‘Del Boy’ housing benefit policy under fire

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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0 thoughts on “‘Del Boy’ housing benefit policy under fire

  1. Neil

    My understanding of the legislation is to specifically put downward pressure on Housing Benefit rents to bring them in line with the rents affordable by working tenants. What is all the fuss about other than some private landlords complaining when they lose what is effectively a Government subsidy whilst other Landlords who rent to working tenants have already sufferred the pain of reductions due to the economic climate. Thank goodness the days of the unemployed being able to “afford” better quality housing than those working.

  2. Dr. M. Rueben

    After years of the government allowing tenants to steal the first 8 weeks rent from landlords, and refusing to take action against these thieves, once again we the landlords are expected to take a ‘hit’ on behalf of the government again.
    I say no, no, no. We are now evicting every tenant we have who claims housing benefit and will never take another. I urge all private landlords to do the same. Let the government do their job and provide social housing instead of foisting onto us, then kicking us in the nuts for our trouble.
    No longer will this dog be wagged by a rancid tail sponsored by his own taxes.

  3. Scott Kerr

    I agree, it will also stop the sharp practice of a landlord & tenant overdeclaring the rent and splitting the difference. Welcome to the real world.