I have a client doing a re-mortgage on an existing let; lender is Skipton Building Society. They stipulate the tenants must not be in receipt of DSS. They’re not, but it raises the question:
“What if a tenant goes on to claim benefits, including housing, after the tenancy has commenced?”
Logically thinking, this must cause an automatic breach for the landlord with the lender.
And the more we thought about it, the more we came to realise that we cannot say 100% hand on heart that we know all of the tenants under our care claiming housing. Our local council does not always contact the agent or landlord, particularly where the claim is only a partial rent amount.
The AST we use came from ARLA. We’ve added to it as new legislation has come into force, but no where in it does it say “thou shalt not claim benefit” nor be required to tell us if they did.
So, we thought of adding a clause requiring us to be told. But then we looked at the 17 grounds for possession, and found that only Ground 12 (allows possession where the tenant breaks one or more obligations under the tenancy agreement) could be relied on, but this is a discretionary ground.
So my question, does anyone use such a clause, or better, has anyone been in a situation where the lender has gone after a landlord where a tenant has later claimed assistance? And what was the outcome?