Housing benefit claimants being turned away by landlords
A survey has found over half of landlords who currently let to people on benefits won’t after the roll-out of universal credit.
Four in five landlords surveyed have said that they are unwilling to let properties to tenants who receive housing benefits due to changes to welfare payments.
The survey by SpareRoom.co.uk has found that a sharp decline has occurred in the number of landlords offering homes to claimants.
A poll consisting of over 1,500 landlords around the country by the Guardian found that only 18% currently had tenants on housing benefit in one or more of their properties, against a figure of a third when a similar survey was done two years ago.
The landlords who currently let to people receiving benefits, over half said they would not take any more on after the roll-out of universal credit. This is even after the government assures landlords will actually receive greater protection under universal credit.
The SpareRoom survey found that the majority of landlords were unhappy with the previous changes to the benefits system.
Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, said: “The 2008 move to stop landlords receiving rent payments direct – designed to give those on benefits greater responsibility for their finances – has had overwhelmingly negative and lasting repercussions for tenants on housing benefit. With rents rising and the welfare budget suffering from continued government cuts, the outlook for tenants reliant on housing benefit is getting bleaker.”
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