The residential landlords assn is about to present a petition at number 10. Since April 2008, for what can only be spiteful ideological reasons, new Labour changed housing benefits rules. New tenants of private landlords were paid their housing benefits and entrusted to pay their rents with it. Private landlords could only get housing benefits paid directly to them from councils once a tenant had run up at least two months arrears. Hence the internet got busy and scumbag benefits fiddling tenants exchanged ideas on how to pocket two months rent and move once a year so as to pocket four months rent per year on top of their benefits. Research by the assn of about 900 landlords shows an average loss of rent circa £5,000 (not including the costs of any debt recovery or repossession actions) New Labour formed their change of housing benefits in such a way that tenants pocketing their housing benefits would not be a fraud. IE They got generous to benefits claimants with the landlords money. BUT it appears that new Labour (indifferent to the number of buy to let investors going bankrupt etc) may have slipped up. Because a claimant on means tested benefits is required to declare any income. And that includes each time they pocket several hundreds of pounds of housing benefits. A commensurate amount of money should then be deducted from their other benefits to maintain them at the means tested level of income. Which means that IDS should be able to institute recovery action against every housing benefits (LHA) claimant who ran up rent arrears. And recover to the exchequer every pound of housing benefits the bastards pocketed. It don't get the landlords their money. But it could put between half and one billion pounds back in the exchequer. I think the fraud recovery rate is £12.80 or so per week deduction from benefits. Which is a deduction from benefits at £12.80 per week for each thieving tenant for around six years. If this idea is taken up will new Labour protest that the tenants cannot afford it ? What made then them think that buy to let investors could afford it then ?