Welsh landlords could be offered incentives and other support to take benefits tenants
Landlords in Wales could be offered incentives and other support to house those most in need, it has been revealed.
Welsh Housing Minister Rebecca Evans believes that landlords should be encouraged to see the plus points of having tenants in receipt of benefits rather than the negatives.
Evans told the Residential Landlords Association’s Future Renting Wales conference in Cardiff that there are risks around tenants in receipt of benefits, due to benefits not meeting market rents and concerns about rent payments not being met in full and on time.
But she wants to stamp out that beliefs that being in DSS is a barrier to being a good tenant. She said that she wants to find ways to eradicate the no DSS barrier. Poverty should not be allowed to be the basis for discrimination.
She said that she wants to see the Welsh Government do more to support landlords who are willing to widen access by providing security of income, protecting against voids and losses and ensuring support for tenants during the duration of their agreement and helping to improve the standard of the property they are renting.
In return she said landlords would be expected to offer longer leases to tenants on benefits and low income families.
She said the government is currently working on an exciting proposal to make an attractive offer of this type and it is one she wants to move forward on at pace. These are exciting times for housing in Wales.
Her comments comes after a report from the National Housing Federation and Shelter found that one in 10 rental properties in England and Wales are likely to be advertised unlawfully by explicitly discriminating against people who rely on housing benefit.
Recent research by Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with the RLA’s research arm PEARL, has found that changes to the benefits system have led to an increase in homelessness from rented housing, and that more needs to be done to tackle the issue.
The RLA vice chair and director for Wales, Douglas Haig said the RLA looks forward to working with the Welsh Government as it develops its proposals further.
He said that with increasing numbers of vulnerable people looking to the private rented sector for a place to live it is vital that landlords have the support needed to manage and meet the needs of such tenants.
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