script src=" The Northampton Property Blog: 34.9% of Northampton tenants in the private rented sector are on Housing Benefit

Thursday, February 4, 2016

34.9% of Northampton tenants in the private rented sector are on Housing Benefit

What does the ideal Northampton tenant look like?”, asked one of my landlords from Abington the other day, to which he carried on before I could reply, “Let me guess, a professional couple, both in their 30’s, flawlessly tidy, pays their rent early, doesn’t complain or fuss, who has no plans to move and cheerfully accepts annual rent rises”.

Before I can answer that question properly, I have always believed all a landlord wants (and expects) of their tenants is too pay their rent on time and look after the property as if it were their own. In return, the landlord should provide a property that is warm, clean, modern and damp free and sort any issues (such as repairs) quickly and without fuss. 

Back to the tenants. Tenants tend to fall into several groups ... 20 something professionals, young and middle aged families, corporate tenants (ie their employer finds their employee a house to live in), students, older singles/couples and housing benefit claimants – and they come with different needs and wants. So choosing who best suits your Northampton property – and steering clear of bad tenants – is a big factor in making property investment a success.

One topic that I am often asked is should they, as a landlord, accept tenants on housing benefit?

It might interest the landlords of Northampton that of 14,657 private rented properties in the local council area, 34.9% of the tenants of those properties are on some form of housing benefit

(5,123 properties to be exact). I know many landlords have suffered late rent payments with tenants on benefit, especially since 2008, when local authorities started paying housing benefit to tenants rather than directly to the landlords, but you cant ignore the fact, there are housing benefit tenants make up a significant proportion of the Northampton rental population. My opinion is the final choice of accepting such tenants has to be the landlords but you can’t tar every tenant with the same brush ( I will always give you a balanced opinion if ever asked).

Interestingly, it might surprise some readers of the Northampton Property Blog, when we compare Northampton to the national picture, Northampton’s Housing benefit claimants are lower, as nationally a higher proportion of private tenants claim the benefit. Nationally, 39.2% of the tenants of the 3,891,467 rental properties in Great Britain claim some form of housing benefit ( ie 1,526,915 properties).

Now, let us look at the occupation’s of Northampton tenants, which makes even more fascinating reading. Of the 14,657 privately rented properties in the Northampton area, 11,910 of the head tenant (the head tenant being classified as the head of the household) is in employment (the other 2,714 rental properties head tenant’s either being retired, long term sick, student or job seekers).

Splitting those 11,910 head tenants down into their relevant professions, 3,945 of them are Managers, Directors, Senior Officials, Professional or Technical Professions, 1,092 in Administrative and secretarial occupations, 1,136 in Skilled Trades, 1,199 in the Caring, Leisure and other service occupations , 1,043 Sales and Customer Service Occupations, 1,248 Process, Plant and Machine Operatives and finally, 2,762 in  Elementary Occupations.

The one thing I have always known anecdotally, but until I did my research, never had anything to back it up with, was the high proportion of professionals and skilled trades renting property in Northampton – intriguing! Maybe in future articles, I will look deeper into the corporate tenant market, young and middle aged families, students and older people  rental markets.

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