Landlords turned off by housing benefit tenants

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords are turning away from letting their properties to tenants on housing benefit because rental payments cannot be guaranteed, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA said that many tenants are falling into rent arrears and want the security of knowing that their rent is being paid. 

95% of tenants who want the option to pay their rent direct to their landlords are struggling to manage their finances. 

And 45% of landlords would not re-let to social housing tenants citing the reason as lack of guaranteed rent payments.

The RLA called on the government to take note of the issue as the Welfare Reform Bill makes it way through parliament. 

RLA chairman Alan Ward urged the government to continue with its "agenda of consumer and user empowerment and choice" by allowing tenants to "choose what best meets their individual needs".

He said: "In opposition, the Conservatives supported the principle of tenant choice.

"We call on MPs to use the Welfare Reform Bill to enshrine in legislation the freedom and right for tenants to choose, without forcing landlords to lower rents, making renting untenable for many."

Recently, the RLA called for the government to do more to support growth across the private rented sector.

Landlords are concerned about the lack of property supply, although they broadly welcomed more buy-to-let mortgages coming onto the market.

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Published on: March 9, 2011

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