From April 2011, the new ?400 a week benefit limit was to be enforced yet existing claimants have until January 2012 to enable tenants to either lower their rent payments or move into other properties. UK Partliamentary Social Housing Security Advisory Committee has warned that “some changes will have far reaching adverse consequences”.
The committee’s annual report was revealed on the day Department for Work & Pensions’ Secretary Iain Duncan Smith confirmed planned changes to local housing benefit system including new weekly limit. The plans included changes to how Local Housing Allowances (LHAs) are calculated. Rather than being a median figure of local rents it will now be reduced by one third.
Many Landlord Associations have called for direct rent payments to landlords rather than tenants. They believe that vulnerable tenants will continue to fall behind on rent payments. This could include someone with poor track record of paying their bills on time including missed or late payments on credit cards or loans. Most people on Job Seekers Allowance are previously convicted criminals. A new generation of benefits cheated encouraged by their parents to continue claiming. They are happy-go-lucky claim the dole and do the jobs on the side for cash.
In this uncertainty would you accommodate a benefit claimant into your property? People who consider paying a rent a chore will have your money spent in local bookmakers before you know it.
One frustrated landlord said “the Government Ministers who have all attended Eton College and Oxford University will never understand the mindset of a benefit claimant. It is hardly surprising that Government did not bother asking for Landlords’ advice either.”
There are strong arguments for both sides however, the facts are that benefit cheats are costing Britain ?60 billion pounds every year and this figure is set to rise with time. People need to be punished for claiming benefits and not rewarded with rent free properties.
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