Previously Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud had urged landlords to "meet us half way" by lowering rents in exchange for a return to the system of direct payments, where rent is paid directly to the landlord by the local authority, rather than by the tenant.
It has emerged as part of changes to the LHA that came into effect yesterday that this protection will only last for up to two years.
Many of the changes were announced as part of a raft of reforms in last year’s Emergency Budget and autumn Spending Review that also see LHA capped at £400 a week for new tenants.
Ian Fletcher, director policy at the British Property Federation, said: "This is Del-Boy benefit policy -seeking to trade a landlord’s right to be paid with the Government’s desire to reduce its expenditure.
"If this was really about protecting tenants why limit it at two years, and not give an on-going commitment to direct payment up until housing benefit is absorbed into Universal Credit?
"Landlords should expect to get paid for the housing they provide. That shouldn’t be contingent on lowering rents, or having to wait eight weeks under the current system.
"The Government would not dare treat other small businesses in such a way, but seems to think it is acceptable to allow people to rack up huge debts and treat landlords so badly."
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