Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was reduced a year ago and the maximum rent benefit is now 30% of the local average market rent whereas previously it was 50%. In some areas of the country, especially parts of London this means that it is very difficult for LHA tenants to rent properties. Another change is that the age at which tenants on benefits qualify for more than a single room in a shared house has been increased from 25 to 35.
The National Landlords Association has just come out with the results of a survey that will be interesting o those landlord insurance clients who rent to tenants on benefits. The NLA say that 53% of the landlords who responded said that the cut in LHA mean that it is unaffordable to let out homes to people on benefits. Just under half said that they thought that tenants under the age of 35 will be hit hardest by the changes and nearly 70% said they cannot see themselves letting to LHA tenants in 2015.
The chairman of the National Landlords Association commented:
“It’s concerning that so many landlords appear to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years. In view of the pressure 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”.
We are always interested in hearing from our landlord clients about the way they see the market going. What do you think about these changes?