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DO YOU ACCEPT DSS?

Landlords are being reminded they should not have blanket policies that discriminate against benefits claimants.

This comes following a court case in York, regarding a letting agent which refused to rent any properties to a single mother due to a ‘long term policy’ of not accepting housing benefit.

The judge ruled it is unlawful for landlords to discriminate in this way.

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the NRLA said: “No landlord should discriminate against tenants because they are in receipt of benefits. 

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“Every tenant’s circumstance is different and so they should be treated on a case by case basis based on their ability to sustain a tenancy.”

“More broadly, the Government can also support this work by ensuring benefits cover rents entirely.

“It should also convert the loans to cover the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit into grants.” 

The “momentous” court ruling found a single mother-of-two had experienced indirect discrimination when a letting agent refused to rent to her.

She ended up homeless with her two children, when her case was taken on by housing charity Shelter.

The judge ruled “No DSS” rental bans are against equality laws.

Previously cases backed by Shelter – and first reported by BBC News – have established that “No DSS” landlords and agents are guilty of indirect discrimination, but the cases were settled before any court heard them in full.

In February 2018, single mother Rosie Keogh won compensation for sex discrimination from a lettings agency that refused to consider her as a tenant because she was on state benefit, but the case was settled out of court.