The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has criticised the Chancellor Rishi Sunak for cutting the amount those on Universal Credit will be able to claim to pay their rent, pushing millions of landlords and tenants into financial difficulties.
According to a report by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published at the same time as Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review presented today in parliament, the Local Housing Allowance will be ‘frozen in cash terms from next year onwards’.
This means that the rate will fall below the current level which is set to cover the lowest 30 per cent of rents in any given area.
The NRLA says the announcement is a ‘kick in the teeth’ for both renters and landlords struggling with the consequence of rent arrears through no fault of their own.
The current rate was set in April to help renters whose incomes had been affected by the pandemic to meet the cost of their rents.
A recent analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that five per cent (200,000) households in the private rented sector are in arrears.
Also, 30 per cent of all private rented households are worried about paying their rent in the next three months, compared to 19 per cent immediately pre-COVID-19.
Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “Many renters and landlords are struggling with the consequence of rent arrears through no fault of their own yet the Government is failing to take the action needed to address this.
“Whilst the Chancellor has spoken about the need to support those who find themselves homeless, it would be much better for all concerned to provide the funds needed to sustain tenancies in the first place.”