Landlords less willing to let to under-21s amid plans to strip housing benefits

Landlords say they would be less willing to let properties to young people amid controversial plans to strip under 21-year-olds of housing benefit, it has been revealed.

As many as 76 per cent of landlords believe such benefit cuts would leave under-21s unable to pay their rent, making landlords less willing to let property to this age group.

Government should ‘think again’

Chris Town, vice-chairman of the Residential Landlords Association, who carried out the research, is calling on the Government to think again and use the Budget to reverse its plans.

He said: “Cuts to housing benefit will make it risky for landlords to rent to those receiving it.

“Rented housing is crucial to enabling young people to quickly access work and education opportunities. By making it more difficult for them to secure rental properties ministers are making such prospects increasingly difficult for them.”

Housing charities hope the plans will be dropped

The policy was announced by the former Prime Minister David Cameron and the former Chancellor George Osborne, and is due to be introduced in April.

But housing charities warn it will cause grave hardship and are hoping that the plans will now be dropped.

Roger Harding, director of campaigns, policy and communications at Shelter, said: “We’re deeply disappointed the Government has chosen to deny 18 to 21-year-olds housing benefit at a time when rough-sleeping is on the rise. They have failed to heed the dire warning that tampering with this vital safety net will result in more young people being left to fend for themselves on the streets.

“The option of being able to live with your parents is not one that is open to everyone. These cuts will affect those who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in desperately difficult situations. Whether these young people are escaping an abusive household or thrown out because of their sexuality, they’ll now have the added, sometimes impossible, burden of having to prove they can’t go home. If they can’t, their only option may be to sleep rough.

“The Government has said it’s committed to reducing homelessness so it makes no sense to take away this help for desperate young people.”

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