The National Landlords Association (NLA) has reiterated its call for the Government to make major changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in the Pre-Budget Report.
The latest research carried out by the NLA shows that total rent arrears across the UK relating to LHA could be as high as £220 million.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was introduced for new tenancies in April 2008 when it replaced the old housing benefit system. Under the new rules, instead of rent being paid directly to private landlords to cover housing costs, it now goes straight to the tenants who are responsible for passing on the rent money to their landlord.
The NLA claims that in practice, many tenants are failing to make these payments and this is causing major problems. In the most serious cases, landlords are refusing to let to tenants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit because of rental arrears.
David Salusbury, NLA chairman, said: “The Government must bring forward their planned review of LHA as soon as possible. If ministers are serious about the importance of the contribution the private-rented sector makes to the housing mix