Over £9bn in housing benefit paid to landlords in the last year
By |Published On: 22nd August 2016|

Home » Uncategorised » Over £9bn in housing benefit paid to landlords in the last year

Over £9bn in housing benefit paid to landlords in the last year

By |Published On: 22nd August 2016|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

New figures have revealed that private landlords received around £9.3bn in housing benefit during the last year. This is double the amount they received ten years ago, according to research carried out by the National Housing Federation.

In 2006, some £4.6bn was paid to private landlords in housing benefit. With this figure more than doubling in the last decade, these figures underline the substantial number of private tenants claiming financial help.


Findings from the report have raised new concerns about the Government’s policy on moving housing benefit recipients into the private rental sector. The National Housing Federation report suggests that taxpayers could have saved around £15.6bn during the past seven years, if housing benefit tenants had lived in social housing instead of the private rental sector.

Chief executive of the National Housing Federation David Orr said that it is, ‘madness’ that £9bn of taxpayers’ money is, ‘lining the pockets of private landlords rather than investing in affordable homes.’[1]

‘The lack of affordable housing available means that a wider group of people need housing benefit,’ he added.[1]

Over £9bn in housing benefit paid to landlords in the last year

Over £9bn in housing benefit paid to landlords in the last year


Giving his response to the findings, Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, moved to defend landlord letting to benefit tenants.

Lambert said, ‘housing benefit is not a subsidy to landlords; it’s a support for tenants to ensure they can pay for their housing. However, the proportion of landlords who let to tenants in receipt of housing benefit has halved over the last five years as benefit levels have not kept up with rents.’[1]

‘The National Housing Federation is clearly still reeling from the news that its member have been ordered by Government to reduce spending over the next four years, so it comes as no surprise that they are looking to shift the emphasis and point the finger elsewhere,’ Lambert continued.[1]


Mr Lambert went on to say that the private rental sector has actually grown, with the market responding to increased demand for homes. He feels there are a growing number of tenants who are simply not supported by the social sector or housing associations.

‘The private rented sector plays a significant role in providing much-needed homes for tenants so there seems no real benefit in the National Housing Federation taking a cheap shot at landlords. What we should all be talking about is the failure of successive government’s to adequately allocate its housing budget and to incentivise the building of new homes. In the long term, that would be the best use of taxpayers’ money,’ Lambert concluded.[1]

[1] https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2016/8/more-than-9bn-in-housing-benefits-paid-to-private-landlords-last-year

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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