The Government has been urged to help homeless people rent, as Britain faces potentially the worst winter homelessness crisis for 20 years.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) and Residential Landlords Association (RLA) are supporting a campaign by homelessness charity Crisis to get the Government to commit £31m per year to help homeless people rent through Help to Rent projects and by funding a national rent deposit guarantee scheme.
The organisations have decided that the time is now to support the charity, ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget statement next month (on Wednesday 22nd November 2017).
Homeless people can struggle with the upfront costs associated with renting, while landlords often consider them too risky to let to.
In a positive move for the Government’s new welfare system, it is believed that the waiting time for the first Universal Credit payment could soon be cut.
The Chief Executive of Crisis, Jon Sparkes, says: “If you’re homeless, private renting may be your only hope of finding a place to live. Yet homeless people are finding it harder and harder to secure a private tenancy. Added to this is the significant complications the rollout of Universal Credit is causing.
“Far too many people are experiencing delays in their payments, meaning they can’t pay their rents. At best, landlords will start to see recipients of Universal Credit as risky tenants. At worst, this could result in people losing their homes and, with homelessness on the rise, that’s a road we just can’t afford to go down.”
He insists: “We need to make sure – whether the system is rolled out or delayed – that the most vulnerable tenants are properly supported. That’s why we’re calling on the Government to fund Help to Rent projects and establish a national rent deposit guarantee scheme this Autumn Budget, to help renters secure a tenancy and maintain their payments, and give landlords the peace of mind they need.”
Help to Rent projects can alleviate landlords’ concerns by providing training for tenants, ongoing tenancy support and services for landlords.
Homeless people are also supported to overcome financial obstacles to renting, such as the need for a deposit, fees and upfront rent, making them less risky tenants to landlords.
Mike Lipton, a landlord who lets ten properties through Help to Rent schemes, comments: “Help to Rent schemes crucially help those who need it most. They also help me by guaranteeing my rent is paid. I have an excellent relationship with those that run the scheme and it takes all the hassle out of letting to people on benefits.”
We can also help landlords let to riskier tenants, such as those on Universal Credit, with our Rent Guarantee Insurance. This peace of mind cover ensures that you still get paid if your tenants can’t pay the rent. Get an instant online quote here: https://www.justlandlords.co.uk/rentguaranteeinsurance