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Private Landlords Housing Benefits "Winners" Named

Monday, April 27, 2015

GMB Name “Winners” Of £9,296 Million Housing Benefit Paid To Private Landlords In Britain In 2013/14

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB.

In Great Britain there are approximately 4.2 million households living in private rented accommodation. The rent to landlords in 1.59million or 38% of them is paid in part or in full by taxpayers. Private landlords were paid an annual total of £9,296 million in housing benefit in 2013/14. See table below for the full data by UK region plus data for the top 20 councils in Britain by amount paid.

The top winners in Britain are: private landlord Mr Mohammed Taj was paid £3,219,858 of taxpayer’s money direct as housing benefits by Watford in 2013/14. Investing Solutions Ltd was paid £2,239,915 by Merton, Brent, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Wandsworth councils. Thorney Bay Park Ltd was paid £1,924,226 by Castle Point council in 2013/14. Mr Alastair Kerr was paid £1,616,951 by Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow in 2013/14. The details for the top 20 private landlords in Britain in receipt housing benefit payments direct are set out below. See notes to editors for how GMB conducted the FOI requests to councils to find out this information and for sources and definitions.

Top 20 private landlords in Britain ranked by amount of housing benefit they were paid direct by councils in 2013/14

National

Landlord

Amount

Watford

Taj, Mr Mohammed

£3,219,858

Merton; Brent; Lambeth; Hammersmith and Fulham; Ealing; Wandsworth

Investing Solutions Ltd

£2,239,915

Castle Point

Thorney Bay Park Ltd.

£1,924,226

Ealing; Hammersmith and Fulham; Hounslow

Kerr, Mr Alastair 

£1,616,951

Stevenage

Gerrett, Mr Paul

£1,510,156

Glasgow City

Bellgrove Hotel

£1,508,813

Brent

Mr W McGowan Property

£1,055,517

Braintree; Cardiff; Central Bedfordshire; Dudley; Epsom and Ewell; Halton; Hart; King`s Lynn and West Norfolk;

New Forest; Rugby; South Cambridgeshire; South Gloucestershire; St Albans; Stratford; Thurrock;

Vale of White Horse; Welwyn Hatfield; West Berkshire; Worcester; Wychavon

ADA Glossop / Glossop Caravans

£874,925

Haringey

Woodlands Estates Ltd

(Mr Andrew Charalambous)

£826,395

Haringey

Parmar, Mr H

£733,031

Leeds

R D Willis Developments

£725,816

Watford

Lambe, Mr Sean

£626,096

Nottingham, Erewash, Mansfield, Rushcliffe, Ashfield

Fields, Mr Roger C

£619,268

Bedford

Fhalora, Mr Serwan

£530,779

Southend-on-Sea

Dixon, Mr Stephen William

£509,134

Blackpool

Hackett, Simon

£486,122

Braintree

Bridge, Mr

£468,923

Medway

HRH Estates

£463,213

Blackburn with Darwen

Yaseen, Chaudrey Mohammed

£454,635

Thanet

Appleton, Mrs Rosemary

£441,282

The details for the top 20 private landlords in each region in Britain in receipt housing benefit payments direct are set out in regional press releases set out as pdfs at the foot of this national press release on the GMB website www.gmb.org.uk. The top 20 private landlords in each of the councils in Britain in receipt housing benefit payments direct are also set out as in pdf set out at the foot of this press release on the GMB website www.gmb.org.uk.

The Tory Party has made an election pledge to open up housing association property to buy the let landlords. Since council housing was opened up to “right to buy” in the 1980s over 40% of council housing has ended up with buy to let landlords.

In Wandsworth for example of 15,874 dwellings in council blocks where tenants acquired the leasehold under “right to buy” legislation some 6,180 dwellings are now owned by private landlords who rent them to private tenants. That is nearly 40% of the total sold by the council. There are 977 private landlords who own more than one of these 6,180 dwellings. One private landlord owns 93, another owns 32, another 15 landlords each own 10 or more and a further 83 landlords each own between 5 and 9 of these dwellings.

Table: Private rented housing and number and % getting housing benefit and amount to private landlords by region and the top 20 councils by amount paid

 

 

All Private Rented Households

Housing Benefit recipients in the Private Rented Sector

%

Estimated amount of Housing Benefit paid to Private Landlords - 2013/14 (£m)

 

Great Britain

4,195,070

1,587,669

37.8

9,296

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London

819,085

268,833

32.8

2,627

 

South East

578,592

201,245

34.8

1,262

 

North West

462,899

210,226

45.4

1,024

 

South West

387,134

148,137

38.3

791

 

East of England

356,227

123,370

34.6

701

 

West Midlands

321,670

131,231

40.8

646

 

Yorkshire and The Humber

353,448

142,734

40.4

629

 

East Midlands

282,443

103,464

36.6

459

 

Scotland

294,892

94,813

32.2

456

 

Wales

184,254

84,360

45.8

360

 

North East

154,426

79,249

51.3

342

Rank

 

 

 

 

 

1

Enfield

26,591

18,554

69.8

193.01

2

Brent

33,181

17,218

51.9

187.94

3

Birmingham

73,405

32,833

44.7

176.47

4

Barnet

34,854

16,463

47.2

162.02

5

Croydon

30,472

16,752

55.0

148.18

6

Ealing

34,182

14,367

42.0

145.43

7

Newham

34,570

14,513

42.0

126.73

8

Haringey

32,095

13,601

42.4

123.92

9

Hackney

29,449

9,480

32.2

111.87

10

Liverpool

48,290

20,297

42.0

108.96

11

Leeds

57,456

20,859

36.3

104.09

12

Cornwall UA

38,605

20,378

52.8

103.69

13

Harrow

18,324

9,916

54.1

100.27

14

Lewisham

28,216

10,093

35.8

99.26

15

Redbridge

22,657

10,389

45.9

90.38

16

Manchester

58,170

17,584

30.2

87.38

17

Wandsworth

41,317

7,491

18.1

87.13

18

Brighton and Hove UA

35,959

12,507

34.8

87.04

19

Waltham Forest

25,102

9,060

36.1

83.65

20

Bradford

36,070

18,614

51.6

82.43

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “This research lifts the lid on the mainly secret payments to landlords who are the real winners from Britain's welfare system.

We see taxpayers cash subsidising buy-to-let empires with £9.2 billion of hard earned taxpayer’s cash paid into private landlords’ bank accounts - much of it ending up in tax havens. 

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long. Millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay. It’s incredible that the Tories want to extend this billions pound rip off.

It’s time to close the offshore tax dodgers charter, cap rents and use the billions being sucked up by property speculator landlords to build affordable homes for people again.”

End

Contact Gary Doolan 07590 262 504 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237178 or Lisa Johnson 07900 392 228 or Cath Speight 07506 711925 or Martin Smith 07974 251722 or GMB Press Office 07921 28988/ 07974 251 823.

Notes to editors

Details of GMB Freedom of Information requests and sources:

1. GMB submitted a Freedom of Information request in February 2015 asking councils for the amount of housing benefit paid to the top 20 landlords in 2013/14. In the majority of cases this has been for those payments paid directly to the landlord rather than from the tenant. As such, they may not be the largest 20 landlords but they are the largest 20 in receipt of direct housing benefit payments.

2. This research was also carried out for the financial year 2012/13 but we noted that the majority of councils were redacting the names of individual buy-to-let landlords and sole traders. We followed the correct procedure and appealed this decision (for one council, Torbay) with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

3. Individual Landlords and sole traders have been able to hide behind Section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act which states that ‘personal data is exempt from disclosure if its disclosure would breach any of the data protection principles contained within the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).’ GMB argued that it was in the public interest that the names of buy-to-let landlords, operating in a business capacity and receiving money from the public purse, should be released. The ICO agreed.

4. The decision by the ICO can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2015/1043296/fs_50547446.pdf

5. Out of all the 375 councils that this FOI has been submitted to, 47 have refused on Section 40 or Section 41 (Information provided in confidence). An additional 26 who originally refused on Section 40, have overruled their original decision, after review, and supplied the full list. 11 councils have stood by their original decision and refused to disclose the names of the buy-to-let landlords and there are currently 33 Internal Reviews in place. We have full data for 281 councils.

6. The 11 councils who have stood by their original decision to withhold the information are: Gedling, Glasgow, Halton (Section 41), Liverpool, Monmouthshire, Renfrewshire, Richmond upon Thames, South Northamptonshire, Torfaen, West Lancashire and Wiltshire. The amounts redacted range from £9,000 in South Northamptonshire to landlords in receipt of direct housing benefit payments of £151,300 in Halton, £270,600 in Glasgow and over a million pounds in Liverpool.

7. Sources for the Private rented housing and number and % getting housing benefit and amount paid to private landlords table:

Housing Benefit Statistics - November 2014 – Department for Work and Pensions

Housing Benefit paid to Private Landlords - 2013/14 - Department for Work and Pensions

2011 Census of Population data, England and Wales – Office for National Statistics

2011 Census of Population data, Scotland – National Records of Scotland

 

 

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Additional Resources

National Freedom of Information Responses

download xlsx244Kb (xlsx) - 27 April 2015

Full Table of Figures

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £701 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN EAST OF ENGLAND IN 2013/14

download pdf238Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £459 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN EAST MIDLANDS IN 2013/14

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GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £2,627 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN LONDON IN 2013/14

download pdf227Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £324 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN NORTH EAST IN 2013/14

download pdf209Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £1,024 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN NORTH WEST IN 2013/1

download pdf230Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £456 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN SCOTLAND IN 2013/14

download pdf225Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £1,262 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN SOUTH EAST IN 2013/14

download pdf252Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £791 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN SOUTH WEST IN 2013/1

download pdf228Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £360 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN WALES IN 2013/1

download pdf217Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £646 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN WEST MIDLANDS IN 2013/14

download pdf224Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB

GMB NAME “WINNERS” OF £629 MILLION HOUSING BENEFIT PAID TO PRIVATE LANDLORDS IN YORKSHIRE & THE HUMBER IN 2013/14

download pdf219Kb (pdf) - 27 April 2015

The abuse of housing benefit by private landlords has gone on for too long as millionaires take sackloads of cash for exploiting those in housing need or stuck on low pay says GMB