Home Page

Working with private landlords

We speak to people every day looking for somewhere to live and can work with private landlords to identify someone that would be a good match for your property.

We also know that sometimes things can go wrong between landlords and tenants, we’re also available to help you deal with any problems that might arise.

If you would like to know more about how we can work with private landlords, give us a call today on 01623 457252.

 

Below is some useful information about how we can help private landlords.

The first section is about the housing benefit system, we know that many landlords find this confusing and feel it’s too risky to let a property to anyone claiming ‘DSS’. We hope this information addresses some of your concerns landlords and you will consider letting to Local Housing Allowance claimants.

A lot of different terminology is used, but they essentially mean the same thing, financial support with your housing costs if your income is below a certain amount.

Since 2008, anyone renting from a private landlord needing help with their housing costs has been able to apply for Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

From November 2018, Universal Credit will be rolled out in Ashfield. Anyone in Ashfield making a new claim for help with their rent after this date will recieve this as the 'housing element' of their Universal credit payment (see below)

LHA is calculated based on the number of bedrooms a tenant is entitled to and their income. It is not based on how much the rent is.

You can find out how many bedrooms a tenant is entitled to here

There are different rates of LHA for different areas, you can find out the maximum rate for your area here

Not all tenants will receive the maximum amount, the tenant’s income and savings will be taken into consideration when calculating how much they are entitled to.

LHA is available to those claiming unemployment or retirement benefits, as well as those working less than 16 hours a week (24 hours a week for couples).

LHA is usually paid every 4 weeks to the claimant, unless they are a Universal Credit claimant (see below), these payments are made every calendar month.

Payments are made in arrears, this means a tenant will receive a payment at the end of each 4 week period rather than at the start.

In some cases, LHA can be paid directly to the landlord, for example:

  • If the tenant has rent arrears of 8 weeks or more
  • If deductions are being made from the tenants other benefits for rent arrears
  • If the tenant has a history of not paying the rent
  • If the tenant struggles to pay the rent because of a medical condition or learning disability
  • If the tenant could lose their tenancy if LHA isn’t paid directly

To request a direct payment of LHA, please contact the Housing Benefit Department

If your tenant is claiming Universal Credit, please apply to the DWP for an ‘Alternative Payment Arrangement'

Claims for LHA are considered by Ashfield District Council. Tenants must complete an application form with the required supporting evidence to make a claim. Claims are typically processed within 1 day.

If a tenant is applying for or currently receives Universal Credit, they should update their claim online with information about the housing costs they need help with. Their next UC payment will include any “housing element” they may be entitled to receive.

Since 2013, Universal Credit has been introduced across the UK in stages, starting with those making new unemployment benefit claims.

It replaces 6 previously separate benefits and combines them into 1 monthly payment.

Claims for UC are considered by the DWP via an online application process.

Payments are made in arrears, this means a tenant will receive a payment at the end of each calendar month period rather than at the start.

For new claimants, the first payment is typically made 5 weeks after making an application. Claimants can apply for an advance.

We speak to people every day looking for somewhere to live and can work with you to identify someone that would be a good match for you property. We’re also available to answer any questions throughout their tenancy and help you deal with any problems that might arise. Give us a call today.

The most important thing is to find a tenant that will be suitable for your property. Focus on things like:

  • Do they have enough income to pay the rent? (this could be from wages, unemployment or retirement benefits and/or LHA)
  • Have they rented before? Can they provide a positive reference from a previous landlord?
  • Can they pay any rent in advance or deposit that is required?
  • Do they have a homeowner that can act as a guarantor?
  • If they are claiming LHA, do they need to make a new claim or update an existing one (new claims may take longer to put in place)
  • Do they have any debts that will affect their ability to pay the rent?

Give our Housing Options Team a call on 01623 457252 who will be happy to help. Or visit our Contact Page