Should landlords have the right to refuse DSS tenants?10:43 AM, 20th May 2019
About 4 weeks ago 124
On Monday 2nd February at 7.30pm, the BBC’s Inside Out programme featured “Buy to Let Pitfalls”, with the focus on landlords that have entered into the sector to provide a pension for themselves, but run into difficulties.
The show featured a landlord whose portfolio of housing benefit tenants is causing him to scale back his investments following the need to instruct Landlord Action to handle two of the cases shown in the programme.
You can watch the programme on BBC iPlayer HERE – the feature begins 11 minutes into the programme.
Mr Brian Nixon, a builder from South East London by trade, has a portfolio of properties largely rented to tenants receiving housing benefit. One of Mr Nixon’s tenants is in £6,000 arrears because she failed to fill out the necessary housing benefit forms, but never informed the landlord. Despite numerous warnings of eviction, the bailiff instructed to remove this tenant, who also had 14 other cases that day, is forced to wait around while the tenant collects what belongings she requires, leaving the rest to be dealt with by the landlord.
In addition to the rent arrears, viewers were left shocked at the state of the property on departure of the tenant who, after being evicted, went straight to the council to be re-housed. An aggrieved Mr Nixon uses some colourful language to vent his frustration.
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, who filmed at the evictions says “I have said it many times before, but a system where landlords do not receive housing benefit directly from the council is simply not working. Years ago, renting to social housing tenants gave landlords a steady guaranteed flow of income, in return for supporting this sector by propping up the limited accommodation the council could offer. Everyone benefited. Now, we are seeing fewer landlords wanting to rent to housing benefit tenants because of cuts being made, the uncertainty with regards to Universal Credit and non-direct payment, particularly in the South-East where landlords could achieve far higher rent if they let to the private sector.”
On the strength of the difficulties Mr Nixon has had with social housing tenants, he is now selling off the properties from his portfolio, meaning there are three less properties in the private rented sector being used for housing benefit tenants.
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