Housing benefit tenants who want them?
I am taking a long hard look at the my target tenants.
Until 5 years ago 80% of my tenants were on housing benefit. Usually single mother plus one preschool child. Backed up by guarantor. They often took a lot of mothering and guarantors often had to be dragged through court before they paid up. But I have always got paid in full in the end. The average tenancy length was 3 years. The model served me fairly well.
Now I am advertising my Manchester inner city terraces at people "earning more than £22k in one job of employment with a good credit file". This is a smaller market but I am finding great people. And the process of rejecting lots of unsuitable applicants is less hassle. Now I get only a dozen enquiries per week wheraeas I used to get 40 plus.
The negatives of HB tenants in my experience are;
You are generally paid in arrears rather than upfront
They usually leave the house dirty and full of stuff
Working tenants are more careful about ending the tenancy properly
They often have an exboyfriend with a grudge
They take less notice of the the tenancy agreement
Guarantors seem to forget their commitment...
Changes in their circumstances can pause HB for months
They do something stupid more often than working tenants
What do you think those of you who have housed both?
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