Tenants are evading rent payments under housing benefit systems in Basildon, meaning some private landlords are in a vulnerable situation, it has been suggested.

Property owner Harry Flatman told the Basildon and Wickford Recorder that landlords will only be passed on money paid to tenants as housing benefit if they default on their rent for eight weeks.

However, senior council benefits officer Diane Winters told the newspaper that the local authority cannot force tenants to pass on benefits in the form of rent payments.

"If landlords are to take people on benefit we need more transparency - we need a liaison officer to put us in the picture,"Mr Flatman said.

His comments come as many private landlords are more reliant on rental income to meet their buy-to-let mortgage repayments since the onset of the economic crisis.

Also, figures published by the National Landlords Association in December revealed that 71 per cent of private landlords expected more tenants to fall into debt on their rent payments in 2009.

The findings could prompt some private landlords to consider rental guarantee schemes, which allow them to pay a fee to a letting agent in exchange for a fixed income.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19030204-ADNFCR

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  3. Out-of-pocket landlords call for law change
  4. Private-rented sector ‘more diverse’
  5. Dealing With Tenants Who Default On Rent

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