Landlords Urged not to Ignore Housing Benefit Tenants

04 November 2012 Categories: News

Landlords Urged not to Ignore Housing Benefit Tenants

Aki Ellahi – landlord, letting agent, founder of dssmove and director of lettings business Rent Me Now, has urged fellow landlords and letting agents to reconsider letting their properties to tenants who are in receipt of housing benefit. In an open letter written to the Guardian Professional last month, Mr Ellahi mentioning the stigma and stereotyping that surrounds benefit claimants, even though a large number of claimants have the means to pay their private rental obligations without problems.

Joining in the fight to help benefit claimant tenants is Peter Girling, chairman of Girling Retirement Rentals – a specialist letting agency that is dedicated entirely to helping retired individuals and pensioners find private rental accommodation. Mr Girling commented on the letter written by Aki Ellahi saying, “I wholeheartedly agree. Over 70% of our tenants who are aged over 55 receive some form of entitlements including housing benefit. Many of these people have paid into the system over their working lives and now need some support in their retirement, as do a number of home owners who may be entitled to social and housing support.

“Whilst I understand their commercial concerns, my view is that landlords are being short-sighted in their knee-jerk reactions.

“There are benefits to the landlord from letting property to social housing tenants. Whilst undoubtedly there are some unscrupulous people who abuse the system, it is wrong to stereotype all social tenants in this category. It is the minority giving the majority of tenants a bad name.