Landlords urged to not dismiss benefit tenants

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Landlord Assist, the nationwide landlord services firm, is warning landlords not to overlook and totally dismiss tenants who are in receipt of housing benefit payments.

Their comments come following a recent report from Spareroom.co.uk which revealed that just 18 per cent of landlords currently had tenants on housing benefit in one or more of their properties. In a similar survey that was carried out two years ago this figure was almost a third.

According to the poll of 1,500 landlords, more are turning away housing benefit claimants than ever before with almost six in ten landlords refusing to accept anyone on benefits.

But Graham Kinnear, managing director at Landlords Assist insists that housing claimants can make good tenants and is urging landlords not to totally dismiss them.

He said: “It is very concerning that a recent investigation revealed that some landlords in the market place are not willing to take on Housing Benefit tenants.

“Properties that tend to attract housing benefit tenants often provide a higher yield and therefore an enhanced possibility that the rent will be greater than the mortgage repayment. For landlords this is essential to their business plan.

“It is, in our view, very short sighted to impose a blanket ban on tenants in receipt of a benefit. A far more sensible method, is to look at the application on a case-by-case basis and consider each tenant on their individual merits. After all, working tenants who aren’t on housing benefit are probably only a redundancy letter away from being a social benefit applicant themselves.”