council-homelessness-rules-housing-policy

    Shelter's advice on this can be found at https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness/rules/longer_term_housing_when_homeless

    Please don't be too worried about fixed term tenancies if you are offered one. L&Q converted its fixed term tenancies to permanent and last I hear Peabody were considering the same. In real terms they tend to end up as rolling fixed term tenancies and unless your financial position changed significantly it is more likely there would be little difference between fixed term and permanent tenancies.

    In short they were introduced in response to a few council tenants who were on high wages and an ideology that says those in private rent were less likely to be unemployed and that saw social tenancies as a last choice.

    But please do talk to Shelter as @poppy123456 suggested so you understand your options. One concern I would have is as you are already on the waiting list if offered help to get a private tenancy without the full assessment would this affect your place on the waiting list. 

    Also does your council have choice based letting? If so you should be checking what is available and applying for properties you are interested in if you are already on the waiting list.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @colon1970 Pleased to meet you.

    Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    Please may I suggest Housing Associations. You do not need a deposit . Accept those with disabilities and illness or conditions.

    Often some have support net works need floating support or other assistance.

    This is mine have a look.


    Hope that helps you . Please if I can be supportive please get in touch.

    Please take care.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, I was told that it is now illegal to say no benefits when advertising a house for rent. Is this true?
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,370 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @pollyanna1052 there was talk about this by the government in March and April this year but the last I heard they were consulting on it. I am aware that zoopla changed their rules on this at the time preferring to 'match up' tenants and landlords. So would not actually make any real difference. 

    To be fair for some private landlords it would  be a term of their mortgage. On top of this various changes in the rules have made it a bigger risk for private landlords. Many private landlords do not own multiple properties they rent out and the higher risk of rent forfeit will be a big issue. Depending on the type and location of the property there can be a lot of ongoing costs which the landlord is still responsible for covering, potentially including block and estate management and repairs as well as major works.

    There are a number of reasons why tenants on benefits can get into trouble with their rent, and it is not always because they are selecting to use their rents for high priced products, fancy holidays etc. Some are well known here, like sudden sanctions and changes in some types of benefits. But also, especially at this time of year, costs can be higher for everyone, especially if you have a family.

    I am sure that there will be some who will disagree with me, but unless the change in banning adverts saying 'No DSS' is followed by a genuine change in attitudes with private landlords then I wonder if there is a real value in doing so. By this I mean is it any better applying for tenancies that you have no real chance of getting than identifying those landlords who are happy to take on tenants who are on benefits?

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 680 Pioneering
    It is always silly to ignore logic.   Councils have an incentive to ignore need, till the unfortunate landlord has been forced to spend  a fortune  on  legal costs and wait possibly  a year before getting the tenant physically turfed out on the street.  The tenant probably was perfectly willing to leave, as soon as requested.  The tenant and landlord were never enemies.  

    Will that landlord ever let again to anyone unemployed?  The law is made by lawyers.  Guess who gains from this system?

    It was forseeable.  There could have been tweaks to overcome lumping together the bad tenants and the  steady reliable ones. 

    The irony is, employed people  can lose their jobs,  so merely being  in work is no promise of being  able to  afford  rent.  Meanwhile,  there are two groups of prospective tenants who  have a secure, non altering income, even though they are already unemployed:
    Pensioners,  and permanently disabled people.  They can't  lose their jobs, and they can't lose their income.  They are  probably  the least likely to wreck the property,  the least likely to suddenly squander their  income and not pay rent.

    Yet, no credit referencing by landlords would consider them for a moment.  Unemployed  through  severe disability or retirement counts exactly the same as unemployed through  being feckless and workshy, on the computer. 

    Maybe  worse, for the computer, is that older people and seriously disabled people do not go into debt.  They wouldn't get credit, and they dare not and would not want to. They have limited income, and know they must,  whatever  happens,  live within  their  means, and no matter how  hard it is, they must keep  back a little  bit  for rainy days, too.

    They have to live within  their  means and make  rent the priority,  because  they  are excluded  from the range of options the rest of the population can exploit.

    They cannot whine to the  bank of mum and dad, they cannot easily  go sofa surfing or flat sharing with fun friends, and they cannot  nip out and do a little cash in hand work now and then,  to top up.  They can't simply  take  an on-the-cards job,  till it gets boring,  just in order to take out loans and credit while they are temporarily officially employed.

    Those who go into debt have a credit rating,  which the landlord's  computer likes.  Those who  don't go into debt don't  have a credit rating,  which means the computer doesn't  believe  they exist at all.

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 1,998 Disability Gamechanger
    well put and totally acceptable
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 680 Pioneering
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 680 Pioneering
    Don't  you find that  often, there is a system  set up, a law passed, rules made, by people  in charge  of  things, who presumably  mean well. Presumably  they think they know enough, shut together in their offices, or making notes on an envelope  over lunch.
    But people  close to the  receiving end of these laws, rules and systems  could have  predicted where it would  all go wrong. 

    It's  such a shame the power holders merely make  a  token of consultation. 
    In theory,  that habit was made illegal under the  statutory public duty embodied in disability equality law,  and in theory,  that law  was incorporated,  not cancelled,  by the single equality act.

    The original DDA law was a beautiful piece of legislation.  People had put their  life effort into getting the last  dot and comma foolproof.   One part mentions 'users and hard to reach excluded potential users' of services. It insists there is a Statutory Duty  to ensure 'meaningful consultation,'  which 'must include a realistic chance of changing plans and policies at the early stages'.   It stresses that 'tokenistic consultation ' , after the  main decisions  are  made,  is an offence.  

    (Insult added to injury when MPs recently proved they do know, full well, about 'meaningful' . Not for disabled people,  but for M.Ps. who all insisted they wanted to have a 'meaningful' vote on brexit.  Hmmm)

    Another recent flurry in Westminster was so ironic, you had to laugh or you would weep. One of the 'chosen ones' gave a speech supporting a revised Domestic  Abuse Bill. She spoke about her partner being unpleasantly controlling, which made other M.Ps weep with her.     A great proportion of them are lawyers.

    A few did catch on, pretty  fast, to the unintended consequences of one part of the new law. It doesn't  matter  to male M.Ps, but it will disadvantage  mere ordinary non -rich, non -well -connected  men, who cannot  afford  lawyers, so will need to be their own lawyers in court.  In divorce  courts,  these 'litigants in person' will be banned from contesting any alleged abuse. As an 'abuse survivor', the (usually woman) 'victim' gets legal aid, therefore a lawyer representing  her interests in court. The 'abuser' must not personally cross  examine to contest allegations.  Unless he is very rich, he won't  have a lawyer to do it for him.  Anything his ex says must go unchallenged,  even if it makes no sense, or he could show it is untrue, if only she was questioned. 

    (It is just badly drawn law,  originally intended for a sensible reason,  because men used to misuse the court.  They could get a chance to distress their own  rape and paedophilia victims.  All they needed to do was to get rid of their legal aid lawyers. (Automatically given them as accused criminals) Then, h they could cross question victims face to face.)

    There is another mile wide gap  in Domestic  Abuse law, but not a soul noticed.  It excludes opportunistic abusers within the home, unless they fall within the extremely narrow list of personal partner or limited category of  mainly blood relatives. Glaringly,  however extreme the abuse,   no other abuser   counts as Domestic.  No matter  that is upon a victim inside the  home, with no option  of  escape.   

    A carer, or a  house sharer,   or  a sublandlord,  or anyone, gets away with  being defined as  not a domestic abuser.  Instead,  the  disabled  victim must, alone,  take  the abuser  living under their own roof through the courts (!!)  Domestic  Abuse organisations  define abuse by the 'wrong' assailant  (outside the list) as being equivalent to a civil neighbour dispute. (sic)

    Meanwhile , one of the  women M.Ps got her head round a built-in problem of enforcing  equality law.  She had grasped  that Equal  Pay law was supposed to be enforced by the  woman,  on her own,  fighting a pack of lawyers through courts and Appeals, to prove Discrimination. 

    This, realised the M. P, was unreasonable and unequal.     She  even thought the Equalities quango should  leave their  office and enforce  that part of the Equalities  law. 
      (Well, Duh.....How about enforcing all Equalities equally, starting with Ageism, which is virtually official policy, but above all stressing Disablism,  which Sir Trevor Phillips described as  " invisible, institutionalised,  universally  practiced, socially  taken for granted,  and, in it's  effects on peoples  lives, in many ways worse than Racism"?)

    (Racism is already more equal  than all other equality,  because  it is  the only one which counts as a criminal  offence, to be enforced by police, not by the victim.) 

    Of course, that equal-pay-light-bulb-moment M.P. would  not comprehend  that, for a disabled  person,  taking court action for every direct and indirect instance of discrimination  would require  him to be richer than Bill Gates, and to employ the  entire world supply of Human Rights lawyers.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,370 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @newborn I do agree with you with much of what you say.

    I did attend a public meeting that was meant to be a consultation about our council spending. It was tokenism at its worse as most of the decision had been made, and were looking for public support for their decisions. It was literally tokenism as we were giving a limited number of tokens to put into what we thought should be the spending priorities. There was little information about what the different pots represented or their importance. I refused to take part in the farce and also complained about it.

    Yes the trouble is many of the laws are poorly made. More often then not there are people who will point out the shortcomings but our political system is set up as well for these laws to get through generally with a majority government. Sometimes it is because one set of priorities are considered to outweigh the others.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 680 Pioneering
    Thanks Geoark. The most hilarious public consultation was when a council was changing usè of a children's  homè  within a housing  estate, into a womens refuge . The children  had been rehoused the previous  year,  but,  because  they were  council  employees,  the staff were  still bèing pàid, day ànd night shifts, so they had a lot of parties.  Now, àt last, the builders doing the refit were due to stàrt on the Monday morning.  Every box ticked. Except the  public consultation.  Hastily,  someone  drove to the estate  and put a note on the door of a disused community  centre.  It announced a public consultation  meeting on the Friday, to debate whether the local community favoured the proposed chànge of use..  Meaningful,  would you think?
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 680 Pioneering
    P.s. your story of the literal tokenß for tokenism àbsolutely tàkes the biscuit.  Do you think it was intentional? Were the organisers opènly laughing?
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,370 Disability Gamechanger
    No, I think the staff were genuinely embarrassed by  the affair. This particular meeting was one of the regular ones run by the council and was normally attended by councillors. However the council staff tend to be the same and well respected by the community. These were council staff who over time had shown a genuine interest in consulting and working with the community.
    To their credit they did apologise, rather than trying to bluff it out.

    It was stupid because the meetings were well attended by community activists, charities and some local businesses.  I am sure that I was not the only one aware that the budgets had been approved.

    The thing with these examples is it shows little respect to the communities they represent and while you may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, you cannot fool them all of the time. Not at all when done so blatantly in your example. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • deb74deb74 Member Posts: 754 Pioneering
    I am lucky my landlord is ok with me being on benefits but I did put in applications for another couple of houses before I found this one and they refused my applications. It just isn't fair!
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