The controversial TV programme Benefits Street and the media furore it has created is stigmatising the LHA market and misrepresenting tenants.
That is the verdict of an executive of a website for tenants searching for LHA properties.
Aki Ellahi, Director of Dssmove.co.uk, said: “I have currently 500 tenants on benefits and achieve a rent collection record of 100%.
"Unfortunately in any market, there are bad apples and Channel 4 has searched for and found an unsympathetic example of unemployed people, portraying them in the worst possible light.
"The programme does not give an accurate reflection of the market - just compelling TV, for some."
He added: “Landlords that are refusing to take on benefit tenants are extremely shortsighted. The facts are that out of 30 LHA tenants, there will be one headache and out of every 100, there will be a big problem. This is no different from professional tenants.
"Many landlords that are rejecting LHA tenants are citing Universal Credit as the reason. The fear of Universal Credit is unfounded. What landlords don’t realise is that it gives landlords the opportunity to have a direct relationship with the tenant on housing benefit, so any problems can be sorted quickly.
"Universal Credit puts LHA tenants on the same footing as private tenants. Both markets suffer from arrears and I would advise any landlord to use a Credit Union to collect rent. My experience over the years has shown me that tenants do not want the hassle of dealing with housing benefit. Although they understand that they need to apply for housing benefit, they prefer if the landlord or an agent, who can assist them with doing this on their behalf, as this has been the case for as long as l can remember.“