Recent News

Private tenant rent arrears drop in May

The amount of rent money owed by private tenants in England and Wales fell 2.1 per cent during May, according to a network of lettings agents.

LSL Property Services in its latest buy-to-let index out today shows the total amount of late or unpaid rent decreased to £276 million last month, compared to £282 million in April. 

London's rough sleeping levels up 13%

The number of people seen rough sleeping in London has risen by 13% in the past year, a new report has revealed.

The ‘Street to Home 2012/13’ report shows that 6,437 people were seen sleeping on the streets of the capital between 1 April, 2012 and 31 March, 2013 - compared to 5,678 the previous year. 

36 councils call on government to abolish bedroom tax

Councillors representing 36 local authorities have urged the government to abolish its controversial bedroom tax policy.

At a special summit held at Manchester Town Hall last week, Labour councillors representing Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Birmingham, Nottingham and 31 other cities outlined the damage they believe is being caused by the under-occupancy policy. 

Lord Freud exclusive: 'We are listening to social landlords on Universal Credit'

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud says the Universal Credit demonstration projects have helped to shape new thinking around direct payments to tenants.

The demonstration projects were set up to learn how we could best support landlords and tenants with the introduction of direct payment. That learning is regularly shared and I’m sure all members of the social housing community have views on what it is teaching us. Because the roll out of Universal Credit is progressive we have time to get this right. 

Majority of Brits want government to tackle root causes of housing benefit bill

The majority of the British public believe the government should be tackling the root causes of the country’s high housing benefit bill.

A survey by the Fabian Society asked people if they agreed with the statement: "The size of the housing benefit bill has risen because there are more people claiming due to unemployment, low wages and rents rising quickly. Instead of planning further cuts, the government should be focusing on solving these underlying problems. The government should do this even if it took a long time and meant tax rises or spending cuts elsewhere." 

Universal Credit direct payment demonstration projects will be extended for six months

The Universal Credit direct payment demonstration projects will be extended for a further six months, Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud recently announced, as new findings from the projects are published.

The Department for Work and Pensions says the extension will help to further develop the support needed for social housing tenants moving onto Universal Credit. The projects will now run until the end of the year. 

Newham Council's private landlord licensing scheme hits 30,000 applications

Newham Council has received license applications from 30,000 private landlords as part of its pioneering scheme to improve housing conditions in the borough.

Since January 1 this year, the council has carried out 750 enforcement visits, issued 1,200 warning letters, and handed out 50 cautions. Thirty prosecutions, at various stages of the legal process, have been pursued since the scheme started.