8:57 AM, 23rd August 2018, About 5 years ago
The National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) have rebuked the ‘end DSS discrimination’ campaign accusations made by the National Housing Federation and Shelter.
NALS chief executive Isobel Thomson has issued a statement backing letting and managing agent’s ability to deal with prospective tenants on a case by case basis including ones in receipt of benefits.
Isobel said: “An assumption that there is widespread discrimination, particularly of women and disabled people on benefits is emotive conjecture and fails to paint an accurate picture of the sector. In some areas tenants on benefits form agents’ client base.
“Vilification of letting agents and landlords will not resolve housing problems where the provision of sufficient social housing is at the heart of the matter. The complexity of the benefits system and delays in payment add to the difficulties.
“Shouldn’t we be working together to come up with solutions which could solve the ills of the sector to ensure that no vulnerable tenants are left behind rather than castigating one section of it?”
Haart were named in a mystery shopping exercise by the charities as the worst offenders of discrimination. They were accused of having a ban on housing benefits tenants in 8 out of 25 Haart branches that were shopped.
However a spokesperson for haart said: “It is not our policy to refuse housing benefit tenants. Anyone who passes referencing checks is able to rent properties listed with our branches.
“We do regularly arrange tenancies for those claiming housing benefits and currently have 112 tenancies where this is the case.
“This research has brought to light that some of our branches are misinformed and we are working to ensure that this policy is being followed across our network. We are sorry for any occasion where this has not been the case.”
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