A survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) has found more than half of private residential landlords are planning to reduce the number of properties they let to tenants on housing benefits.
This response from landlords comes on the eve of the Welfare Reform Bill’s report stage in the House of Commons on Monday, 13 June.
The survey questioned landlords* about Local Housing Allowance (LHA), with 58 per cent saying they would have to cut the number of properties they let to benefit recipients. In total, 90 per cent of these landlords plan to do so in the next 18 months; with one third stating they would be reducing their LHA properties immediately.
More than 80 per cent of landlords expressed concern about the reduction of LHA rates from the average market rent to the bottom 30 per cent. The same number of landlords were also worried about future LHA increases being linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than true market rents.
The survey found that 90 per cent of landlords stated that they cannot afford to reduce their rents to absorb changes to LHA. The large majority of landlords are faced with mortgage repayments and rising running costs.
David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented:
“These findings by the National Landlords Association are concerning as they indicate that cuts to LHA benefits are forcing landlords out of this part of the rental market.
“The private rented sector is playing an increasingly important role in providing accommodation to housing benefit recipients in the UK. The Government is implementing cuts which, this survey tells us, is likely to lead to an increasing number of people struggling to pay their rent.
“The NLA believes there is a risk that the Government’s policies will result in fewer affordable rental properties available to vulnerable families across the UK, especially as the number of people claiming benefits continues to rise. Benefit payments must ensure that LHA tenants are not left at risk and that landlords providing this much-needed housing can cover their costs.”
For further information, please contact:
Press Officer, NLA
020 7840 8925
07508 031 084
*Survey sample 455 landlords with LHA properties
NOTES TO EDITORS
Representing landlords from all over the UK, the National Landlords Association (NLA) is the leading organisation for private-residential landlords. It campaigns for the legitimate interests of landlords by seeking to influence decision-makers at all levels of government and by making landlords’ collective voice heard in the media. The NLA helps landlords make a success of their lettings business by providing a wide range of information, advice and services. It seeks to raise standards in the private-rented sector while aiming to ensure that landlords are aware of their statutory rights and responsibilities.