National Landlords Association achieves big win for LHA landlords
David Boyd, Managing Director, PAD4U Letting Agents Manchester writes:
Shadow Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, will announce that should the Conservative Party form the next Government, they would reinstate Housing Benefit tenants’ choice to have rent paid direct to their landlords.
This would bring to an end the malfunctioning Local Housing Allowance which requires councils to pay rent directly to tenants who, in many cases, are failing to pass on these payments to their landlords.
Mr Shapps will make the announcement at a Crisis Conference in Birmingham this afternoon, saying: “It strikes me that the current situation is bad for everyone and I can see no reason why people on Local
Housing Allowance shouldn’t enjoy the freedom to have their Housing Benefit paid direct to their landlord. Our proposal will de stigmatise the system and increase the amount of affordable homes available.”
Since the malfunctioning LHA was introduced in April 2008, not only has the NLA Campaigns Team been lobbying the Government to bring forward their LHA review but it’s also been meeting with the Shadow
Ministerial Teams highlighting the major problems LHA is causing.
On Tuesday we heard the good news from Conservative Campaign Headquarters: if elected, LHA landlords can expect changes. The NLA campaign continues and we will be putting pressure on the Government to announce exactly when they now intend to review the LHA.
PAD4U from the outset and been vocal in the opposition to LHA policy of paying rent to the tenant no matter what, even if the tenant prefers otherwise. We’re glad to hear that the NLA have been presuming all political parties to reconsider this policy.
If Housing Benefit tenants are to make financial sense to landlords. Landlords will need to be paid directly and for rent to take into account the greater wear and tear that occurs in Housing Benefit properties.
Until such time as the above policies are altered PAD4U will continue to take a very cautions approach and only recommend HB tenant in a special circumstances in agreement with the landlord.