Discrimination in the rental sector

Discrimination in the rental sector

8:30 AM, 22nd August 2018, About 3 years ago 78

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David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments on the story from Shelter and National Housing Federation about discrimination in the rental sector:

“This is a systemic problem with how housing benefit works. Rents are paid in advance, whereas housing benefit is paid in arrears, and therefore with such a shortage of rental accommodation, landlords and agents will naturally choose a tenant who can pay the rent when it is due, rather than a tenant who is always a month in arrears.

“We have called on Government time and time again to resolve this problem. But our calls have fallen on deaf ears. To make the situation worse, many lenders also have a clause in their buy-to-let mortgage agreements which prevent landlords from letting to housing benefit tenants. This situation does not exist because of landlords or letting agents, it is a systemic problem caused by Government and the banks.”

Click Here to view the campaign by the National Housing Federation and Shelter:

“People receiving benefits are often locked out of the private rented sector and openly discriminated against by private landlords and estate agent adverts, who specify ‘no DSS’ or ‘no housing benefit’.

We’re partnering with Shelter on a new campaign, making the case that private landlords and letting agents shouldn’t be allowed to do this.”

“Many housing associations were set up in the 1950s and 1960s to house people who could find nowhere else to live due to racism from private landlords and letting agents who told them no Irish, no blacks, no dogs. Fast-forward to 2018 and we still have outright bans, this time because people depend on Housing Benefit. We believe this is not right and must stop.

So together, with Shelter, we’re calling for landlords and letting agents to see sense and assess people on a case by case basis, not through policy bans, and for the Government to urgently invest in the building of new affordable housing.”



Comments

by Monty Bodkin

14:15 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

"No DSS" has not been tested as discriminatory in court Rob.
So far it is all bluff and bluster by people who like to think it is.
There are very good financial reasons for landlords not taking on DSS which are not discriminatory.

by Monty Bodkin

15:24 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 23/08/2018 - 13:38
Don't use terms such as "No DSS"

I can see your reasoning Rob but highlighting this issue might do landlords a bit of good.

As AA said;
"An opportunity to highlight s24, the merciless war on landlords , the risks taken , the compliance ….. on national television" -amongst many other good reasons.

DSS tenants are paying the price for all this and it is not landlords who are to blame.

It's a pity the 'representative' of landlords on the telly didn't seize the opportunity. Maybe next time they'll pick someone who will truly put our side forward.

The more landlords that put "No DSS" in their adverts the better.

NB It has not been found illegal by any court.

by Monty Bodkin

16:39 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

An excellent House of Commons briefing paper here for anyone interested in facts rather than hysterical hyperbole
(why wasn't this mentioned by any of the organisations discussing this?). Worth a full read, especially by anyone going on telly purporting to represent landlords;

http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN07008/SN07008.pdf

Can private landlords refuse to let to Housing Benefit claimants?

Summary
This briefing paper considers evidence on why private landlords might refuse to let to Housing Benefit (HB) claimants and the extent of the problem.

It is not unusual for private landlords to advertise properties to let stating that they will not accept applications from HB claimants. This often raises the question of whether such restrictions amount to unlawful discrimination. It is unlikely to amount to direct discrimination as income and employment status are not protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 .

by user_17009

19:21 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

Obfuscated Data

by Monty Bodkin

19:53 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Will stillman at 23/08/2018 - 19:21
But they can always add new characteristics.

They can but it is unlikely to be those kind of characteristics in a non-communist society.

It would be interesting to see how the banks would react to being forced to lend to people irrespective of income.

But let's fight that battle if it ever comes.

by Rustie

21:31 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 23/08/2018 - 19:53
Surely not, it would be unthinkable for banks to be forced to lend money to people irrespective of income. The did something similar with mortgages in the 80's/90's in an attempt to boost their profits. That went pear shaped when borrowers began to default.

by AA

22:07 PM, 23rd August 2018, About 3 years ago

I never made any money in the 80 s from my HB tenants - I just got stiffed by them and thought that was part of the course.
HB tenants are high risk financially and high maintenance psychologically.

I was once told 90% of arguments between couples are about money. Taking on a customer that has obvious financial pressures - thin ice indeed.
The other 10% of arguments are about the affair you suspect your partner is having.😊

by Mick Roberts

7:07 AM, 24th August 2018, About 3 years ago

Monty, Brilliant finding.

So they did all that survey & probably spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to say what I said in my text for free, & what many other HB Landlords could have told them, except their words a bit more posh:
Other factors cited as reasons for landlords’ reluctance to let to HB claimants include:

• uncertainly around the roll-out and implications of Universal Credit;
• the payment of Housing Benefit in arrears;
• restrictions in mortgage agreements and insurance requirements; and
• tax changes resulting in landlords focusing on “less risky” tenants.

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

8:25 AM, 24th August 2018, About 3 years ago

Hi Monty - great post and link, thank you! If you give me your permission I can put it on Shelter FB discussion, unless you have already done so.

by Old Mrs Landlord

9:48 AM, 24th August 2018, About 3 years ago

Yes indeed, thanks Monty for that link. I see it also has embedded within in it Shelter's own research comparing LHA/UC rates with local PRS rents which reveals that they are only too well aware of the reasons for reluctance to rent to benefit recipients, mainly that it's just not financially viable in many regions for many landlords. Their new media campaign is clearly nothing more than the latest in a string of attempts to whip up public sentiment against those nasty private landlords, the end game being of course to replace the government with something far more left wing.


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