Tenant's Toolkit

"DSS" Tenants

"DSS" is a term for people accepting housing benefit. DSS stands for Department of Social Security, which is now a defunct government agency that has been replaced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The DWP is the sector of the government that is in charge of welfare and pensions, therefore a DSS tenant is one that receives welfare. Generally, DSS tenants are those that receive housing benefit, with the amount they receive depending on their circumstances and income.

Sometimes DSS tenants can be refused by landlords outright, but rejecting DSS tenants outright can be a poor move. Just a year ago, five million people in the UK were receiving housing benefits. Opening your property up to this group can help you receive more enquiries and get your property let more quickly.

If you are unsure whether a tenant will be able to keep up their rental payments, you can:

  • Ask them to provide a guarantor. The guarantor will be liable for the payments should your tenant fail to make them.
  • Ask your tenant to arrange to have their housing benefit paid directly to you, especially if you are worried about their budgeting skills.
  • Create a detailed tenancy agreement, including information on late payments and rent arrears.