Problem

  • Private tenancies are too expensive
  • There is a huge shortfall between the cost of rented accommodation and the amount of housing benefit (local housing allowance – LHA) that can be claimed.
  • ‘No DSS’ adverts preventing tenants on housing benefit from renting privately.
  • Rogue landlords

Potential Solutions

  • Introduce rent caps
  • Use the existing pot of money in DHP /HPF (discretionary housing payments/ homelessness prevention fund) to top up the shortfall between LHA and the amount of the rent.
  • Landlord incentive schemes / PSL to get landlords to agree to rent at the LHA rate.
  • Ensure that Universal Credit pays directly to landlords (National policy)
  • Landlord incentives/PSL where BDC is the guarantor for the tenant on LHA.
  • Ensure that there is a landlord licence, or a database of rogue landlords, and ban landlords from renting in the district (this is supposed to be happening).

Alternative methods of renting privately

Problem

  • Options are limited to the PRPs, and the greedy private landlords meaning tenants can’t afford to rent, or rent substandard accommodation.

Potential Solutions

  • Collective investment in the property – local co-operatives buying housing and renting it out at LHA rates.
  • Consider the European rented accommodation models and produce proposals reflecting good practices.
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