Some private landlords don't want to rent to tenants who claim housing benefit. Follow these four steps to convince them to rent to you.
1 Explain your housing history
- Prepare what you are going to say to the landlord or agent when you contact them about their property
- Don't start the conversation by asking if the landlord accepts people on benefits
- Begin by explaining why you want to live in their property, and why you would be a good tenant
- Focus on positive points such as that you've always paid your rent on time. Offer to send a record of your rental history and references from landlords
2 Prove you can pay the rent
Show the landlord pay slips or your current housing benefit receipts. Other options include:
- Offer to pay more than one month's rent in advance
- Provide the name of someone who will guarantee to pay the rent if you can't. This 'guarantor' is usually a close family member or friend
- Ask the council if it will pay your housing benefit paid directly into the landlord's account
3 Ask someone to negotiate for you
If you are not confident enough to negotiate, ask someone who knows you well to do it. This might be a friend, colleague or family member who has dealt with landlords before.
4 Find landlords who accept housing benefit
Your local council may keep a list of private landlords who accept tenants on housing benefit. Ask their housing options or similar service.
Some websites list properties where housing benefit will be accepted.