The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has called for the Chancellor to end the housing benefit freeze and help the growing numbers of tenants who are struggling to pay rent.

A new YouGov poll of more than 1,000 private landlords across England and Wales found that of those who were either currently letting to a Universal Credit claimant, or who had done so last year, 9% had at least one tenant experiencing difficulties as a result of the £20 a week cut, following a temporary increase in response to the pandemic. 

Gap in support

The NRLA points to government figures showing how 1,431,040 households in the private rented sector were receiving Universal Credit last August, with housing cost support (Local Housing Allowance) included in the payment. Of these, 788,832 (55%) had a gap between the support they received and their rent payments. It warns that this will only get worse as a result of the government’s decision last year to freeze in cash terms housing cost support and predicts that as a result, the level of benefit support available will be able to cover the rent on ever fewer properties.

As many households face a cost-of-living crisis, the NRLA argues that a benefits system which properly supports tenants is of critical importance; it wants the government to reverse its damaging decision to freeze the Local Housing Allowance rate and ensure it properly reflects market rents.

nrla ben beadle new pic

Broken system

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says it’s a broken system in desperate need of reform. “With households facing a cost-of-living squeeze, it is vital that the benefits system gives the protection that tenants deserve,” says Beadle. “That is why the Chancellor needs to end the housing benefit freeze as a matter of urgency. Without this, many tenants and landlords face an uncertain future about how to keep tenancies going.”


  1. Any increase in LHA will result in an increase in rents for all – it always does. We need to increase the supply of social housing if we are to control the upward spiral of rents.

    • I agree that increasing the supply of social housing is the only way forward if we are to reduce the number of people and families desperate to find housing. It appears that rents have increased in the PRS in any case due to the measures put in place by the government to reduce landlord’s income (too many to mention by way of a recap here), mine certainly have.

  2. There are millions of welfare scroungers that REFUSE to do anything to prevent their own poverty circumstances.

    Govt should NOT increase LHA.
    It just encourages the feckless welfare scroungers to carry on being feckless.

    It is perfectly possible to achieve unlimited UC if working more than 16 hours per week.

    Why do you think that 90% of Big Issue sellers are Romanian Gypsies!?

    LHA should be low.
    It should economically cleanse welfare scroungers to cheaper parts of the UK.

    No scrounger who refuses to work should be paid sufficient by Govt welfare to reside in more expensive areas.

    There is no point in welfare scroungers who refuse to work being paid sufficient welfare to reside in the expensive SE.

    With so many available jobs there should be NO unemployed.

    Yet the scroungers seem to manage to avoid work.

    If anything LHA should be reduced to force the scroungers out of the SE.

    The OBC can easily be broken by working 16 hours per week.

    Anyone who can’t even be bothered to work 16 hours per week deserves NO sympathy.

    Only those who genuinely are unable to do ANY work deserve support.

    Anxiety and depression don’t count.
    Doesn’t stop anyone picking cabbages.

    I keep my properties empty.
    No way will I take on DSS.

    There are very few deserving DSS cases.

    Taxpayers are fed up supporting the feckless.

    If I had my way work conscription would occur.
    Work or starve.

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