The launch of a new insurance policy has taken place, with its aim being to protect private landlords who rent their properties to tenants who receive Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
Settled Housing Solutions is offering their services to local authorities, who in turn could utilise them as incentives to persuade landlords to accept tenants in receipt of housing benefit.
Co-director of Settled Housing Solutions (SHS), Alan Elborough, said that the incentive works out much cheaper than those used in the market at present. Elborough said: “Because local authorities desperately need private landlords to help provide housing, they are offering incentives such as rent in advance. And because it is such a highly competitive market, it has led to incentive inflation.”
Elborough said that competition in the market has been detrimental to taxpayers. He says: “If one local authority is offering two months’ rent in advance, a neighbouring council will offer three. It is very costly for local taxpayers.”
Studies from SHS revealed that 61 local authorities across the UK have indicated that they could potentially save around £3.98million per annum by using SHS products.
Talking of the survey, Elborough remarks: “When we did our inquiry, we asked local authorities a series of questions. These covered how many households they placed in the private rented sector last year, how many they plan to place in such accommodation this year and how much per household they spend on landlord incentives.” He moves on to say: “No one disputed our findings.”
SHS’ policy serves to protect landlords against arrears, eviction costs and malicious damage from tenants introduced by local councils.
Runnymede Council in Surrey has been the first council to use the policies. Elborough remains confident that more will shortly follow, citing considerable interest has already been lodged.