Private landlords are dealing with an increasing number of "prospective good tenants"who have housing benefit, it has been suggested.

According to Chris Jenkins, manager of property firm Clarity Commercial, growing unemployment in the UK has resulted in a larger number of benefit claimers who actually have positive references.

When tenant credit checks are undertaken, it is apparent that many people looking for rental property are "blue collar, semi-skilled workers who are able to ... pass credit scores but are out of work due to the current economic climate", he said.

Unemployment in the UK passed two million in March, with the figure set to rise further between now and the end of 2009.

Other reasons cited for the upturn in housing-benefit-backed tenants were the current oversupply of property on the market and the fact that locating an ideal customer of this kind can be easier and cheaper to do.

Written by John Weeks

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