A survey conducted by the National Landlords Association (NLA) revealed that nearly half of its members felt that they could no longer afford to rent their properties to tenants receiving Local Housing Allowance or Housing Benefit, and as a result they would almost definitely stop considering LHA tenants for their properties.
Similarly almost 70% of the landlords that responded to the survey felt they would completely withdraw from the UK benefit sector within the next 3 years.
The recent cuts in LHA payments has meant that benefit claimants can now only be awarded a maximum of 30% of the local average rent, whereas before the cuts it was 50%.
Also, the age at which claimants can claim for more than a single room in a shared house has been increased from 25 to 35, meaning more people are being forced to share…a prospect that could result in some landlords needing to register their property as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).
David Salusbury, Chairman of the NLA, commented on the findings saying; “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.”
Local councils have been given permission to contact private landlords with the option of direct LHA payments in return for slightly reduced rents, however it seems that only 25% of councils in the UK have made any effort to speak directly with landlords about the matter.
And those local authorities that have contacted landlords, have offered such lowly reduced rental payments, that UK landlords are refusing to deal with them.
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