Number Of Private Landlords Paid Rents From Public Funds Up By 68.7% In Yorkshire & The Humber

29 Apr 2014

The number of private landlords paid rents from public funds is up by 68.7% in the Yorkshire & Humber region. With ‘Buy To Let’ landlords now renting out a million more properties than in 2008 GMB says it would be cheaper to build social housing for rent to stop £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy.

In Sheffield there was an increase of 122.6% in the number of private landlords in receipt of rent via housing benefit paid for by taxpayers between November 2008 and November 2013. Sheffield had the highest increase in the number of landlords in the private rented sector in receipt of rent via housing benefit paid for by taxpayers in Yorkshir eand Humber in that period. The next area with the highest growth was Wakefield, up 105.7%, followed by Richmondshire up 93.6%, North Lincolnshire, 92% Leeds 90%, Rotherham 82.9%, Kirklees 72% and Doncaster 71.8%. In the Yorkshire & The Humber in November 2008 there were 87,851 private sector housing benefit. By November 2013 this number had increased by 68.7% to 219,536.

In Great Britain in November 2008 there were 1,054,810 private sector housing benefit claimants.By November 2013 this number had increased by 56% to 1,645,504.
Overall the number of private rented households in England grew from 2,982,000 in 2008 to 3, 956,000 in 2012/13.

These figures are from a new analysis by GMB of housing benefit claimants in the private rented sector for November 2008 and 2013. In Feb GMB published details of the top twenty company landlords in each of the 21 councils in Yorkshire & The Humber that receive housing benefit direct from councils for tenants renting their properties. Details, where disclosed, for the top twenty landlords ranked by the amounts they received by council are set out in the pdf attached to national release on GMB website http://www.gmb.org.uk  and for all 21 Councils in Yorkshire & The Humber and for all councils in Great Britain.

Last year GMB established that of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks in Wandsworth where tenants acquired the leasehold under 1980s “right to buy” legislation some 6,180 dwellings are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants. That is nearly 40% of the total sold by the council. There are 977 private landlords who own more than one of these 6,180 dwellings. One private landlord owns 93, another owns 32, another 15 landlords each own 10 or more and a further 83 landlords each own between 5 and 9 of these dwellings.

Tim Roache, GMB Regional Secretary said, “Buy to Let landlords are now renting out a million more properties than in 2008. In this region the growth in “buy to let” empires is paid for by taxpayers via the massive 68.7% increase in the number of private landlords in receipt of housing benefit. Mrs Thatcher’s Government changed the labour movement traditional policy of spending money on bricks to spending the money on rents. Labour’s John Burns 1907 law to allow councils to build houses for rent was also reversed then.

Since then, £411 billion of public funds has been spent on rents. It would be far cheaper to build social houses for rent and stop at least £9 billion a year lining the pockets of the already wealthy. GMB consider that this was a serious policy mistake and the cost to the public purse is now becoming apparent. We want to see this public money fuelling “buy to let” empires replaced with a system directly benefiting those in need of social housing.
GMB is aiming to secure a fundamental change in policy on funding social housing. This is not a new stance by the union. We want private sector middlemen cut out of public housing provision. We are also seriously concerned about the money spent on rents, rather than bricks and mortar, is fuelling the growth in inequality in our society.”

<