20 Jun

NLA warns benefit cuts could impact rental market

NLA warns benefit cuts could impact rental market

People looking for houses to rent in London and other parts of the country may find their choice restricted in future, after a survey revealed that many landlords and letting agents are planning to reduce to number of properties they offer to tenants on housing benefits.

A survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) found that 58 per cent of respondents believe they will need to cut the number of properties they rent to benefits recipients in the wake of the government's Welfare Reform Bill, which was announced on June 13th.

One-third of these landlords said they will reduce such properties immediately, while 90 per cent say they will do so within the next 18 months.

David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, described the findings as "concerning", as they indicate the benefits cuts are squeezing landlords out of a section of the rental market.

He said: "The private rented sector is playing an increasingly important role in providing accommodation to housing benefit recipients in the UK.

"The government is implementing cuts which, this survey tells us, is likely to lead to an increasing number of people struggling to pay their rent."

In total, more than 80 per cent of those polled by the NLA expressed concern over the reduction of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates from the average market rent to the bottom 40 per cent, as well as future LHA increases that are linked to the Consumer Price Index rather than market rents.

"The NLA believes there is a risk that the government's policies will result in fewer affordable rental properties available to vulnerable families across the UK, especially as the number of people claiming benefits continues to rise," added Mr Salusbury.

Last month, the NLA warned that more than half of landlords have experienced late payments in the last year, and that this could be exacerbated by cuts to housing benefits.ADNFCR-1222-ID-800583953-ADNFCR

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