The way in which housing benefits are paid to tenants in private rental property should be changed, it has been argued.
Manager of buy-to-let mortgages firm Clarity Commercial Chris Jenkins said the current system by which tenants who claim local housing allowance have it paid to them rather than landlords is problematic, as this causes frequent non-payment.
He noted that only when a tenant is in two months' rent arrears can the payments be made directly, commenting: "If this is the case, it is unlikely that any landlord will allow the tenant to stay anyway."
Mr Jenkins also noted that while there are arrangements available where deposits can be paid directly through local authorities as long as these are placed in a deposit protection scheme, "I don't believe that enough potential housing benefit tenants or landlords are aware of these."
A study by research group BRDC revealed this week that the most likely reason stated by landlords for being more willing to take on tenants with benefits would be a provision for the payments to be made directly to them.
Published on: May 20, 2009