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Benefit cuts hitting almost one in 10 landlords - claim

Almost 10 per cent of private landlords letting properties to Universal Credit claimants have experienced at least one tenant having difficulties paying rent due to benefit cuts.

That’s the conclusion of a poll conducted for the National Residential Landlords’ Association.

In October last year the government cut Universal Credit by £20 a week following a temporary increase in response to the pandemic.


Following this announcement, a new YouGov poll of private landlords across England and Wales for the NRLA shows the extent of the cut’s impact on tenants in receipt of benefits.

Of those landlords currently letting to a Universal Credit claimant, or who had done so last year, nine per cent reported having at least one tenant experiencing difficulties as a result of the cut.

According to official statistics, of those private rented households in England and Wales receiving support through Universal Credit to pay their rent, 55 per cent had a gap between the support they received and their rent payments.

The NRLA is warning that this will only become worse as a result of the Government’s decision last year to freeze in cash terms housing cost support.  

As a result, in the years ahead the level of benefit support available will be able to cover the rent on ever fewer numbers of properties.

As many households face a cost-of-living crisis, the NRLA argues that a benefits system which property supports tenants is of critical importance. To that end it is calling on the government to reverse its damaging decision to freeze the Local Housing Allowance rate and ensure it properly reflects market rents.

Association chief executive Ben Beadle says: “Benefit payments are failing to give tenants or landlords confidence that they will be able to cover rents. This basic problem lies at the heart of a broken system in desperate need of reform.

“With households facing a cost-of-living squeeze, it is vital that the benefits system gives the protection that tenants deserve. 

“That is why the Chancellor needs to end the housing benefit freeze as a matter of urgency. Without this many tenants and landlords face an uncertain future about how to keep tenancies going.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Is there any need for landlords to be renting to UC claimants, with the present shortage of supply there is no shortage of working tenants looking to rent.

    Theodor Cable

    Hoorah if the rental costs go up....
    Suits me....
    All incoming cash is worth having.....

  • Theodor Cable

    Any sensible landlord would be mad to take on UC claimants.
    It will for sure end in disaster, with the tenant spending the housing proportion of the UC on bingo, gambling, booze, cigarettes, and 60" TV's without a thought that it will bankrupt many LLs.
    It just shows their selfishness.


    Also the majority do none of the above, perhaps if landlords didnt raise rents to pay for the same renters could pay the rents


    Private LLs are a business with every right to expect a return on their investment not to be confused with social LLs who have a duty to provide housing at low cost. If the Govt didn't keep increasing the costs and taxation on LLs, LLs wouldn't keep passing these costs on to tenants!

    Oh & by they way, Dave, don't expect it to get any better anytime soon - LLs are leaving the sector & no-one is replacing those units so rents will keep increasing.

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    • 21 January 2022 10:02 AM

    Reading the horror stories on multiple Facebook property groups, I'm surprised some landlords are still letting to uc tenants.

    Theodor Cable

    And why would they.
    The UC recipients are a nightmare in the main.

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    I don’t think to be honest we have or will have the discretion to choose. Currently they seem to be already given priority over working Tenants especially families on benefits. I haven’t had a family turn up in years to view who were paying for themselves, so no HMO required for those, that’s means preferential treatment and a priority.

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    Some people do not know how lucky they are. I had to have major heart surgery and was off work for 5 months. My company only paid the SSP with no top up. I could not claim any benefits at all as I had more then 16k in assets. Some years later my wife had to have radio therapy so I had to drive her 50 miles every day to the hospital, so I could not work for a month. Again, no help and having to dig into my savings. People who work hard and manage to buy property can get no help from the government.


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