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Landlords hit out at plans to cut housing benefit

Thursday 09 March 2017

Landlords have slammed Government plans to cut housing benefit for 18-21s as research shows it will cause far-reaching problems.

The new Universal Credit regulation states that jobless 18-21-year-olds will no longer qualify for help with their rental costs and will affect new claims made after April 1.

A survey of more than 1,000 landlords by the Residential Landlords Association, shows 76 per cent fear the measure will leave under 21s unable to pay their rent, with the result that landlords will be less willing to let property to them.

Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association said: “The Government has effectively closed the door to private rented housing for some of the most vulnerable individuals in society. 

“Never mind the nuances, all landlords will hear is that 18-21 year olds are no longer entitled to housing benefit.  

"Faced with a young person who may not be able to pay the rent, a landlord won’t worry about the details of their life, they just won’t consider them as a tenant.

“However much the Government tries to make this policy more palatable by talking up the exemptions, it still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.”

RLA Vice-Chairman, Chris Town said: “Cuts to housing benefit will make it risky for landlords to rent to those receiving it.

“Rented housing is crucial to enabling young people to quickly access work and education opportunities.

“By making it more difficult for them to secure rental properties Ministers are making such prospects increasingly difficult for them.

“We call on the Government to think again and use the Budget to reverse its plans to cut housing benefit for the under 21s.”

The Government claims vulnerable people will continue to be protected, as will carers, those with families and those who have been in work for at least six months prior to claiming, as well as those working at least 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage.  

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