Housing : Social Tenants / BTL & HB Problems / Shortages / Grenfell Tower Fallout

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
268 posts
Ground zero ... Grenfell Tower aftermath ... just a headline :

Britain flouting human rights over Grenfell-style cladding.

Watchdog says government failing in its duty to protect citizens’ lives.



Few will argue with that !
More on the discrimination against tenants on benefits ... highlighted earlier with the effects of the rollout of UC ... I am very close to this problem locally with both tenants and agents :


https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... n-benefits


Undercover check finds discrimination against tenants on benefits.

Shelter plans legal action after investigation with the National Housing Federation.


An undercover investigation by housing charity Shelter has found routine discrimination by letting agents against tenants on housing benefit, with national chain Haart named as the “worst offender”.

Working with the National Housing Federation, Shelter researchers called 149 letting branches around the UK, and found that one in 10 had a blanket ban rejecting any applicants on housing benefit.

“The worst offender out of the big brands investigated was Haart, with an outright ban in a third of the branches called,” Shelter said.

While “no DSS” bans – a reference to the now defunct government department responsible for benefits – are not illegal, Shelter is planning a court challenge arguing they breach the 2010 Equality Act, as they disproportionately affect women and disabled people who are more likely to need a housing benefit top-up.


Around 1.6 million adults rely on housing benefit to help with private rents.

A spokesperson for Haart said: “It is not our policy to refuse housing benefit tenants – anyone who passes referencing checks is able to rent properties listed with our branches.

“This research has brought to light that some of our branches are misinformed and we are working to ensure that this policy is being followed across our network. We are sorry for any occasion where this has not been the case.”

The research also exposed what Shelter called “the wider uphill struggle faced by housing benefit tenants”. It said almost half (48%) of branches called said they had no suitable homes or landlords willing to let to someone on housing benefit.

“We’re not saying that letting agents should just take anyone on, but a lot of people who are on housing benefit have a perfectly clean record, sometimes lasting 10 years or more, and nothing to suggest that they will default on the rent,” a Shelter spokeswoman said.

It highlighted the case of Lauren, 47, a single mother, holding down three jobs who has lived in the same privately rented home in Lewes, East Sussex, for 14 years, and has always paid her rent on time. Due to recent increases in her rent, Lauren is searching for a cheaper home.


“The letting agents I called were all so dismissive and rude, there was no leeway … There is huge discrimination, everyone is tarred with the same brush, and it’s unfair,” said Lauren.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “

Rejecting all housing benefit tenants is morally bankrupt, and because these practices overwhelmingly impact women and disabled people, they could be unlawful. That’s why we’re urging all landlords and letting agents to get rid of housing benefit bans, and treat people fairly on a case-by-case basis.”

But letting agents also blamed government policy on the payment of benefits. David Cox, chief executive of industry group ARLA Propertymark said: Rents are paid in advance, whereas housing benefit is paid in arrears, and therefore with such a shortage of rental accommodation, landlords and agents will naturally choose a tenant who can pay the rent when it is due, rather than a tenant who is always a month in arrears.”

He added that many lenders also have a clause in their buy-to-let mortgage agreements which prevent landlords from letting to housing benefit tenants.

The government urgently needs to build new social homes for those excluded by the private rental market, said David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which represents social landlords of around 6 million people.

“Landlords and letting agents must see sense and assess people on a case-by-case basis, whilst government urgently need to invest in the building of new social homes,” Orr said.


One of the reasons why I wanted Carers UK to introduce a housing section on their annual survey ... so that problems like this one could be clearly identified ... nothing doing !

Given the infamous " Double Benefit Rule " ... State Pension classed as a " Benefit " so that Carers Allowance cannot be claimed as well ... if I move property , will my state pension be viewed as a benefit ... thus putting me through this treadmill ???
Ground zero ... Grenfell Tower aftermath ... just a bleak headline and a snippet :

High-rise tenants being ignored like we were, say Grenfell survivors.

Campaigners claim safety concerns of Salford residents are not being handled properly.


Nicholas Burton, whose wife, Pily, died as a result of the fire on 14 June 2017, and Edward Daffarn, who escaped from the 16th floor, are helping residents at nine council-owned tower blocks in Salford, Greater Manchester, that were refurbished using similar combustible cladding at the same time as Grenfell.

They have heard claims from tenants that their concerns about safety were not being handled properly. After he visited the Pendleton estate and spoke to residents, Burton said: “It’s just like turning back the clock.”

Pendleton Together, the social landlord that looks after the blocks for Salford city council, has so far removed the lower three storeys of cladding on most of the blocks.

Residents understand that the project to replace the cladding and install sprinklers could take up to two years. They have warned they are losing sleep and are scared about the possibility of fire. Last month, Pendleton Together told inhabitants of Spruce Court, a 22-storey tower, that they must keep their windows closed until further notice because of problems.
Ground zero ... the BTL market ... just a chilling headline , the article pads it out :
Nearly half of tenants who make complaint face 'revenge eviction,'

Estimate by Citizens Advice puts figure at 141,000 tenants since 2015.


Dan Wilson Craw, the director of Generation Rent, said: “Short-term tenancies, rent increases and unsafe conditions are disrupting the lives of millions of renters, many of whom are raising children or entering old age.

“The government has recognised that people can’t lead a stable life when their tenancy agreements only last 12 months at most. But its proposal for three-year tenancies with various get-out clauses still leaves the threat of evictions hanging over tenants who’ve done everything right.”


So much for security ... a home can only be called a home if you own the freehold.
Alongside food banks , housing ... the BIG TWO issues facing many carers and carees alike out there :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... ices-study

Low-income tenants face 'heat, eat or pay rent' choices.

Housing benefit freeze leaving poorest private renters with shortfall of up to £140 a week.

Low-income tenants in the private rented sector face a “heat, eat or pay rent” problem because housing benefit rates have failed to keep up with the soaring cost of accommodation, a study has found.

The four-year freeze on local housing allowance levels, which has been in place since April 2016, means some families must meet a shortfall of hundreds of pounds a month on their rent support, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

It said the ongoing housing benefit freeze meant even the lowest private rents were out of reach for many low-income families in most areas – making it more likely that tenants would be forced to choose between living necessities or paying the rent.

“Our research makes it clear just how far housing benefit for private renters has failed to keep pace with even the cheapest private rents. We fear this policy is putting thousands of private renters on low incomes at risk of poverty and homelessness,” said the CIH’s chief executive, Terrie Alafat.

The biggest “rent gaps” – the difference between rent and housing support levels in the cheapest third of rented properties in a local housing market area – were in London, where the median shortfall was £66 a week for a four-bedroom property and £43 for a two-bedroom, although this masked larger gaps of more than £140 a week in the inner city – adding up to more than £600 a month.

The problem was noticeable in locations near the capital that have been popular with commuters, such as Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Chelmsford, where the weekly shortfalls on a four-bed property were £68, £62 and £59 respectively.

There were striking shortfalls in areas such as Greater Glasgow (£82 a week on a four-bedroom home), Bristol (£71) and southern Greater Manchester (£53). The median national weekly rent gap on a four-bedroom home was £17. In a handful of areas, including Liverpool and Leeds, there was no rent gap for this size of property.

The weekly shortfall on two-bedroom private rented homes has followed a broadly similar pattern – highest in London, with significant gaps in places such as Bristol (£40), south-west Hertfordshire (£39) and Bath (£34). The median national weekly rent gap on this size of property was £8, according to the research.


The CIH said that although ministers introduced a “targeted affordability fund” in 2014 to bridge the biggest gaps, the impact of this had been negligible because it had failed to meaningfully shrink the shortfall in the worst-hit areas.

The CIH called on the government to end the freeze on benefits. It estimated that the cost of realigning local housing allowance – which has lagged behind rent increases in many areas since 2013 – would be £1.2bn.

Matt Downie, the director of policy at the housing charity Crisis, said: “This report highlights just how much housing benefits for private renters are falling short of the levels needed, leaving many homeless people stuck in a desperate situation and putting yet more people at risk of homelessness.”

A government spokesperson said: “We spend £24bn a year on housing benefit each year. And since April we’ve provided additional, targeted housing support for low-income households by increasing more than 200 local housing allowance rates.

“Since 2011, we have provided a further £1bn in discretionary housing payment for local authorities to support vulnerable claimants with their housing costs.

“We have also delivered over 378,000 new affordable properties since 2010 and we are investing a further £9bn in affordable homes to buy and rent.”


What happens when the market ... housing ... gets out of balance ... demand constantly exceeding supply.

With rents not controlled , the landlords , both social and private , can increase the rent without real fear of finding a new tenant with the ability to pay the higher rent.

Those millions not able to work ... less abled / elderly / carers ... are caught.

Insufficent income to meet the market rate for renting property.

In addition , with the Housing Allowance / Benefit system ... let the market rip and then top up renters ability to pay ... freeze either and millions will be in danger of not being able to afford the ever rising rents.

Whilst outside the immediate remit of our supporting organisations , this Issue is deadly serious !!!

No help whatsoever than many carers caught up in this problem are hardly going to be surfing into this forum ... there is nothing of immediate assistance for them ... as is the cost of a computer allied with it's running costs hardly a priority when daily survival entails eating / heating / maintaining some kind of roof over their head !
Just a headline ... regular readers will now of the existing problem ... I hope none are caught up in this issue :
Thousands of homeowners are trapped in dangerous tower blocks wrapped in Grenfell-style cladding as building owners are refusing to foot the bill for it to be replaced.

Leaseholders across the country are being asked to pay bills which could total hundreds of thousands of pounds per flat just to make their homes fire safe.

Many are now facing financial ruin as the cladding means that their homes have been rendered worthless, leaving them unable to sell, remortgage or secure a homeowners loan to pay for the works privately.


As posted before , unless the leaseholders approved the cladding " Improvements " , how can the head lessors / freeholders avoid responsibility ???
Another " Just the headline " ... regular readers could have told the powers to be what would happen if such a hairbrain scheme such as this one was ever put into practice :

Help to Buy may be ditched by government amid fears it is helping wealthy households upgrade.

Ministers planning a 'fundamental review' of David Cameron initiative.


Smoke and mirrors ... the only ones to benefit were the most wealthier amongst the population.
Ground zero ... London :
Dozens of London council estates earmarked for demolition.


More than 31,000 residents will be affected in 118 sites undergoing or facing regeneration.

Campaigners say nearly 8,000 homes could be lost over the next decade.


More than 1,200 council properties were torn down between 2011 and 2014 and replaced by a luxury development called Elephant Park.

Just 82 of the 3,000 new homes on the site were for social housing.

"All the promises made to the residents about new homes, which the residents could move into immediately, were all broken," said housing campaigner Jerry Flynn.


There are currently about 250,000 Londoners on housing waiting lists.
And the stupid people will still vote tory .
Landlords told to remove Grenfell-style cladding or face action.

Communities secretary says there is a ‘moral imperative’ for private-sector landlords to remove unsafe cladding



" A moral imperative ? "

When said cladding is NOT fire proof within existing Government standards ?

Like Amazon and our Taxman ... " Please sir , can we have some more ? "

WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING LAW IF IT IS NOT ENFORCED ???

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Cost of removing / replacing ?

An analogy.

Buy a new car which is subsequently found to have a major fault ( Numerous recalls over the years. )

Does the manufacturer then ask you to pay for the repair costs ?

Freeholders / leaseholders ... manufacturers / buyers.
268 posts