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Landlords now being hit by benefits freeze - call for government help

Some 820,000 private rented households in Britain are routinely hit by a shortfall between their housing benefit and their monthly rents according to official data.

That’s 57 per cent of private rented households in receipt of the Local Housing Allowance.

An analysis of government data by the National Residential Landlords Association shows that regionally, the proportion of private rented households affected ranges from almost 41 per cent in London (although based on a much higher number of claimants), through to 69 per cent in Wales.

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The figures come as the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that housing-related benefits spending is expected to rise by just 0.1 per cent of GDP by 2025 – five years on from the start of the pandemic and the recession it caused. 

It notes that this is the smallest increase seen in any of the four recessions seen since the early 1980s.

Despite private rents increasing by less than inflation, the NRLA is warning that vulnerable renters face what it calls “a perfect cost of living storm”. 

This is being worsened by housing benefit rates having been frozen since April 2021, rising energy and food prices and a chronic shortage of private rented housing which is set to drive up rents.

Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, the NRLA is calling on the government to unfreeze housing benefits rates to provide tenants and landlords with the security that rents can be paid.

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says: “Vulnerable renters are facing a perfect storm of rising costs matched by a benefits system that is failing to keep up. Whilst the Chancellor’s one-off pots of money to support households are welcome, these cannot be used to hide the deficiencies of the benefits system. Landlords and tenants are dismayed at the government’s chronic inaction to make the changes they desperately need. With inflation soaring we cannot wait any longer.

"The Chancellor needs to do the right and logical thing by unfreezing housing benefits without delay.”  

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.

  • George Dawes

    It’s not inaction , it’s following orders

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    Things will only get worse for ALL tenants, but especially those who rely on benefits, I have never rented to those on benefits and now a lot more landlords are joining me, the government need to build millions of social properties ! The PRS is NOT an extension of the state !!

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    There's that word again ''VULERABLE'' which in truth refers to the bone idle work shy scroungers, I object very strongly to them being given free cash from the tax I and others work hard to earn.

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    People on benefits should be thankful for any free money. I have been close to minimum wage all my life and while our son was young my wife stayed at home looking after him, so wasn't bringing any money in. I have not been able to claim any benefits as I have saved and have more then 16k in assets. I never got any help to pay the mortgage. The benefit system should not be there to pay for everything so you don't need to work. It should just be a helping hand (to stop you starving to death) during tough times.

     
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    Like it or not many people are very comfortable living on Benefits. The Government will have an uphill struggle getting people of benefits and in to work. Much easier to keep raising taxes on working people , especially Landlords.

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