Are Landlords to blame for increase in homeless

Homelessness can’t be laid at the door of private landlords and shouldn’t be used to attract headlines, an agent has said.

Homelessness can’t be laid at the door of private landlords and shouldn’t be used to attract headlines, an agent has said.

Terry Lucking, owner of Belvoir in Peterborough, was responding after a dispute between the council and MPs following a decision by councillors to house homeless families in a Travelodge at a budgetary overspend of £1.2m.

The council says that the roll-out of Universal Credit, which is paid direct to tenants, is partly to blame because it is making local private landlords reluctant to accept tenants on benefit.

The council also says that supply is dwindling because a number of landlords are now selling up as a result of tax changes.

But local MPs Stewart Jackson and Shailesh Vara have cast doubts on whether private landlords really are increasingly reluctant to house benefit tenants and said the local authority should do more to build more suitable housing.

One landlord, Azard Hussain, told his local paper that the council is correct in saying that there are a lot of landlords who will not consider housing benefit tenants.

He said: “I myself, a private landlord who has previously taken on tenants on housing benefit, cannot see myself doing this in the future, especially if the system makes it even harder to get direct payments instead of it going to tenants first.”

But Lucking said rather than trading blows, officials should concentrate on solving the many issues around homelessness.

“There are many reasons for homelessness and they shouldn’t be used to just make headlines.

“Universal Credit changed years ago so that can’t be blamed. There just isn’t enough housing.

“Some tenants don’t meet the landlord criteria and some simply don’t have the cash.”

Lucking said a working party should be set up by local MPs to investigate issues. He said he would happily sit on such a panel.


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Written by: Houseladder