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Responding to an announcement from the Government that it plans to work with stakeholders to address the issue of ‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector, John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association said:
“Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis. But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector we need to do more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.
“This means giving all tenants the right to choose if they want to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord, working with bank lenders to remove mortgage terms that prevent landlords renting to benefit claimants and ending the Local Housing Allowance freeze which has meant benefits bear little resemblance to rents.”
RLA research has found that the average amount owed by Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears increased by half from just over £1,600 in 2017 to almost £2,400 in 2018.
Around two thirds of the largest buy-to-let mortgage lenders do not allow landlords to rent property to tenants receiving housing benefit.
However, recently the Natwest Bank has bowed to pressure and lifted its criteria restriction prohibiting DSS tenants to rent.
Research by Manchester Metropolitan University for the RLA has found that 53 per cent of landlords reported that the gap between the Local Housing Allowance and local market rent was more than £50 a month. Almost 25% said the gap was over £100 a month.
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