What does DSS mean?
DSS stands for the Department of Social Security. The Department of Social Security was responsible for benefits but was replaced in 2001. One aspect of the DSS is now replaced with the Department of Work and Pensions. The DSS was a governmental body, the abbreviation is still used informally throughout the UK
When dealing with property, DSS refers back to social security. A DSS tenant is a tenant on benefits or welfare from the govenment. Its common for a property to be listed as no DSS. This is the landlord essentially saying they arent accepting tenants on benefits.
A tenant will usually have to declare is they are on benefits as this will affect their benefit allowance. They will usually have to submit forms to their representative to let them know of their housing situation.
The Department of Social Security (DSS) was a government agency in the UK. The old abbreviation is still often used informally. Rented apartment listings often refer to prospective tenants who would pay their rent through the housing benefit as "DSS" tenants.
Why Do Property Listings Ask No DSS?
When dealing with properties, DSS is an easy yet informal was of refering to benefits. It makes it simple to identify whether a tenant will pay some or all their rent from benefits.
A number of people receive benefits. Such as, those vulnerable, low income groups, parents who stuggle to support their family, and so on. In this situation they may receive benefits which will help to pay rent. DSS can also relate to others who receive benefits, such as those with disabilities or those receiving child tax credits. Generally, no DSS, is a easy way for landlords to exclude this group of tenants. The term is informal, and their isn't a strict guideline on what the term covers. Landlords use the term DSS as an overview over what tenants they are looking for. Some landlords make the assumption that if someone is receiving benefits they may not be responsible with money. Or they may assume that the will not be responsible tenants.
Should landlords Accept DSS tenants?
The govenement is constantly trying to clamp down on no DSS listings. In early 2019, the gorvenment anounced it wanted to change the way landlords are asking for no DSS tenants. Zoopla and right move are also trying to take actions agains no DSS landlords. Mortgage lenders and estate agents are both doing their part to end no DSS bias. Natwest have announced plans to relax barriers for lending to landlords who rent to tenants receiving benefits.
There is another consideration for landlords. It can be that the benefits that are received is less than the rent. A landlord will then have a deficit to cover. The tenants are likely to fall behind on payments. Which they are unlikely to recover from. The tenant will likely not be able to cover the deposit needed.
There's also the fact that some insurers will not cover tenants on benefits. Or the landlord wil have to pay a higher insurance premium if they do let out to a tenant receiving benefits.
Every tenant, regardless whether they are receiving benefits or not have the risk of missing payments. To mitigate this risk, landlords can get rental guarantee insurance.
With protection, such as insurance a DSS tenant may not be as much risk as a landlord beleives. Those receiving benefits do not have as much income as those who may be employed, but the income is more secure. A tenant who is employed may lose their job and have no money to fall back on. The are options for landlords to receive some of the rent direct from the tenant benefits. This will ensure the landlord always receives some rent, even if it is less than required.