Universal Credit will not work say landlords
Private landlords have already rejected the Government’s welfare reform plans for housing benefit, before that have even been implemented, stating that there will not be enough private rented sector (PRS) properties available to rent.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Scottish Association of Landlords have released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 landlords across the UK and found that 65.2% of respondents do not support the coalition Government’s plans for Welfare reforms and in particular, Universal Credit.
- 54.6% of landlords said there was a distinct lack of shared properties (HMO’s) in their local areas to cope with extra demand from younger tenants.
Landlords stated that this was as a direct result of the decision taken by Government earlier this year to increase the age at which housing benefit claimants can only make a claim for a room in a shared property from 25 to 35.
The welfare reform minister Lord Freud spoke earlier this month about the success of the Government’s temporary policy of allowing landlords to have Local Housing Allowance (LHA) paid directly to them in return for reduced rents.
- 62.3% of respondents said they would not lower rents in return for direct payments.
The greatest concern among UK landlords is the apparent ambivalence of the Government to outline the circumstances in which payments of housing benefits would still be made directly to landlords.
While at present landlords can demand payments to be made to them when a tenant reaches eight weeks rent arrears, so far there has been no clear pledge to retain the policy.
When landlords were asked how they would respond if the right to demand direct payment became only a right to request,
- 91.6% said it would make them less likely to rent to those on benefits.
Chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, Alan Ward, said: “These results clearly show deep concern on the part of landlords about the direction that the Government’s Universal Credit policies are taking.”
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