A survey by the National Landlord Association (NLA) says that more than half of landlords are finding it difficult to rent to housing benefit tenants because of cuts to the allowances.
The survey showed that 53% of landlords felt the local housing allowance (LHA) cuts have made it unaffordable to rent to those on benefits.
Nearly half of landlords (46.9%) also said that tenants who would be the hardest hit were those were under 35 and almost and almost 69% of landlords said that they were not foreseeing letting to LHA tenants in 2015.
The LHA cuts have seen maximum rent benefit payments reduced to the 30th percentile of local average market rents, rather than the previous 50th percentile.
The basic age limit, where a tenant on benefits qualifies for any more than a single room in a shared house has also been raised from 25 to 35, pushing many more people into shared accommodation.
David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented said that it was a worrying factor that so many landlords appeared to be planning to withdraw from the LHA market within just three years fearing affordability under the reduced benefit rate.
He said with ever growing pressures on housing, the private-rented sector will inevitably play an increasingly important role in providing housing to LHA tenants, particularly those aged under 35, who aren’t able to access other housing.
He added that it was very important that local authorities worked with landlords to provide the support services needed to help this group of people, as many are being forced to move into shared accommodation.