‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

by Property 118

16:06 PM, 4th March 2019
About 6 months ago

‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

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‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector

Responding to an announcement from the Government that it plans to work with stakeholders to address the issue of ‘No DSS’ adverts in the private rented sector, John Stewart, Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association said:

“Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis. But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector we need to do more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

“This means giving all tenants the right to choose if they want to have the housing element of Universal Credit paid directly to their landlord, working with bank lenders to remove mortgage terms that prevent landlords renting to benefit claimants and ending the Local Housing Allowance freeze which has meant benefits bear little resemblance to rents.”

RLA research has found that the average amount owed by Universal Credit tenants in rent arrears increased by half from just over £1,600 in 2017 to almost £2,400 in 2018.

Around two thirds of the largest buy-to-let mortgage lenders do not allow landlords to rent property to tenants receiving housing benefit.

However, recently the Natwest Bank has bowed to pressure and lifted its criteria restriction prohibiting DSS tenants to rent.

Research by Manchester Metropolitan University for the RLA has found that 53 per cent of landlords reported that the gap between the Local Housing Allowance and local market rent was more than £50 a month. Almost 25% said the gap was over £100 a month.



Comments

David Price

13:13 PM, 5th March 2019
About 6 months ago

I give all my prospective tenants an application form. DSS tenants are usually 'too busy' to bother to complete the form.

silversurfer2017

17:39 PM, 5th March 2019
About 6 months ago

What happens if a landlord wants to take out rent guarantee insurance. Do these policies normally cover tenants on benefits? If as I suspect, they do not, then what is the point of this landord bothering to see any prospective tenants on benefits? None of them will allow him to rent out the property in a manner of his/her choosing.

Loraine Knights

19:36 PM, 5th March 2019
About 6 months ago

It’s not solely mortgage lenders who stipulate no tenants on benefits, it’s insurers too !!

Monty Bodkin

8:51 AM, 6th March 2019
About 6 months ago

Has the RLA shifted its policy from a shouty "MUST" to a more considered "should"?

4th March 2019
Policy Manager for the Residential Landlords Association said:
“Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis."

https://news.rla.org.uk/no-dss-policies-landlords-reminded-tenancies-must-be-assessed-individually/

August 20, 2018
No DSS policies: Landlords reminded tenancies MUST be assessed individually

Monty Bodkin

8:52 AM, 6th March 2019
About 6 months ago

https://blog.shelter.org.uk/2018/08/ending-dss-discrimination/

In the next few months Shelter intends to bring a series of test cases to court which challenge those who refuse to consider letting to people on benefits

Where are the series of test cases?
If there haven't been any, what conclusion can be drawn over whether it is legal or not?

terry sullivan

12:51 PM, 6th March 2019
About 6 months ago

RLA is not on our side?

Appalled Landlord

15:08 PM, 6th March 2019
About 6 months ago

Greg Beales recently described discrimination against benefit claimants as disgusting. He also describes it as unlawful.

If you google “Greg Beales disgusting” you will be offered the article, which has now had his false claim edited out.

“This piece has been updated on 4/3 and paragraph six has been edited to remove the statement that these practices are ‘unlawful’ ”

https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/housing-benefit-renting-no-dss-shelter/

LANDLORD 35

10:50 AM, 9th March 2019
About 6 months ago

The answer to the NO DSS question can be found in House of Commons Briefing Paper No 7008 1st November 2016
"Can Private Landlords Refuse To Let To Housing Benefit Claimants?"
The document clearly states that income and employment are not protected characteristics under discrimination law.
I would suspect this is why Shelter have not taken up any test cases.

John Dace

11:14 AM, 9th March 2019
About 6 months ago

One of the other big risks for landlords is that the council can ‘clawback’ many months of rent from the landlord it because the tenant is sanctioned or did something wrong - like have a boyfriend stay over too much etc. If the council were allowed to ‘clawback’ all the other spent benefits, how many other businesses would offer services to them. Can you imagine Lidl or the dentist, or Sky / Netflix or the local tobacconist being asked to pay back to the DWP because 4 months ago someone got money they possibly weren't entitled to? This ‘No DSS’ is about risk of debt to the landlord. The exact same way as financial services and insurance know the risks are greater. They charge more for higher risk so maybe we can say “15% premium for DSS claimants” in advertising. You cant force businesses to do business with high risk client at the same cost as low risk. Its a right of that business to decide for themselves. The best thing the DWP can do to help is stop ‘clawback’ AND give direct payments.

David Price

11:26 AM, 9th March 2019
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John Dace at 09/03/2019 - 11:14
I pay circa 5% interest on my loans, a DSS individual will pay circa 3,000% on a pay day loan. The increased risk is considerable, why should a landlord take that risk and at the same time receive a lower rent?

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