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Minister attacks rogue landlords

A government minister has attacked rogue landlords for abusing the welfare system to line their own pockets.

Lord Freud, a peer of the realm and the Minister for Welfare Reform, has attacked what he calls ‘unscrupulous landlords’ for taking advantage of low income family units and at the same time manipulating the welfare system to their own advantage.

The hard hitting attack follows on from a report by the Department for Works and Pensions that revealed several startling facts. The report said that of the £21 billion paid out by the government, £8.5 billion found its way into the hands of private landlords who have bought properties, arranged landlord insurance on them and rented them out to tenants on Local Housing Allowance.

The report titled; Low Income Working Households in the Private Rented Sector, asserted that over the last ten years the cost of housing for claimants being housed by private landlords had increased by almost double that of claimants of other providers of social housing.

Lord Freud commenting on the figures said “This confirms what we have long suspected, that some unscrupulous landlords are charging benefit claimants over the odds to make a quick buck at the expense of the taxpayer.”

The report went on to say that there was evidence to show that private landlords provided worse conditions for social benefit claimants than other tenants yet appeared to charge them more. The study according to the DWP identified some landlords who were twisting the market for their own ends and said “Some private landlords specifically target the housing benefit sub-market because they know they can command higher rents from these tenants… causing a knock-on effect on rents in the area.”

By Simon Dack

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