Research commissioned by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) found that landlords were seeking a ‘reduction of risk’ in relation to welfare payments, rather than ‘looking for higher rents.’
Four out of five landlords would be ‘more willing’ to let to under 35s with a bond or rent deposit scheme, such as that proposed by Crisis’ Home, No Less Will Do campaign.
Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, is urging the Government to help unlock private renting for homeless people through its Home campaign. By funding Help-to-Rent projects across England and a national rent deposit guarantee scheme, many more homeless people would be able to access private renting.
The research undertaken by Sheffield Hallam University, revealed:
- There were specific issues or policies which made landlords unwilling to let to particular groups of under-35s. Two-thirds were not willing to let to Housing Benefit/Universal Credit (HB/UC) claimants.
- Reasons for not being willing to let to particular groups of under-35s tended to fall into two categories − difficulty in managing the accommodation and fears about financial loss.
- Four-fifths of landlords/agents who continued to let to HB/UC claimants had put in place additional safeguards in the last three years. The most common safeguards were the use of guarantors or direct payment to the landlord.
- Thirty-nine per cent said they would be more willing if there was support made available to landlords with lettings, eg recruitment management
- Thirty-two per cent said they would be more willing to rent to under 35s if there was support to tenants
Jon Sparkes, Crisis Chief Executive, said “Landlords need support to rent out properties to those on benefits, as this research clearly demonstrates. We also know from the homeless people we work with at Crisis that they often need help in securing and sustaining tenancies.
“Four-fifths of landlords/agents who continued to let to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit claimants in the last three years had put in place additional safeguards such as the use of guarantors or direct payment to the landlord.
“Yet for many homeless people renting really is the only way they're going to be able to get into a decent home. That's why Help-to-Rent projects, such as those supported by Crisis’ Home campaign, are vital in offering a lifeline to people who would otherwise struggle to secure a roof over their heads.
"With growing numbers stuck in a homelessness trap where they need to rent but are kept out in the cold by high deposits and lack of support, Crisis, landlords and many of the homeless people who Crisis works with agree that we need the Government to do more. We'd like to see the sort of help now offered to first-time buyers extended to homeless people looking to rent."