Unoccupied property insurance clients thinking about entering the local authority tenant market should note some new research by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Shelter. This analysis argues that the government’s plans to change the way housing benefit is calculated will price low income households out of one third of local authority areas in England.

The joint report looks at the impact of the changes including the move to uprate Local Housing Allowance for private tenants in line with the Consumer Price Index rather than the cost of local rents. This will break the link between housing benefit and housing costs. If local rents rise faster than CPI housing benefit will cover less of a tenant’s housing costs. In some areas of the country, especially the East of England, the East Midlands and the South West rents have been rising fast in recent years and tenants would face an increasing shortfall if this continued.