As a landlord with an HMO the topic of whether or not you should rent your rooms to tenants on housing benefit will undoubtedly rear its ugly head at some point. Why ugly? Well, it’s always a sore point. No-one wants to be deliberately discriminatory – especially to those who are may be a bit down on their luck. But, on the other hand, this is business and you need to make sure you’re getting the rent on a regular basis.
That’s not to say you won’t with housing benefit tenants but the bottom line is that when tenants are on benefit and in receipt of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) there’s obviously not a lot of money to go round. And this is when the potential for unpaid rent is most likely to arise.
And we’re not the only ones who think so. According to the National Landlords’ Association the number of landlords willing to rent to tenants in receipt of benefits has plummeted within the past three years from 46 per cent in 2010 to 22 per cent in 2013.
Here at Property to Go Girl we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of renting to tenants on housing benefit. Take a look at them then make your mind up once you’re better armed with the facts:
The case against renting to tenants on housing benefit
It’s understandable that as a landlord you will want to avoid any of the above occurring and will sway towards the ‘safer’ option of having a private rented tenant instead. But is this really any safer? After all, thousands of well-paid, seemingly securely employed individuals lost their jobs overnight in the UK when the recession hit. And yes, the economic situation is picking up but it’s going to take a while yet for everything to get back to normal.
The case for renting to tenants on housing benefit
We hope the above has helped straighten matters a bit for you. In the end it’s your choice whether or not to rent to benefits tenants. It’s not an easy decision and it’s one you may revoke at some time in the future. The great thing about being a landlord though is that it’s your decision to make either way.
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I'm Jacquie the Property Go-To Girl. I am passionate about property. I love to help people make the most out of their property investments!