82,000 Households Face Eviction in London


Madalena Penny

82,000 households in London could lose their homes claim London Councils.  The results from their survey found that 90% of landlords would evict tenants if they fell into arrears due to the proposed government cults due to be implemented next April.  The survey also revealed that landlords would not be renewing tenancies if LHA tenants fall victim to the cuts.

The blanket cut will see housing benefit cut to £400 per week for a 4+ bedroomed property, £340 for a 3-bedroomed, £290 for a 2-bedroomed and £250 for a 1-bedroomed.  The cut is aimed to reduce the present £103,000 maximum housing benefit, which can be claimed each year by slashing it to £20,800.

A whopping 60% of landlords surveyed said they would not lower the rent if the tenant was in receipt of LHA.

Sir Stephen Bullock, executive member for housing for London Councils said:

“Judging from the reactions of landlords in our survey, the government’s proposals will have a huge impact on people living in the capital.  More than 82,000 households, many of them in work but on low incomes, could lose their homes.  This could equate to as many as 250,000 Londoners.

“Cracking down on the worst excesses of a small minority of landlords is welcome, however we must make sure that any action that takes place does not have the devastating side-effect of pushing poorer people in the capital out of their homes”.

The survey also found that over a quarter of landlords would withdraw properties from the LHA sector by making them unavailable from tenants claiming the benefit should the LHA caps be enforced.

Landlord legal network, ‘Legal 4 Landlords’ spokesman on policy and reform, Sim Sekhon said:

“Landlords are now reluctant to offer tenancies to tenants in receipt of LHA due to the proposed government cuts.  Compounded with the current policy of LHA payments made direct to tenants, some landlords find tenants fall heavily into arrears when payment is not passed onto them.

“Fears of increased interest rates in the near future is worrisome for most landlords.  Once you put all these factors together, offering tenancies to people in receipt of LHA is not an attractive package.  The government needs to seriously reconsider it’s position on the matter.”

Last month the Legal 4 Landlords network, with 16 offices nationally emailed 19,000 landlords, calling them to join the campaign against the cuts.