A new service has launched to help landlords and tenants find their way through the legal and financial maze that is the welfare benefits system.
The Landlord Information Network (LIN) will help minimise rent arrears caused through Housing
Benefit (HB) problems. The best practice network will work with landlords and managing agents to improve their HB knowledge, understanding and expertise, thereby repaying the cost of membership many times over.
More than three million households (14%) in England rent privately, with over half of them claiming Housing Benefit to pay all or part of the rent. With the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years underway via the Welfare Reform Bill, the impact for tenants and landlords will be significant. Savings of around £18 billion by 2014-15 are predicted by Government. LIN policy tracks, analyses and comments on the government’s programme of welfare reform from both a landlord and a tenants’ perspective, keeping members fully up to date with the changes.
LIN helps landlords and managing agents to work with tenants to ensure that they receive their correct housing and welfare benefit entitlement and therefore successfully sustain a long and stress free tenancy. Its ‘properties to let’ page is the first residential private rented properties portal that is free for members to advertise properties available to tenants claiming benefits.
LIN Director Claire Turner said: ‘LIN is a cutting edge, pro-active network for landlords which gives excellent value for money by providing guidance, best practice and tips on how to get the best results from the housing benefit system, ensuring landlords keep ahead of the game.
‘This will be a really useful and great value service. Access to up-to-date specialist information is a key part of effective rent and rent arrears collection. In current times of welfare benefit changes, increasing unemployment and rising personal debts, the information provided by LIN is invaluable to ensure that tenants’ Housing Benefit payments and landlords’ income are both protected and maximised.‘