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'Beds in sheds' warning from private landlords over benefit changes

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'Beds in sheds' warning from private landlords over benefit changes

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

'Beds in sheds' warning from private landlords over benefit changes 'Beds in sheds' warning from private landlords over benefit changes

Private landlords have claimed that more people could be forced into poor quality 'beds in sheds’ unless benefit restrictions on new shared housing for young people are eased.

The Residential Landlords Association, which represents over 20,000 private sector residential landlords in England and Wales, warned that planning rules are making it difficult to provide the new shared homes needed to keep up with demand.

A survey of RLA members found that 55% thought there were insufficient shared homes to cope with the benefit changes.

The RLA is writing to planning minister Nick Boles calling for a review of the planning rules - known as Article 4 directions - which it says is preventing private landlords from providing enough good shared homes to meet demand.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee report released today said the benefit changes - increasing the age limit at which single claimants can only claim for a room in a shared house from 25 to 35 – “may have reduced the availability of safe, appropriate accommodation for younger people, some of whom may be vulnerable”.

RLA chairman Alan Ward called the report "a clear warning about the dangers of restricting the supply of vital shared housing at a time when many, whether claiming housing benefits or not, are looking to such properties as a place to live."

Ward added: "The RLA is calling on ministers to review urgently the impact that Article 4 directions used by many local authorities are having on the supply of shared homes. Without this, there is a very real danger that many potentially vulnerable tenants could find themselves being driven into the kind of beds in sheds accommodation that is simply unacceptable for anyone to find themselves living in."

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