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the_dork

Landlords The Victims

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Don't have time for full comment myself but haven't seen a thread on this-beyond parody

http://www.propertyweek.com/landlords-are-hidden-victims-of-housing-benefit-debacle/5003232.blog

The current row over the housing benefit reforms has completely ignored the fate of a hidden group of victims – landlords letting property to tenants on benefits.

Yes, let’s hear it for the landlords! From recent press coverage, you’d be forgiven for thinking that most were squeezing huge sums out of the government renting palaces to asylum seekers.

Don’t be fooled – not all are like the landlord to the infamous Nur family in Notting Hill who’s receiving £2,000 a week in housing benefit rent for a property that would command far less if it were let to private tenants.

This should obviously never have happened, and even David Cameron has condemned it as outrageous.

As the property editor of the Investors Chronicle, I’ve been contacted by landlord readers who are aghast at the Coalition’s reforms. Here’s what I’ve found out.

The majority of housing benefit claimants live far outside of the capital (only 14,000 of the UK’s 1m housing benefit claimants are in central London). The true scandal of our broken housing benefits system is that most landlords are not even receiving the rent they’re entitled to. Too often, the tenants fail to pass it on. Why?

In April 2008, the Labour government changed the law. Instead of paying housing benefit direct to landlords, councils pay it direct to the tenants every fortnight. The touchy-feely thinking behind this was to teach people on benefits the responsibility of managing their own financial affairs. Predictably, it has been an utter disaster.

Giving benefits claimants cash in the hope that they will pass it on to the landlord rather than spend it on feeding their families (or worse, feeding a drink or drugs habit) is futile. A recent survey by the charity Shelter found 65% of landlords to tenants on benefits have experienced rental arrears since the system was changed. Another survey from the British Property Federation, shows 55% of landlords will refuse to take tenants on housing benefit as a result.

As for our readers, many thought that renting out cheap properties to benefit tenants in the north east and north west would be a good investment. If you can buy a house for £6,000 cash and get £3,000 a year rent from the government, you can see why.

In practice, these unwanted rows of terraced houses have become privatised council estates. Tenants know the landlord lives hundreds of miles away, and feel no remorse about keeping the rent, or trashing the property. Our special report in this week’s magazine, Confessions of a Slum Landlord, tells of horrific damage to properties, including one tenant who sawed out the hot water tank and sold it for scrap. Another property was boarded up by the RSPCA when the tenant absconded leaving behind a menagerie of reptiles.

You might not feel sorry for these hapless landlords, but since Maggie sold off the council housing stock, we’re reliant on the private sector to meet Britain’s housing needs. The Coalition should immediately reverse Labour’s decision, and start paying rent direct to landlords again. Its attempts to reform the system by reducing rents will just convince more landlords to abandon the sector for good. And if they do, that leaves the taxpayer to pick up the bill.

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reading that gave me the same kind of pit-of-stomach feelings of horror and pity i felt upon seeing the impacts of famine in ethiopia in the 80s.

for the love of g_d can't we please give these people an extremely large slice of taxpayers' money immediately???

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reading that gave me the same kind of pit-of-stomach feelings of horror and pity i felt upon seeing the impacts of famine in ethiopia in the 80s.

for the love of g_d can't we please give these people an extremely large slice of taxpayers' money immediately???

taxpayers money? Surely if this is new expenditure, then it will have to be borrowed or printed by the bank of england?

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Well.. if the business model isn't working anymore, perhaps they should sell the assets?

Plenty of people looking to take them off their hands.

For the right price of course.

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Guest BetterOffOnBenefits

You might not feel sorry for these hapless landlords, but since Maggie sold off the council housing stock, we’re reliant on the private sector to meet Britain’s housing needs

So build so more or buy some back? She's been out of office for 19 years!

Difficult I know, when we're blowing billions on keeping foreigners in the style to which they're not accustomed, fighting pointless wars and bailing out banks.

Seriously though, the govt doesn't give a flying **** about housing, just like they don't care about the trains.....otherwise they'd have done something by now.

They have more than enough time to do so.

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Its attempts to reform the system by reducing rents will just convince more landlords to abandon the sector for good. And if they do, that leaves the taxpayer to pick up the bill.

:blink::blink::blink:

I though the whole point was that the taxpayer was already picking up the bill, lining the pockets of landlords in the process.

The more private landlords who chuck in their cards and sell to owner-occupiers the better.

Housing associations seem to be able to build affordable rented housing reasonably efficiently. Surely every possible encouragement - both financial and political - should be given to housing associations to build more homes for rent. This would give employment in the construction sector a much-needed boost, too.

Edited by Mr Yogi

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Giving benefits claimants cash in the hope that they will pass it on to the landlord rather than spend it on feeding their families (or worse, feeding a drink or drugs habit) is futile. A recent survey by the charity Shelter found 65% of landlords to tenants on benefits have experienced rental arrears since the system was changed. Another survey from the British Property Federation, shows 55% of landlords will refuse to take tenants on housing benefit as a result.

The government should demand a discount of about 40% to pay HB direct. .... It will greatly help to reduce the government's deficit.

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  • 244 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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