Landlords have called on the government to end its ‘absurd’ housing benefits system whereby a majority of renters in receipt of Universal Credit have an average gap of £100 between their housing payments and the rent they pay.

The NRLA says 56% of renters in receipt of housing support via Universal Credit are in this situation, while the figure for those with two children rises to 60%.

The figure also varies wildly depending on the region from 40% in London to nearly 70% in Wales.

It is claimed that this situation will lead to landlords, many of whom are already wary of tenants in receipt of benefits, avoiding this category of renter and the pool of PRS properties available to them shrinking.

LHA trap

The problem is linked to the Local Housing Allowance system which is used to calculate the amount tenants can receive to support housing costs as part of a Universal Credit payment.

In response to the pandemic the Government lifted it in April 2020 so that it covered the bottom 30 per cent of private rents in any given area. In April last year the rate was frozen in cash terms.

As a result of this, housing benefit support is no longer linked to current rents which, given yesterday’s official data showing 53% of tenants are unable to absorb a financial shock, means landlords face tenants who are more likely to build up rent arrears during the current cost of living crisis.

nrla ben beadle new pic

“It is simply absurd that housing benefit support fails to reflect the reality of rents as they currently stand,” says Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA (pictured).

“The Chancellor needs to listen and respond to the concerns of both renters and landlords and unfreeze housing benefits as a matter of urgency.”


  1. It doesnt help when LHA rates are dictated by another County either.

    My properties are close to the new nuclear power station in Somerset – which has seen 8,000 single workers move in for 10 years.

    That has pushed rents up massively – so much so that Ive increased mine 10% each year for 3 years.

    That places even fewer properties available for local residents – with very high rents to pay (supply and demand just like any business).

    So, those on benefits really suffer.

    BUT, they suffer even more because LHA rates arent calculated on rents in this expensive area – they are based on North Somerset, a different County altogether.

    I guess its one way for the Tory council to stay in power, by moving the less well off non-Tory voters out of the area

  2. What absolute twaddle!!

    The Welfare Wage of £20000 and £23000 is more than adequate to fund rent in cheaper areas of the UK.

    Few people who work earn more than these figures GROSS!!!!

    The FECKLESS welfare scroungers earn this NET!!

    The whole point of UC is to force financial budgeting on the feckless.

    If the welfare wage within the OBC is INSUFFICIENT then MOVE.

    Of course there is a way to overcome the OBC.

    Guess what that might be!?

    Yep all you have to do to obtain unlimited benefits which exceeds the OBC is to get off your fat arse and do 16hrs of alleged work EVERY week.

    That work could be selling the Big Issue or collecting scrap metal.

    These are considered disgracefully as suitable jobs by the DWP to evade the OBC.

    I DON’T know about you but I would gladly stand on a street corner selling the Big Issue for 16 hrs per week to receive unlimited welfare commensurate with domestic circumstances to completely avoid the OBC!!

    The lazy welfare scroungers should be conscripted into the more than 1 million of currently available jobs.

    The feckless welfare scroungers believe it is their right to remain where they are paid for by the State IRRESPECTIVE of changing market conditions.

    About time these feckless welfare scroungers were economically cleansed from expensive areas to cheaper areas if they CAN’T be bothered to work even 16 hrs pw!!

    If they are NOT prepared to work then there is no point in being funded to reside in those expensive areas.

    There are plenty of affordable and cheap letting properties up North.

    That is where the feckless should be deported to.

    Down South we only want those prepared to WORK.
    The feckless should disappear up North.

    It is no wonder that down South with rents increasing that LL increasingly do NOT wish to let to these feckless wasters!!


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