Recent News

Universal credit “misunderstood”

Universal credit remains largely misunderstood, according to a study conducted by online letting agent

The research reveals that one in three landlords are unaware of universal credit while 40% of landlords have heard of the new government scheme, but are unclear about the details. Just 27% of landlords say they fully understand universal credit. 

Hundreds sign on to Universal Credit

ALMOST 800 jobseekers in Wigan signed up to the new Universal Credit in the first four months of the benefit being rolled out in the borough.

A total of 790 people completed the application process and began receiving the new benefit between July and October 2013, according to the first figures on Universal Credit released by the Departmentfor Work and Pensions (DWP). 

Struggling tenants 'at record low' claims ARLA

ARLA says the number of tenants struggling to pay rent has fallen to a record low having fallen from 65 per cent to 27 per cent in just under five years.

“Any overall fall in rental arrears is good news but 27 per cent is still high considering the economic climate in the UK remains challenging” says Ian Potter, outgoing managing director of ARLA who leaves his post in June.  

Landlords “ready to help tenants in trouble”

According to a new survey from the AA, seven out of 10 landlords say they’ve drastically changed their plans in the past year to go and help out a tenant with a household repair.

The research from AA Home Membership, conducted amongst 200 landlords, reveals that in the past year one in five have returned from a holiday early and another one in five has had to find a babysitter. 18% have taken time off work and 16% have left a wedding or other special event. 

‘Unintended’ housing benefit cuts hit tenants

Councils are cutting off housing benefit payments to tenants who are entitled to receive them, as an unintended consequence of sanctions applied to other benefits.

Jobseeker’s allowance and employment support allowance claimants can have sanctions applied to their claims if they miss appointments or fail to do enough to find work. But many are also having their housing benefit cut, because they are unaware that they need to tell councils their financial circumstances have changed. Local authorities are stopping claims as a result. 

LHA tenants are being “misrepresented”

A property website specialising in LHA tenants says the current media rhetoric around tenants on benefits is stigmatising the LHA market., a website tenants searching for LHA properties, claims Channel 4’s controversial ‘Benefits Street’ and Fergus Wilson, the Kent-based professional landlord who recently announced that he will no longer be accept benefit tenants, are giving a heavily distorted impression of the market.

Serious rent arrears 'biggest risk to lettings market'

More than 67,000 rental households across the UK now owe more than two months’ rent according to LSL Property Services.

The firm’s quarterly rental market analysis, looking at October to December inclusive, shows that those in severe arrears rose 2,000 since the third quarter of 2013. Even so, the number of households in severe arrears is still 26 per cent below the rate a year ago. 

Young People Live Lives of Luxury on Housing Benefit... Or Do They?

George Osborne has announced the Conservative Party would cut housing benefit for under-25s after the next election as part of £25billion spending cuts, removing a vital lifeline for many homeless young people who are already struggling financially.

Such a move would be catastrophic for the 6,000 homeless young people Centrepoint supports each year. For many, returning to their family home isn't an option: some would be re-exposed to violence or abuse, for others there would simply be no room for them in already overcrowded accommodation. 

Housing benefit cuts for under-25s: young people again feel the worst of it

Homelessness is sadly becoming a reality for increasing numbers of young people, and plans floated yet again by the prime minister and chancellor this week to abolish housing benefit for under-25s will only make things worse.

There is nothing unusual about someone in their early 20s living with mum and dad in 21st-century Britain. Indeed, in laying out his plans to abolish housing benefit for under-25s, chancellor George Osborne said: "There are plenty of people listening to this programme who can't afford to move out of their home, but there are people on benefits who can get housing benefit under the age of 25." 

Not renting to tenants on benefits is short-sighted and self-defeating

A North East property boss has described himself as “shocked” by one of Britain’s best known landlord’s decision to evict 200 tenants simply for being on benefits – calling the decision “short-sighted and self-defeating.”

Fergus Wilson – who owns nearly 1000 properties in Kent with his wife Judith –hit the headlines this week for issuing eviction notices to every tenant who receives welfare, and has announced that he will no longer accept applicants on housing benefit. 

Rental price gap widens across London

Data from the new Move with Us Rental Index, which focuses on Greater London, has revealed that there is now a £4,411 gap in asking rents across the capital. 

The most expensive borough in November 2013 was Kensington and Chelsea at £5,438 per calendar month, and Bexley the cheapest at £1,027.