A report from a major landlord association shows that tenants on benefits are struggling to find decent accommodation as Government cuts in Housing Allowance take effect.
The report issued by the National Landlords Association (NLA) shows that thousands of landlords are becoming ever more reluctant to let their properties to benefit claimants and are turning to tenants who are not on benefits to ensure they keep their business healthy. The survey of members showed that over 50% of the respondents said they no longer consider tenants on benefits because the cut in Local Housing Allowance meant that few could afford to pay the rent required by landlords and they were not prepared to be pressured by local authorities to bring their rents down. The outlook for benefit claiming under 35s is even worse. With the Government now only paying benefits based on the cost of renting a room in a house very few private landlords will now even think of letting a home to an unemployed young person. Although landlords can purchase cover for non payment of rent via their landlord insurance many now see benefit claimants as just too risky.
Chairman of the NLA, David Salusbury, said “It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years, as they can no longer afford to let their properties to tenants at the reduced benefit rate. In view of the pressures on housing, the private-rented sector will inevitably play an increasingly important role in providing housing to LHA tenants, particularly those aged under 35, who aren’t able to access other housing. It is vital that local authorities work with landlords to provide the support services needed to help this demographic, as many are forced to move into shared accommodation.”