The changes were brought in to empower tenants; however, it seems that it has only succeeded in frustrating and alienating landlords who let to LHA tenants.
Currently, there are approximately 783,000 LHA tenants and the NLA estimate that £220m has been lost by landlords directly as a result of tenants withholding housing benefits.
On average, we are instructed on 300 tenant eviction cases per month. Of these, around 15% are directly linked to LHA. Our free advice line is jammed with calls from angry landlords who want change.
The situation is becoming dire and many landlords are refusing to let to LHA tenants – regardless of the incentives that are being offered to take them on.
There are many good tenants that are honest and pay their allowance to the landlords. Unfortunately, there are still a large number of tenants who are not so conscientious.
We have been campaigning on behalf of landlords to change the current LHA system to, once again, give tenants a choice to have their housing benefit paid directly to landlords.
The Conservatives have pledged that, should they be elected to government this year, they will reinstate tenant’s choice – in effect, reverting the system back to the way it was before Labour’s changes. However, many more changes will be required and it is still unclear when these changes will come into effect.
I speak with hundreds of landlords at the talks and seminars that I regularly give. I have found that the main issue is that landlords do not know how to make the system work for them when, in fact, there are many simple steps that landlords can take to help ease their situation.
As a result, Landlord Action has decided to host a one-day seminar in London on the 26th February 2010.
We have teamed up with Settled Housing Solutions to help landlords understand how to make the LHA system work for them.
On the day, landlords will learn: the latest government guidance on direct payments to landlords; cash incentives available for LHA landlords; how to get housing benefit rent paid quicker; protocol for managing claims; the role of letting agents and the LHA; the latest LHA updates. Essentially, they will learn how to make the system work for them!
For more information about the event and to book a place, visit: www.LandlordAction.co.uk/LHASeminar
Landlords will have access to speakers, full education pack, speaker’s notes, refreshments and a three-course lunch.
Places are limited so book today to avoid disappointment.