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Letting to those on benefits

Thursday, January 30, 2014 Posted in: Landlords

2014 is set to be a great year for landlords as they expect further price rises and rent increases. With demand for rented property being greater than ever, landlords are now able to be a lot more selective in their tenant searches, getting the best possible tenants and rents.

However the universal credit is on the horizon. Claimants of benefits will soon receive one single payment rather than allocated monies for housing, living expenses etc. This is worrying for landlords, and it has been recorded that four in five landlords are now turning down potential tenants who claim benefits due to this. 

This premature worry about the universal credit is not without reason. 90% of questioned landlords have had problems when letting to those on benefits, including late payments and damage to their property.

The Wilson’s, Britain’s largest landlords with around 1000 properties in Britain, have recently evicted 200 tenants on housing benefits or the equivalent as a preventative measure to what the future may hold.

It could be said that this has been a long time coming. As seen in the graph below, the percentage of landlords who let to benefit claimants has been dropping steadily since 2010. However, the largest drop happened in 2013. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that this is linked to the announcement of the new universal credit. 

As a landlord, how do you feel the universal credit will affect the rental market? Would you or do you rent to benefit claimants? Have you had any issues?

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