Find out how to find a landlord who will rent to you if you need to claim housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit.
Search for landlords who accept benefits
Landlords shouldn’t refuse to rent to you just because you claim benefits, but some do.
Some websites list properties where tenants claiming benefits will be accepted.
- Property Adzuna – look for 'DSS accepted' as an exact phrase in Advanced Search
- OpenRent – tick ‘DSS accepted’ in the Advanced Search options
- Spare Room – scroll down to the bottom of the search form and select 'DSS OK'
- DSS Move – search the nearest large town to you but be aware that some searches will return no results
Your local council may keep a list of private landlords who accept tenants on housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit. Ask their housing options or housing advice service.
Ask if benefits can be paid directly to your landlord
Some landlords will rent to tenants claiming benefits if they are paid directly to them.
If you claim housing benefit you can ask the council to pay your housing benefit directly to your landlord.
If you claim housing costs under universal credit, you can ask for this to be paid to your landlord in some circumstances.
Show you’ll be a good tenant
If a landlord doesn’t specifically say they accept tenants claiming benefits, some may consider renting to you if you can show that you’ll pay rent on time and keep your home in a good condition.
It will help if you can give a landlord:
- Copies of wage slips or bank statements
- Letters confirming you can claim housing benefit or housing costs under universal credit
- Details of your recent housing history – where you’ve lived and for how long
- References from previous landlords
You could also:
- Offer to pay more than one month’s rent in advance
- Explain why it’s important you live in that area
Find a guarantor
A guarantor is someone who signs a contract agreeing to pay rent or cover damage to a property if you don’t. It’s usually a friend or family member.
A landlord may be more likely to rent to you if they have the additional insurance of a guarantor.
Last updated 01 Nov 2018 | © Shelter
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