Cutting benefits hurts the rental market

Cutting benefits hurts the rental market

According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), nearly 3 million people across the UK claim benefits. It’s not just housing benefits of course, but also Universal Credit and Tax Credits that help and allow families to pay the bills and the rent.

Approximately 1.4 million housing benefit claimants in the UK are in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), which is 28% of the 5 million rented households in the UK.

Clearly, in the macro, how the government supports families across the UK with welfare has a direct impact on the housing market in the UK, and quite aside from the moral argument of the level of benefits paid in the UK, cutting them harms the PRS.

Landlords agree benefits need to be raised

Interestingly, YouGov have polled this, as reported by Property Investor News. The results may surprise you…

‘In October last year the Government cut Universal Credit by £20 a week following a temporary increase in response to the pandemic.

Following this announcement, a new YouGov poll of private landlords across England and Wales for the National Residential Landlords Association shows the extent of the cut’s impact on tenants in receipt of benefits. Of those landlords who were either currently letting to a Universal Credit claimant, or who had done so last year, 9% reported having at least one tenant experiencing difficulties as a result of the cut.

According to official statistics, of those private rented households in England and Wales receiving support through Universal Credit to pay their rent, 55% had a gap between the support they received and their rent payments.’

Despite some misconceptions, many landlords like and even prefer tenants in receipt of universal credit or housing benefit as it means a relatively steady income from tenants.

With the rise in living costs and the increase in energy prices, it’s highly likely that more and more people will fall within the safety net of benefits or welfare, and if the government attempts to cut it, or it doesn’t stay in line with inflation and the rise of living costs, then an increasing number of tenants could find themselves struggling.


Thankfully, it seems as though the government is prepared to take further action with the £200 payment for people to help with their energy bills, as well as a £150 rebate on their council tax.

The thinking is also that this squeeze on living standards is temporary too, however, it shows the importance of the government keeping pace with these demands.

In the meantime, the rental market continues to thrive with house prices growing steadily along with demand and rental growth too. The UK property market continues to be one of the best places to grow your money in the world.

If you’re interested in growing your money in the UK property market why not get in touch today?

Spread the word: