Hi carrotcake7, Sorry to hear you are not having much luck finding a property. Books have been written on this very topic i.e. housing benefit claimants and rental property but very briefly the underlying problem is:
* We are in the midst of a huge housing crisis
* Statistics on the likelihood of rent arrears or damage to property are stacked against benefit claimants (Not my personal opinion but the reason why many house insurers now exclude benefit claimants - what landlord is going to be uninsured?)
* With over 10 applicants for every property that comes to the rental market landlords at looking at the stats/hearing the stories/lsitening to their insurers and walking away from benefit claimants
Tip - Beg, steal (only joking!) or borrow 6 months rental advance from friends or family and offer this to the next landlord or agent you ring before they slam the phone down on you.
Tip - Get yourself a guarantor - a UK resident house-owner who is willing to underwrite the Tenancy Agreement - again offer this to the next landlord or agent you ring
There are other things that can help such as getting yourself referenced and offer your reference report to any would-be landlord and seeing how keen and open you are they may be interested in you as a tenant.
Wishing you all the very best