Landlords 'avoiding tenants on benefits'

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords in the UK are said to be going out of their way to ensure that they don't rent out properties to people who are claiming benefits.

Sky News said that it has obtained data from the National Landlords Association that shows that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of lettings made to benefits claimants in recent years.

Indeed, the number of landlords who are renting out homes to such individuals has fallen from 46 per cent to 22 per cent in the last three years. In addition, 52 per cent indicated that they wouldn't even consider letting a house to someone on benefits.

This is mainly because they fear that they will not receive their rent on time, with seven out of every ten landlords who have agreed a tenancy with a benefits claimant reporting that they subsequently experienced arrears that averaged £3,000.

The government recently chose to reform its welfare sector and this meant that benefits payments are now made in one monthly lump sum, with this method subsequently being dogged by problems. As the figures show, there have been some human consequences of the changes.

It comes at a time when work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith is already under fire over the introduction of the Universal Credit Scheme. He recently had to admit that its rollout, which is scheduled to be finished in 2017, will now be delayed and 700,000 claimants will face a longer wait.

He also confessed to £40 million that was being spent on IT for the project having to be written off.

"We have had to sit for some time while a lot of bogus nonsense has been talked about huge levels of additional write-offs. This note in front of you absolutely finishes that and ends it," Mr Duncan Smith stated.

In the meantime, it could still be difficult for anyone who is claiming benefits - regardless of when they are paid - to find a rental property to live in.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801671350-ADNFCR

Published on: December 11, 2013

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