Planned Changes To LHA Payments Come Under Fire from RLA

07 July 2012 Categories: News

Planned Changes To LHA Payments Come Under Fire from RLA

The cuts made to local housing allowance payments by the government last year left many landlords with tenants struggling to make ends meet, however the proposed changes to the way in which LHA payments are made, which are due to come into force in 2013, will leave even more private landlords who choose to rent to LHA tenants out of pocket, says the Residential Landlords Association.

At present private landlords who have LHA claimants that fall into arrears in terms of rental payments can apply to have future LHA payments made directly to them, so cutting out the possibility of further arrears. As of 2013 though this option will be taken away and it is this change that the RLA has criticised.

According to the policy director for the RLA, Richard Jones, the government approach is flawed, and when asked for his views on the proposed changes said, “There will be a much higher level of arrears, an unwillingness of landlords to house benefit claimants (at a time when there is huge pressure on social housing), increased unwillingness by banks to lend for this kind of property, much higher levels of evictions and much greater homelessness.”

He then went on to say, “Although the objective of helping tenants to manage their financial affairs is in isolation a laudable one, the Government has wholly failed to appreciate the consequences of this,”.