YouGov was commissioned by Who Benefits? to carry out a survey into how people living on working age benefits such as housing benefit, tax credits and incapacity benefit were dealing with such things as housing and employment. The report does make interesting reading for a number of things but we wished to focus on what was highlighted with regard to those on benefits finding suitable housing to rent.
You may not have been aware but Who Benefits? was set up in late 2013 by five charities to provide a voice for those people on benefits. The survey was undertaken in July 2014 and concentrates on 461 respondents who presently are in receipt of benefits.
It was interesting to read that a number of people on benefits felt that they were discriminated against when trying to find suitable housing. Some 16% of those respondents said that letting agents or landlords refused to rent a property to them because they were on benefits.
Of course, it is obviously up to the landlord as to who they will rent their investment property to. After all, the owner of the property has undoubtedly spent an awful lot of money in both buying and fitting out the property.
A landlord has to make a commercial decision as to whether he or she wishes to rent out their property to someone on benefits, a working family, a student, a single person or a professional couple. They will take into account a number of factors in reaching such a decision.
The perception may be that a higher percentage of people on benefits are not going to maintain the property as well as a working family. There are a lot of people on benefits in that situation through no fault of their own. For instance, they may have lost their job and been unemployed for 12 months as a result of which had their home repossessed and faced with having to find rented accommodation.
Anyway, you can access the survey through Who Benefits? website.