Letting survey reveals missed opportunity

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert February 24, 2010 11:48


The survey, conducted in response to the current economic climate, was to assess the quality of enquiries received by the website based on the tenants disclosed employment status.

A snapshot of the last 168 tenants that made contact through the website, showed 77% as being in full-time employment, 4% were part-time employed, 4% self-employed, 1% students and 14% were unemployed.

Jonathan Daines, founder of the website commented, "I am pleased that the site generates quality leads for Landlords and Agents from employed tenants; however I am concerned that landlords may be missing an opportunity if they do not at least consider tenants claiming income support or LHA.

The most common reason given by landlords is due to a poor experience that they have had in the past with their local councils and rent payments."

Daines adds “The landscape has changed over the last 18 months and the majority of local councils are aware of this.  Having spoken to a number of Housing Representatives myself, I have been impressed with their proactive approach to handling tenant applications.

J Harris of Stonham Housing Association, an organisation that works in partnership with local authorities, commented that "In certain circumstances, Stonham Housing will work with the council to raise the tenant's deposit plus the first month's rent."

It has been discussed in various reports that since the changes to LHA, where rent payments are now being made directly to the tenant, private landlords have been experiencing an increase in non-payment and late payment as a result.

Harris leads on to say that "most local authorities will allow for requests to be made for the rent to be sent directly to the landlord and the majority will also be able to provide a written reference for the tenant and will confirm the support the tenant is entitled to."

Mr W Jarman, a private landlord in Runcorn has recently advertised a property on the website.

It was noted that he was keen to secure a tenant on Housing Benefit.  When questioned about his advertisement, Mr Jarman commented:

"I have been a Landlord for many years and I find that tenants on LHA usually stay much longer in the property as they do find it difficult to move from one rented property to the next.  This ultimately reduces my void periods and I have never had any problems."

There are pros and cons to letting property to tenants on LHA and the advice given by lettingaproperty.com is to encourage tenants to seek support from their council representative and find out what services they may be able to offer in terms of securing a property.

Landlords are encouraged to consider LHA and should only make a decision once they have met the tenant and had a chance to discuss their circumstances.

There are certainly a number of tenants on HB that could turn out to be the “perfect tenant” where the rent is paid on time and in full – every month.

Lettingaproperty.com is a rental property website with properties advertised by private landlords and letting agents across the UK.




Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert February 24, 2010 11:48

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