Have your say when MPs debate housing benefit reformMake Text Bigger
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.
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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