15:24 PM, 23rd April 2012, About 10 years ago 22
Tenants on housing benefits are struggling to rent buy to let homes as landlords withdraw from the market.
The market is set to deteriorate further over the next three years as huge numbers of landlords say they will stop letting to tenants on benefits.
Demand from first time buyers and movers who cannot buy a home is cutting the number of rented homes available for benefit tenants as landlords switch non-benefit tenants, says the National Landlords Association (NLA).
A NLA survey has revealed more than half of landlords (53%) consider letting to benefit tenants is unaffordable after the government cut local housing allowances as part of a wider benefits review.
Around 47% of landlords believe tenants aged under 35 will be hit hardest by the changes and almost 69% of landlords say they unlikely to rent to tenants on benefits in 2015.
Councils have stopped paying benefits to single tenants under 35, forcing them to seek shared accommodation, while average rents paid have also dropped as well.
NLA chairman David Salusbury said: “It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years, as they can no longer afford to let their properties to tenants at the reduced benefit rate.
“In view of the pressures on housing, the private-rented sector will inevitably play an increasingly important role in providing housing to LHA tenants, particularly those aged under 35, who aren’t able to access other housing.
“It is vital that local authorities work with landlords to provide the support services needed to help this demographic, as many are forced to move into shared accommodation.”
Landlords can find out the likely rent a local council will pay on their property by inputting some details in to an official online calculator.
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