Have your say when MPs debate housing benefit reform

Have your say when MPs debate housing benefit reform

14:12 PM, 12th January 2011, About 14 years ago 1

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Landlords can have a say about government reforms on local housing benefit for private tenants by taking up an invitation from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The RLA has sent out a plea to thousands of members to participate in an online survey.

 The results will be passed to MPs debating the reforms in Parliament on January 17.

The survey is a joint effort between the RLA and the British Property Federation and was devised in response to a request from Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Douglas Alexander, and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, Karen Buck, for opinions on the reforms.

Labour and housing charities are keen to gather evidence on how the reforms will affect landlords and tenants to counter accusations of some tenants claiming more than they should and landlords having to lower rents.

If you would like to contribute to the survey please contact the Residential Landlords Association or the British Property Federation

Lobbying forces minister to admit landlord claims were untrue.

Landlords are asked some key questions like:

  • How many tenants are paid housing benefit
  • If rates are lowered will landlords reduce rents or stop taking housing benefit tenants 
  • Would landlords lower rent in return for direct payment of housing benefit?

The campaign is part of an ongoing lobby by the RLA and BPF to influence the proposed changes in paying housing benefit to come in to force from April.

Lobbying has already forced Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud to withdraw accusations alleging some ‘unscrupulous’ landlords were increasing rents to make housing benefit tenants hand over more cash because they knew local councils would pay up regardless.

The RLA is the voice for about 9,200 landlords in England and Wales. The RLA recently won an award as the ‘best campaigning organisation’ at the Landlord and Letting Awards 2010 in recognition of the group orchestrating opposition to changes in laws affecting houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

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14:42 PM, 16th January 2011, About 14 years ago

My question is what organization will represent the tenants? Without equatable representation from both sides, there can be no accuracy and the likelyhood is that the program will fail to meet the needs of the people. I would also comment that in my opinion the best way to stop over pricing in housing is to eliminate all housing payment programs to private landlords. The best way to keep costs down is too: ensure landlords keep prices low and affordable by not giving them any subsidies of any kind, and the same with regard to tenants. Landlords can and will lower prices when they are not continually feed monies from government programs. The best type of programs are those where public housing in safe nieghborhoods are buildt and maintained by the public housing commissions and where tenants are renting on a sliding scale. Cash payments, or refunds, do nothing but promote higher prices. Yes landlords most certainly will choose not to participate if they know they can obtain tenants who will pay the rent they want rather than accept lower rent from needy tenants. There is also the better option of rental control which doe snot require tax dollars. Landlords may not like it but they will either adjust and set affordable fair rents or go out of business, which is what the people need. Low incomes are the results of government failure to procure it's citizens a living wage and to set reasonable boundries between making fair profit and exploitation of people. Setting out of control rents is an example of exploitation of citizens. While I am not generally keen on price control, there are but few things, basic needs being those few things, such as housing and food, which I believe all people to be entitled to, that being said the government has a paramount job in seeing that the system does not exploit citizens, that means employee wages must be at the living wage and rents must remain withing affordability for all tenants. Anything over 40% of monthly income for rent is exploitation and is not reasonable.

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