The National Landlords Association (NLA) is urging the government to change the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) system, which it claims is putting financial pressure on private landlords.

Replacing the old housing benefit system in 2008, LHA means that rent is paid directly to tenants who must then pass on the money to landlords.

But many tenants fail to pay landlords, resulting in some landlords refusing tenancy to LHA recipients, says NLA chairman David Salusbury.

"The reality is that both tenants and landlords are losing out under the current rules", said Mr Salusbury.

Immediate changes are needed and the government should carry out their review of the LHA as soon as possible, the organisation says.

An October 2009 survey of 1,000 UK landlords by the NLA found that an average of £4,400 is owed per landlord in rent arrears.

If these figures are representative of the 675,000 LHA tenancies held across the UK, there may be over £220 million in rent arrears.

On its website, the NLA claimed a "lobbying victory"after the Conservative Party announced it will reinstate direct rent payments to landlords if the group wins the 2010 general election.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19498483-ADNFCR

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