Benefit cuts make letting unaffordable
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by Gill Montia
New research from the National Landlords’ Association (NLA) claims that around one half of private landlords can’t afford to rent to tenants on Local Housing Allowance (LHA) because of government cuts.
In a recent survey, 53% of landlords said they believed renting to tenants on benefits is now unaffordable; over two-thirds didn’t expect to have any LHA tenants by 2015 and just under a half of respondents thought that tenants aged under 35 would be hardest hit by LHA changes.
The cuts have seen maximum rent benefit payments reduced to the 30th percentile of local average market rents, rather than the previous 50th percentile.
In addition, the age at which a tenant on benefits qualifies for more than a single room in a shared house has been raised from 25 to 35, forcing many more people into shared accommodation.
NLA chairman, David Salusbury, comments: “It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years.”
“In view of the pressures on housing, the private-rented sector will inevitably play an increasingly important role in providing housing to LHA tenants, particularly those aged under 35, who aren’t able to access other housing.”
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