From the 1st of April those landlords letting to tenants on benefit will be faced with a new regime as changes to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) come into force.
One of the changes that many landlords have been campaigning for is the right to receive direct payments from local authorities for tenants receiving housing benefit. This was removed as a result of changes brought in by the Labour Government under the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
Many landlords responded by simply refusing to let to tenants receiving housing benefit because of their bad experiences. A significant minority of tenants simply failed to pay their rent despite receiving large handouts from the council.
Some landlords on the other hand have been making the LHA work for them.
They have exploited the anomalies in rental levels in the Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA ) to buy cheap properties that have been able to secure high rents. LHA rental levels are set by a government organization called the Rent Service.
Changes to Local Housing Allowance
From the 1st of April big changes will come in as result of the coming into force of new Housing Benefit Regulation (2010).
The main one concerning landlords is that from the 1st April local Councils will have the discretion to make payment of rent direct to the landlord where they believe that it will help assist in securing or maintaining a tenancy. Worryingly however, is the proviso that the rent should be affordable and that the provision to make direct payments is only a temporary provision until “longer decisions have been made in the context of Universal Credit”. Universal Credit being the new governments attempt at simplifying ( HA – HA! ) the whole benefit system.
Downward pressure on rents
It is very clear what the underlying purpose is of linking this provision to the affordability of rent. It’s all about reducing the rents paid to landlords and cutting the Governments overall welfare bill.
Other measures that come into force for new LHA claimants are:
Existing tenants will generally have their rent protected for 9 months before the new rates apply.
The incentive for landlords is that where they are prepared to accept less rent they will at least have the carrot of direct payment of rent. Overall the message to landlords is clear.
The Government is determined that rents paid to landlords should go down!
FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY
FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY
RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
HMO (HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION)
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
COMMUNAL HEATING REGULATIONS
INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY
A GUIDE FOR NEW LANDLORDS
WHICH PERIOD OF PROPERTY
BUYING OFF PLAN
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
MANAGING RENTAL PROPERTY
GIVING NOTICE TO LEAVE
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
MOULD AND CONDENSATION
MAINTENANCE OF A RENTAL PROPERTY
LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY
TEN STEPS TO LETTING
WRITING A LETTING ADVERT
FURNISHING A PROPERTY
LETTING AGENT OR DIY
SELECTING A LETTING AGENT
TENANTS ON BENEFITS
LETTING TO STUDENTS
PREPARING AN INVENTORY
TERMS OF A TENANCY
LENGTH OF A TENANCY
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
TENANCIES IN SCOTLAND
LETTING TO TENANTS WITH PETS
LEGISLATION OF LETTING PROPERTY
TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
PREPARING FOR A POSSESSION HEARING
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS