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Incentives possible for private rental sector 'to house those most in need'

The private rental sector in Wales could be offered incentives and other support to house those most in need, the Welsh housing minister says.

Rebecca Evans has told the Residential Landlords Association that she recognises there are “increased” risks around tenants in receipt of benefits, due to benefits not meeting market rents. 

She says she also recognises concerns about rent payments not being met in full and on time.

“Let me be clear, I want to find ways to eradicate the ‘no DSS’ barrier. Poverty should not be allowed to be the basis for discrimination” she says. 

“I want to see the Welsh Government do more to support landlords who are willing to widen access by providing security of income, protecting against voids and losses and ensuring support for tenants during the duration of their agreement - and helping to improve the standard of the property they are renting.”

In return she said landlords would be expected to offer longer leases to tenants on benefits and low-income families.

“We are currently working on an exciting proposal to make an attractive offer of this type and it is one I want to move forward on at pace. These are exciting times for housing in Wales.”

Research by Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with RLA research arm PEARL, has found that changes to the benefits system have led to an increase in homelessness from rented housing, and that more needs to be done to tackle the issue.

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    But Housing these people are at the very most riskiest end of the rented sector, Where the ability to use Sec 21 is MOST important,
    Sorry, the Carrot is NOWHERE near big enough ( nor could it be for most business-minded sensible landlords )
    Of course changes to benefits has badly affected the Benefit rented sector, but going back to what was expected previously, where Direct payment was the norm, - and expecting Landlords to grant longer RISKIER tenancies is a pipe-dream.
    Landlord organisations should be telling the Welsh government this - not 'working with them', selling out their members.

  • G romit

    This is Government pandering to populist propaganda put out by faux charities like Shelter (who do not provide homes for anyone except themselves).
    Avergage tenancies already last in excess of 4 years (meaning many are much longer) and 93% of all tenancies are ended by the tenants themselves. The only people calling for longer tencies are the rogue tenants who get evicted every 6 or 12 months for non payment of rent, damaging the property or abusing the neighbours. There has to be an efficient way of evicting such people.

    S l
    • S l
    • 03 December 2018 10:14 AM

    yes we need better eviction rules than s21. also the call for 1.5 months rent deposit is absurb. most of them left after non payment of 2 months rent due to the shelter telling rogue tenant we cant evict them until they are 2 months rent in arrears. now they want 1.5 month rent deposit????

     
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    I have lost thousands to tenants on benefits and that was before U Credit as this group are more at risk of arrears that means you are more likely to have togo to court. Then you have councils and Shelter telling the tenants to wait for the bailiff. Most cases you do not get paid and can end up with thousands of pounds in damages. As the article points out the LHA rate is far lower than the market rent. Those on lower incomes cannot afford to heat the property and you then get condensation and the Health and Safety dept after you. Plus you are then accused of robbing the Public purse.
    Government Policies have driven many good landlords out of this market and only the elimination of Section24 will make any landlord think about going back. Shelter supporting S24 and attacking the PRS at every turn are also to blame for DSS tenants not being housed by the PRS.

    S l
    • S l
    • 03 December 2018 09:49 AM

    you forgot that when condensation and mould issues in rented property arise, the local council will call you rogue landlord and put notice on you to rectify the problems at your costs which you cant claim back if you fix the problems prior to the end of tenancy agreement without giving the tenants the chance to rectify it themselves at their own costs, and some just went on to get pictures as evidence against landlord to sue in court to show prs "they wont hesitate to use the power of the law to make the landlord feel the force of their power" as per older articles regarding LA

     
  • S l
    • S l
    • 03 December 2018 09:38 AM

    There are a lot of reasons why prs do not want those on benefits. yes riskier in terms of non payment, damages, not looking after property despite having LA imposing notices to upgrade the house at our costs without any grant. hence the hike in rental prices. it never use to be this high until the government decided to have a hand in how we manage the letting. with more requirement that costs, the higher the rent. they cant cap rent and expect higher standards and regulations that cost money. If you want to stay in 5 star hotels, you pay 5 star prices.
    The biggest problems of non payment of rental is that when tenant tried to get into property, they agreed and signed form for the housing benefit to go to landlord. once they moved in, they then have the liberty to change and refuse the housing benefit to be paid to landlord and to be paid directly to themselves and spent it all and not pay rent. no amount of complaint to the benefit office would do any good because we were told that its the right of the person to decide where his housing benefit are paid into and its not their problems that it wasnt paid to landlords. so yes to the above, no s21, no definite direct payment to landlord for rent, no thank you to the social tenants that the government are suppose to house and shelter instead of looking at prs. They create a mess for the tenant, how is that to increase their votes? shouldnt they offer a rogue tenant list for us landlord in order to be fair and if landlord are to be strip off their licence to rent for being rogue, shouldnt rogue tenants not be allow to rent too?

  • icon

    What will the Welsh Government do about the tenants who commit Housing Benefit fraud? It is common practice for the landlord to then receive demands for the rent money back - I heard this week of a letter being sent to the landlord regarding a fraudulent claim on behalf of the tenant going back to 2014. What landlord wants to risk having to pay back 4 years' rent money because unbeknown to them, the tenant wasn't entitled to it? And reassurances that in fact it is the tenant who is liable are not reassuring enough when landlords receive these demands regularly. It is far more advisable for landlords to not house any people on benefits, with all the obstacles which Government - national and local - put in their way. It is far easier to just house working people where if they default one can evict but without facing a demand from a third party to pay all the rent back. It is far easier to house working people who, if they end up owing thousands in arrears, can be subject to an attachment of earnings. How are landlords supposed to get back thousands owed by people on benefits if they have no job or assets?

    S l
    • S l
    • 03 December 2018 09:53 AM

    hi ros, does the LA even have the power to get it back from Landlord? first of all, there are no contractual relationship between the benefit office and landlord, so they can ask but does the landlord have to pay back??
    secondly the benefit office does it at the request of the tenants and they can only chase the tenants as its between them and the tenant. maybe in this instance, the landlord would probably have better options in court and let the LA try their luck in claiming back through the courts? but of course, please ask for proper advise from a solicitor or barrister to know actual positions and the risks involved.

     
  • icon

    I believe it is Bill Murray (maybe got the name wrong) who wrote last week that he regularly has to deal with landlords being pursued in this way. The authorities prefer to pursue those it thinks it has a better chance of getting the money from. We don't know how many landlords may have paid up just to avoid the stress and possible litigation and damage to their credit rating, which can be extremely serious for landlords as they regularly need to remortgage. Also, it may be possible for them to take the money from the Housing Benefit related to a different tenancy.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 03 December 2018 10:33 AM

    i think landlord have better chance in courts than with local authorities . it might be more stress but at least it set a precedence and without contractual relationship between landlord and local authority, i dont think they have the right to the money. but they will always asked anyway and might get lucky because landlord are afraid of them. its some sort of intimidation as the LA might not re issue licence? or target them ? landlord needs to buy legal protection against LA as landlord insurance may not cover litigation against LA, just tenants. there was also a previous thread somewhere in nottingham i think where they got a small landlord association that took the LA to court and won. didnt give any specifics. would be good to know more.

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