The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on the government to adopt the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee and suspend the Shared Accommodation Rate rule.

The association believes the government should adopt the measures for a period of at least a year.

According to NRLA, those under 35 who are currently relying on benefits in order to pay their rent for the first time, will find that the amount they receive will only cover the cost of a room in a shared house.

mortgage prisoners

New report outlines policy solutions to free mortgage prisoners

The association warns that this will force many young renters to choose between building unsustainable debts or moving into cheaper, shared housing.

Moreover, NRLA outlined that as a result, the government will be pressuring people into moving home in the middle of restrictions to live with strangers, which poses a health risk.

In the four weeks to 8 October, the proportion of Universal Credit claimants aged between 16 and 24, rose by 27%, up from 21%, in the four weeks to 12 March.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “It is unacceptable that younger renters are being forced to choose between building debts or compromising their health during a pandemic.

“Whilst the vast majority of landlords have done everything they can to support renters whose finances have been hit due to the virus, it cannot be right that landlords and tenants are left to muddle through without greater support.

“If money can be found to subsidise meals out, the Government must find the finances needed to support tenants, and in turn landlords, to pay off rent arrears, sustain tenancies and protect people’s health.”