Home Improvements & Renting For DSS Tenants – Friday Q&A [Video #3]

Having issuing renting as a DSS tenant? Or are you wondering whether those home improvements are worth the costs?

Well Jonathan Rolande is here with your weekly Friday Q&A video to answer just that.

If you have any questions you would like to be answered by Jonathan, please comment below, Tweet Us, Facebook, or email me here!

Video: Home Improvments & Renting For DSS Tenants



Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Jonathan Rolande and I’m here on behalf of House Buy Fast to answer some questions that have come in from the people who have looked to our site. So, thank you for those.

Question: The first one, I’m on housing benefit and some agents do not want to let to me. What can I do?

This is a common problem. Agents do not let to housing benefit people sometimes because of, well, different reasons, really it can be just almost sort of prejudice because of the stigma of housing benefits, not all agents don’t like the idea of it. Other reasons can be that properties can be a little bit more difficult to ensure if there is housing benefit tenant, and even some mortgage companies do not like letting to housing benefits.

So, if you are being refused, it may not just be the agent or landlord’s fault. It may be some other authority causing the problem. The best thing that you can do really is to just go around every single agent you can, present yourself well. If you got references or a guarantor or a substantial amount of money that you can pay in advance, for example, have all that documented and show it to them. That way, they will be a lot more likely to take you seriously and to try and help.

Another thing you can do is to go through the ads in the back of the newspaper, the property section, and even things like looking around your local area, shop windows, post office, that sort of thing. Often there are post cards in the windows from private landlords who might not have the same problems letting to a housing benefit tenant as you are finding at the moment.

The other thing also you could do is to contact your local authority and find out names of housing associations in your area who would be more than happy to let to you, and then of course you know that it is a long term prospect as well. 6 months that you could be asked to leave at any time. So, I hope that helps a bit, and good luck. Hope you could find your new home.

Question: The next question, what rights do I have if my landlord decides to sell our house?

Well, that’s going to work one of two ways. Your landlord is going to sell the property and either ask you to leave, in which case, if you are on a normal type of tenancy caught in a short hold tenancy, he is going to have to give you 2 months’ notice in writing, and then ask you to leave at the end of that period.

If he is trying to sell the property with you in there, that’s to another landlord, for example, then really nothing changes. You are a tenant there. The new landlord buyer of that property, in other words, would have to give you exactly the same rights as your current landlord. It is not to mean that he cannot ask you to move out at the end of the term or to put the rent up or something like that, but he can’t just ask you to move out without proper notice. You have got every right.

If you have any problems or anything that is happening that you think should not be, speak to the agent. If there is one, otherwise, a solicitor or the local citizen’s advice bureau who will be able to give or more specific guidance, or contact us and I will do my best to answer as well.

Question: The third question is, I am thinking about changing my sash windows for double glaze.

Is it worth it? This is a difficult question to answer, really without knowing the type of property. Just a few general pointers really. Yes, it will be worth doing in the long run. Sash windows are a bit drafty. Obviously, they got to be painted every few years both inside and out, and double glazed don’t. So, it is in that respect, better to have double glazing. And of course, they are better for insulation, and just makes the place more comfortable, less drafty, and better noise insulation as well if you are on a busy road or something.

Do check if your house is listed or is in a conservation area or if you are in a flat. You probably will need permission form the council, and if it is a flat or a lease hold property, also from the free holder or managing agent for that. Is it worth it in terms of resale of the property and does it add value to your house? The answer is, probably not as much as the windows are going to cost. It is really difficult to work out, but an average house, let’s say might be £10,000 to replace all of the windows. Does that add £10,000 or more to the price? Probably not. It probably adds sort of half that, but of course you will have a more comfortable home in the meantime and it will probably mean that the house sells faster if not at a much higher price.

So, a few little pointers there for you, but if you want to send me a photograph of the house or the address or something, I could look it up for you and give you a more specific advice. So, hope that helps.

Do send any more questions in. I think that is the end of it today. It is always good to hear from you. As I said before, if you leave your name or contact details, I will also reply personally as well.

So, thank you very much, and I look forward to seeing you next week.

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