The number of landlords and agents that have worries about receiving rent from housing benefit tenants is roughly 60%. A survey of 500 landlords and agents, conducted by the DSSMove website, found that when excluding rent, over 75% of those questioned were happy to let to tenants receiving housing benefits.
A large proportion of the survey suggested that they are not more troublesome than private tenants, but nearly two thirds give rent arrears as a main concern.
Aki Ellahi, founder of the website, said: “Attitudes to LHA tenants are changing. More and more landlords and agents can see the commercial benefits of letting to LHA tenants.
“I have been a landlord for over ten years and all my properties are occupied by LHA tenants and I have experienced very few problems over the years. I have currently 500 tenants on benefits and achieve a rent collection record of 100%.
“I would not be able to achieve this level of success without the use of Credit Unions. Using such organisations to collect housing benefit and pay this across to the landlord or agent is very convenient.
“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 it if the landlord or agent can assist them with doing this on their behalf, and this has been the case for as long as l remember.”
Alex Barron, of Martin & Co Huddersfield Letting Agents, added "the majority of our landlords are unwilling to work with housing benefit tenants, but it is very much a reflection of the process rather than a judgement of the people."