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Graham Awards


Agency investigating 19 ‘No DSS’ properties out of 1,900 units to let

The chief executive of Hunters has told MPs there are 19 properties on its books which specify ‘No DSS’ - but this may be because of mortgage or insurance requirements.

Glynis Frew, speaking to the all-party Work and Pensions Select Committee, said some of the statements requiring No DSS were simply cut-and-pasted contracts that had been specified by landlords without necessarily accepting what that meant in practice.

In other cases, she said, the statement was included to satisfy lenders or insurers. Either way, she said her agency was investigating whether this could be removed from the remaining 19 advertisements. 


“Without question most of us, agents and landlords, would want to be fair” she says, and that would mean removing the restriction.

However, Frew - as well as Your Move chief executive Helen Buck, also giving evidence to the committee - said that agents and landlords were both suffering obstacles in understanding the new Universal Credit and explaining it fairly to landlord clients.

At one point during proceedings Buck expressed surprise when some MPs told her they had quickly found ‘No DSS’ requests on Your Move listings; she said the revelation was "shocking" and "not acceptable” and she would investigate.

Both Buck and Frew emphasised to MPs that many landlords were small-scale with one, two or three properties only. Frew specifically said that whereas institutional landlords would make a profit of perhaps 35 to 40 per cent, small scale buy to let landlords would be enjoying profits of only 16 or 17 per cent.

For that reason, she said, it was unacceptable and simply wrong to expect them to carry arrears of up to £2,000 every few months if a tenant switched to Universal Credit, which often involves a long delay before payments come through.

Frew and Buck made it clear there were requirements which they wanted and which would do more good for the rental sector than additional laws added to the hundreds of piecemeal regulations currently impacting on landlords and agents.

Frew specifically said she wanted, firstly, all landlords as well as agents to be members of a redress scheme; secondly landlords should not be expected to risk debt because of Universal Credit arrears making it impossible for their tenants to pay rent on time; and thirdly, via the Lettings Industry Council, a new standard which would be advertised denoting that properties to let reached a certain habitable standard.

You can see a video recording of the committee session here.

  • Paul Smithson

    Sorry I don’t want to rent my property to non workers-it is MY property.

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Paul not in the new socialist republic of England it isn't.
    ( Said tongue in cheek) Career MPs with no clue how the real world works combined with populist left wing anti - landlord policies from all parties mean that landlords and agents are the new pariahs of the political landscape at the moment. With the spectre of a Corbyn government and it's rent controls/ sequestration of private policy then its not a good time to be a landlord or an agent. And where do they get profits of 16% / 17% from?

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    • 25 April 2019 08:16 AM

    Quite right. And long may it be so.
    I would never invite a robber, crook or burglar into my house.

    So what right does the Government have to force me to?

    Anyway, it is easy enough to just say "No" to anyone who is on benefits, and let them know you have a preferable offer from another tenant. I assume that is not illegal?

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    • 25 April 2019 08:40 AM

    If all this nonsense continues, I for sure will sell my 3 properties and take the cash and head off to the Maldives.

    Whilst leaving the bl***y councils with yet 3 more lost housing opportunities, which of course leads to a reduction in rentable housing stock, which will inevitably lead to inflation of rental rates.

    Silly, very silly, people working hard to affect a change that delivers exactly the opposite to the intent. Blind and Bat comes to mind.

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    This all send somewhat like a company having to advertise a job vacancy but already have the candidate (happens a lot in local authorities). Just wasting time and money going through the motions!
    Lenders have the mortgaged plus the guarantee from the landlord borrower so if they can’t pay the loan due to tenants issues, the lenders are highly unlikely to be at a loss. Unless there is a crash!! So don’t rely on their aid in this. Also as I have previously mentioned, lenders will not want to rock the boat just in case there is a witch hunt looking to ascertain why lenders charge massive fees to book a mortgage rate. Also are there any figures regards rent arrears with benefit tenants in social housing (which is subsidised) against those not on benefits? I attend court regularly and HA are always there on possession cases.

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    Without a guarantor DSS/HBR/UCR will not pass references, and without suitable references RGI is not available. When the government offers RGI on tenants that cannot be insured elsewhere, then we can have a conversation.

    As an agent we do accept DSS/HBR/UCR tenants, and without exception they have been brilliant tenants. If we have a problem tenant they generally fall into a category that you would probably not expect.

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    Simple, unfortunately on Universal Credit require 12 months rent in advance plus SD of 5 weeks rent at TA signing stage, dont have either, sorry then dont have My property to rent. Yes My property I purchased with My earned money. Simple rules kept simple for those simple people like council bods and non earning their wages MPs. Like can be so simple.

  • James B

    Just demand homeowner working guarantors who accept full references and credit searching on properties where there is some affordability on DSS
    The government has lost the plot chasing dss and rent flake votes , just endless populist policies which is incredible to think the majority of these people are being carried by the tax payers and the likes of landlords but because of their numbers they are more important

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    As the 'DSS' does not exist why can't agents update their lazy stereotyping. UCR is replacing HB. By stating no DSS it implies that NO benefit claimants are eligible, which is a criminal offence under the Equalities Act as this discriminates against persons with a disability who might claim benefit other than HB.


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