CONCERN is growing that there is a number of landlords refusing to accept tenants in receipt of housing benefit which could have drastic consequences on the social housing sector.
Landlord Assist, the tenant referencing and tenant eviction specialist, believes the introduction of licences in some areas, combined with a reduction in Housing Benefit payments received by tenants, is forcing many landlords to leave the sector.
Stephen Parry, commercial director at Landlord Assist is worried that this could lead to a deep social housing crisis affecting many lower income and vulnerable households.
He said: “A number of local authorities have introduced licensing schemes for landlords, whereby they are required to pay a significant licence fee for the ability to rent their property.
“As a result many landlords are now diverting their attentions to other areas of property investment.
“Local authorities have also reduced the amount of Housing Benefit that some people are entitled to, which could lead to an increase in rent arrears for some landlords and a growing disparity between the amount a housing benefit tenant can pay and the market rent.
“Not surprisingly, due to a lack of supply of rented accommodation in the private rented sector, landlords now feel less reliant on housing benefit tenants to fill their properties. This is simply the harsh reality, but the net result could potentially be a deep housing crisis as local authorities have little available accommodation and are not building enough new properties to satisfy demand.”