National Residential Landlords Association

Research - renting to tenants on benefits

Nick Clay on new NRLA research that shows more and more landlords are renting to tenants on benefits.

Almost 40% of NRLA landlords rent to tenants on Universal Credit - a proportion which has been steadily rising over the last five years.

Our Quarter 1 survey asked landlords about letting to tenants on Universal Credit, as well as asking landlords whether they let property at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates.

Around 11% of landlords do so, with many landlords saying this is not necessarily a business decision, but one which achieves a social good. Others said they have lowered rents to enable a tenant to remain in the property.  

However there does seems to be a supply crisis looming. The chart shows the number of available renta properties at LHA rent levels is very much under threat. 

When asked about future plans - what they will do when their current tenancy ends - only 15% of landlords who presently let at LHA rates stated they intended carry on when the current tenant leaves.  

Indeed, almost a quarter of landlords said they will sell the property.

Almost 60% of landlords are proposing to re-let the property, but said they cannot keep the rents to LHA levels. This is evidence that the issue is not with landlords wishing to sell property, but rather the LHA rate is simply insufficient, even where landlords wish to provide property for social good.