Tenants charged £6.3bn more than inflation in rent

Between May 2010 and May 2015 council and housing association landlords, reputed social landlords, charged social tenants £6.3 billion more in rent over and above inflation.

Now these landlords are (a) moaning like hell and (b) massively cutting back on tenant services as the government has imposed a 1% rent cut for 4 years and which they say (with a great deal of spin and sophistry) will cost them £3.7 billion.

These same landlords blame government for all of this yet the figures show these social (sic) landlords have been shafting the social tenant and the taxpayer.

The figures come from the latest official HB statistics from the DWP published in May 2016 and I have made a simple table from them below:

hb may 10 to may 2015

Line 1) says the average housing benefit received by the council (LA) tenant, the housing association (HA) tenant and the private tenant in LHA  – all at May 2010.

Line 2) says the same as 1) but at May 2015

Line 3) says how much in percentage terms the average HB received has increased so almost 22% for the council landlord, almost 20% for the HA landlord and the private landlord receives almost 4% less  – all in actual terms.

Line 4) says what the May 2010 housing benefit figures would have been if they rose in line with inflation (CPI) or in real terms.

Line 5) says how much additional rent per week was received over and above inflation and Line 6) puts this into percentage terms above inflation.

Line 7) says how much more in real terms was received just for housing benefit eg council landlords received £2.23 billion more than inflation and and housing associations received £2.61 billion more than inflation.  So council (£2.23bn) and housing association (2.61bn) landlords received £4.84 billion more in housing benefit alone over and above inflation in the period May 2010 to May 2015. – and note this is just for housing benefit tenants.

All the above are unambiguous indisputable facts.

When we extrapolate this to all social tenants  – to include those not in receipt of housing benefit – we find that councils received £2.5 billion more in rent increases over and above inflation and for housing associations this is an additional £3.8 billion making a total of £6.3 billion charged to and received from social tenants in excess of the CPI inflation rate or in real terms.


The social landlords have had it good yet today they are crying poverty, are cutting staff by 15% which of course means tenants get less services and they conveniently forget the inflation busting years of well above CPI rent rises.

The housing benefit figures for the private tenant and landlord clearly show why fewer and fewer private landlords will take the housing benefit claimant as in real terms they have seen a near 15% cut in housing benefit.


Doubtless the #ukhousing sector will dismiss this as yet another gripe against them from me yet as I always say facts are damn pesky … and £6.3 billion over and above inflation is hardly small change is it … someone hasn’t fixed the roof while the sun was shining anyone?

Equally doubtless some right wing policy wonk will take these facts above and say social landlords have had much more favourable treatment than private landlords in terms of housing benefit – also conveniently ignoring that the private landlord still gets 33% more in HB than the council landlord – and government then penalises social housing more which can only mean more pain for the tenant!

Yet whose fault will that be for not saying just how good an invest to save package the social housing model is and keeping quiet about it for 30 years … ? The same purportedly social landlords, aka Trappist monks.

Then social landlords should look again at the near 15% cut in real terms to LHA for private landlords and say the LHA maxima cap policy for supported housing does means the death and closure of sheltered housing, DV refuges, homeless hostels and all forms of accommodation based provision for vulnerable tenants with mental health, learning physical and sensory disabilities and so on.

But then government will say councils get 33% in HB than private landlords and HAs get almost 18% more so if you cant “do” supported housing for 18% – 33% more you must be inefficient! So it now sees the Trappist monks have to make all these arguments after a generation long vow of silence which of course they can’t do, even if they had the inclination, and so yet again the tenant suffers.

Oh did I mention that social tenants comprise at least 5.6 million adult voters that social landlords have ignored and never even thought of mobilising to fight these constant attacks on the social housing model … ah!

<<slaps own wrists>> How dare I challenge the omniscient landlords of social tenants with yet more criticism of the absolutely wonderful job they have done. Then again it is always difficult to see what is right under your nose … especially when it has been in a £6.3 billion trough!

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