Increasing number of landlords & letting agents are refusing to take tenants on DWP. Main reason cited by the BLA members is that it is very difficult to communicate with the DWP.
Members have complained that the DWP change there telephone numbers without notice and in turn have failed to put measures in place so as to direct callers to an appropriate number(s).
Some members have also complained when members have been able to speak to DWP they have been wrongly met with reasons not not speak to them. DWP staff have wrongly cited GDPR despite landlords and agents submitting written consent from tenants for full disclosure.
2 BLA members estate agents said 80% of our time is spent dealing with tenants on benefits, as a policy we no longer take on tenants who are on benefits.
Mr Ahmad from the BLA said “it has always been the case landlords and letting agents alike will prefer tenants that are in full time employment. this has not been a hard fast rule, however where agents as policy no longer entertain prospective tenants who are on benefits is worrying.
Although tenants on benefits do have elements that are not appealing they do have a major upside too. Tenants on benefits usually will be long term and as such you avoid voids and the financial loss that is associated with voids.”
Mr Ahmad went on to say; “Of course DWP have put in place safeguards to prevent homelessness and measures to deal with rent arrears. Namely Alternative Payment Arrangements (APA). These should be put in place when the claim begins if the claimant has rent arrears, other money troubles or certain vulnerabilities”.