Survey Reveals Current Housing Benefit System Not Acceptable to British Landlords

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22nd June 2012 13:05 - Housing

A survey of over 1,000 UK landlords by SpareRoom.co.uk has shown that UK landlords are increasingly negative about housing benefit tenants because of payment problems.

Landlords cite unreliable, late or no payments as the main issues for their poor view of prospective tenants on housing benefits.

Nearly nine out of 10 (87%) the landlords polled have had problems with housing benefit tenants not paying the rent on time, while one in 10 claim they have had tenants who stopped paying rent altogether.

In addition, six out of 10 landlords (59%) are now refusing to accept these types of renters, specifically stating ‘no housing benefit tenants’ in their adverts. A total of 74% of the landlords questioned said that even if the housing benefit tenant had a guarantor, they would still not consider them viable.

The market research revealed that this payment problem stems from the 2008 change in the Local Housing Allowance policy, which saw local councils paying housing benefits to tenants rather than directly to landlords.

Director of SpareRoom.co.uk, Matt Hutchinson, commented: ““The move to change the way Local Housing Allowance was paid in 2008 was designed to give those on housing benefits greater responsibility for their finances, but what this poll shows is that the change has had overwhelmingly negative repercussions for British landlords.”

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