Friday, 6 May 2011

Local authorities make life difficult for landlords

April saw the implementation of new rules on Local Housing Allowance and their effects will soon begin to be felt by both landlords and tenants as old tenancies end and new ones begin.

The maximum benefit now allowed is £400 a week or £20,800 a year for a four bedroom property. Weekly Local Housing Allowance (LHA, otherwise known as housing benefit) rates are a maximum of £250 for a one bedroom property, £290 for a two bedroom property, £340 for a three bedroom property and £400 for a four bedroom property. In addition, rental levels will be benchmarked against the lower 30% of rents rather than the median rents in an area.

These new rules will affect any new tenancy which is signed after 1st April 2011 and existing tenants from nine months after the anniversary of their claim. Landlords who are currently charging more to a tenant who is a benefit claimant will be able to receive their rent direct from the local authority if they reduce the rent to comply with the new limits. Local authorities are starting to offer this incentive to private landlords.

Click here to read the full article Local authorities make life difficult for landlords