Discrimination in the rental sector

by Property 118

8:30 AM, 22nd August 2018
About 2 years ago

Discrimination in the rental sector

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Discrimination in the rental sector

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

Monty Bodkin

10:19 AM, 24th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 24/08/2018 - 08:25
Thanks for all the comments but any credit goes to the author of the briefing paper.
Please feel free to post wherever you want.

J C

8:24 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Bravo Mick. Respect.

Just to clarify DISCRIMINATION can only be on these grounds:

age, being or becoming a transsexual person, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave
disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, belief or lack of religion/belief, sex, sexual orientation
https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights

Not allowing HB cannot be classified as discrimination by its definition and UK government guidance.

Arnie Newington

8:57 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 22/08/2018 - 09:05
The most interesting part of the Shelter report was the comments below ripping it apart.

Perhaps if Shelter responded to these comments it might show why they believe that S24 will not increase homelessness when it undoubtedly will.

Gromit

9:24 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Siobhan Southern at 22/08/2018 - 09:23They are not that stupid.
They have to deal with non-paying tenants, tenants who abuse the property and act anti-socially. And heaven forbid they'd might even end up in the position of having to evict some tenants!!!!! That would never do, might even set a precedent.

Monty Bodkin

10:15 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by J C at 25/08/2018 - 08:24
Not allowing HB cannot be classified as direct discrimination by its definition and UK government guidance.

Quite right JC. An inconvenient truth they failed to mention (along with the landlord 'representative') as a non-story wouldn't have got lots of lovely free advertising in the papers and on national telly.

The rather obscure legal argument is that it is indirect sex discrimination as there are more women on benefits than men.

Even if that rather ropey argument does have any merit, then it could only be applied to a rental property that is only available to a single person
-As the amount of single men and couples on benefits combined are equal to that of single women.

Seething Landlord

10:21 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by J C at 25/08/2018 - 08:24The danger is that courts will be persuaded that a ban on benefit claimants is indirect discrimination against certain classes of people e. g. the disabled, single mothers (sex discrimination) etc because a high proportion of them are benefit claimants. Such a claim was apparently settled fairly recently before it came to court so it remains an open question whether it would have succeeded but I anticipate that it is on grounds of this type that Shelter intend to bring their test cases.

J C

10:32 AM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 25/08/2018 - 10:21
If that is an argument, then there is discrimination everywhere you look, there isn't a single thing that does not have discrimination as there always groups of things that there are more males or females in it.

For example, if teachers (more females) are earning less than say surgeons (more males), based on your argument, those 2 occupations is discriminating one sex.

Richard Adams

12:27 PM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 22/08/2018 - 09:05
The reply to Whiteskifreak from Shelter contained the comment "we’d encourage landlords to shop around to choose a lender who doesn’t unfairly restrict who they can let to". So they expect landlords currently with lenders who do not allow lettings to HB tenants to effectively re mortgage with all the cost and hassle involved so they can let to HB tenants who will then possibly not pay rent owing anyway. I'm pinching myself that even Shelter could suggest something like this.

Seething Landlord

13:30 PM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by J C at 25/08/2018 - 10:32
First of all please be clear that it is not my argument but the argument advanced on behalf of a claimant in a case where I think it was a national estate agent or possibly a landlord was persuaded, presumably on legal advice, to settle before the case came to trial. On the wider issue, it simply demonstrates that the Equalities Act is completely bonkers from beginning to end. Groupthink and the thought Police have triumphed over common sense, freedom of speech and the right to live your life and conduct your business affairs according to your own principles and moral code but that is not going to persuade anyone in power to repeal it. They are in thrall to the liberal elite, the loony left and the poor deprived millennials who think the world owes them a living.

Monty Bodkin

13:56 PM, 25th August 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 25/08/2018 - 13:30
I don't think the out of court settlement proves anything.

A couple of grand to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle backed by Shelter with all their huge funding is a no brainer. Not to mention the bad publicity.

It was a business decision not a legal decision.

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