Landlords not taking on Housing Benefit Claimants
It can be difficult enough to secure a rental property at the best of times but if you are claiming benefits it is often harder than most.
A recent poll of landlords a survey showed that almost 80 per cent of landlords will not accept new tenants who receive housing benefits because they fear problems with getting their rents paid on time under the new system being rolled out across the country.
Across the country now with the number of landlords who rent to claimants standing at less than 20 per cent, whereas two years ago it was over 30 per cent it might get even worse before it gets better as more and more landlords turn away from this area of the market.
The economy is picking up and more and more people are gaining employment and may be one of the reasons why landlords are renting out to less unemployed people as they do not need to so much, however many landlords in the poll said that even if an applicant is only claiming some benefits which go towards paying their rent then they would still not consider them. It doesn't bode well.
In 2008 the LHA started to be paid to the tenants, rather than as previously the landlord when a tenancy is first taken out. This has caused many problems for landlords with tenants often spending the money allocated to housing on other items other than the rent. Over 75 per cent of landlords are unhappy with the new system.
With this new LHA system almost every landlord with a tenant claiming benefits (90 per cent) said in the survey they had experienced problems with late rent.
The Government is doing its best to appease landlords by saying that Universal Credit will provide better protection as they are going to introduce a review system that identifies non-payment of rent by a tenant after just one month, however in practice this does not appear to be effective and is not re-assuring landlords.
One of the best ways of securing a tenancy if you are claiming benefits is to get yourself a guarantor and we suggest reading our articles on guarantors.