6 Apr

Government urged to act on housing benefits

Government urged to act on housing benefits

The government should change rules that it introduced a year ago stipulating that housing benefits should be paid direct to tenants, the National Landlords Association (NLA) has said.

Local housing allowance (LHA) has automatically been paid to tenants for the past year, whereas before it could go directly to the landlords.

A survey by the NLA of its members has found that this has led to many tenants pocketing the money and not paying their rent, causing some repossessions and making property investors less willing to let to tenants on LHA.

The poll indicated that 52 per cent of landlords will not do so and 43 per cent are less likely to let to this sector.

Arguing that this is bad news for such tenants as well as landlords, NLA director Richard Price said: "Empowerment is about giving people the right to choose. The current situation is not sustainable and the government must act to ensure that LHA tenants are not further disadvantaged."

An awareness campaign was recently launched by housing charity Shelter and Citizens Advice to highlight the problems of tenants evicted at short notice if such property is repossessed.

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