Landlords have supported calls from the Mayor of London to ensure the benefits system covers the cost of private rents for those tenants adversely affected by coronavirus.
Sadiq Khan is calling on the government to introduce a new ‘triple lock’ of measures aimed at protecting private renters.
He has urged the government to increase welfare support for renters by restoring local housing allowance rates to median market levels and completely scrapping housing allowance caps for those that suffer financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
In a statement Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said: “Recent polling has indicated that just two per cent of private tenants have had to stop paying rent due to the pandemic whilst 78 per cent have not had to make any changes to their living situation.
“This shows that the vast majority of tenancies are continuing as normal which we welcome.
“For those tenants who are struggling, by far the best solution is to ensure they are supported to prevent arrears building.
“We therefore welcome the Mayor’s calls to increase the Local Housing Allowance.
“In addition, we repeat our call on the government to scrap the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit immediately and ensure tenants can have the housing element of the Credit paid directly to their landlord if they wish.
“This would provide tenants and landlords with the confidence that rents are covered and debts will not arise.”
Looking to the future, he added: “Whilst the current situation is challenging for everyone, we need to avoid frightening households needlessly about the security of their homes.
‘The vast majority of landlords are doing everything possible to support their tenants and sustain their tenancies at this difficult time. We will continue to ensure they have all the guidance and support they need to continue to do so both now and into the future.”