Help for landlords renting to tenants on benefits

Published: 06/05/2013

A letting property portal which puts tenants on local housing allowance (LHA) in contact with landlords and letting agents has reported a significant rise in site traffic.

According to figures, visits to the site have increased by 300 per cent in the last five months. The number of enquiries to letting agents has also seen a similar jump.

These impressive numbers, which look set to continue, could give landlords food for thought as founder of the portal, Aki Ellahi, points out:

“Currently there are over five million people claiming LHA and this is set to grow over the next 2-3 years, as we face a tough economic period and continued austerity measures from the Government.”

Many landlords have concerns about letting property to tenants on benefits, particularly in light of the recent changes and cuts. However as this market grows, landlords may begin to warm to the idea.

Solicitor, Rob Denman, offers advice to landlords who are thinking about letting property to tenants on benefits:

“With rent arrears one of the biggest concerns of landlords, it is understandable why some are hesitant to let their properties to tenants on benefits. But there are no guarantees when it comes to renting property; landlords can encounter issues with both private and social tenants.

“You can however minimise the risks by undertaking a strict vetting process, obtaining and thoroughly checking references, even securing a guarantor agreement. It is also important to maintain regular contact with your tenants, including property visits.

“If your tenant should ever be late with the rent, you must contact them immediately. Ignoring the problem will not make it goes away and could send the wrong message to your tenant.

“Should the problem persist and your tenants falls into arrears, contact a legal specialist like GW LET who can help you evict the tenant and minimise its financial impact.”

Content correct at time of publication

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