Landlords warned not to discriminate against benefits tenants

by Property 118

8:58 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Landlords warned not to discriminate against benefits tenants

Make Text Bigger
Landlords warned not to discriminate against benefits tenants

The NRLA warns landlords should not have blanket policies that discriminate against those in receipt of benefits. Responding to a court case in York which has ruled that it is unlawful for landlords to discriminate in this way, Chris Norris, Policy Director for the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“No landlord should discriminate against tenants, because they are in receipt of benefits. 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 ruling was a test case for Shelter’s No DSS campaign to end benefits based discrimination within the PRS.

District Judge, Victoria Elizabeth Mark, said: “Rejecting tenancy applications because the applicant is in receipt of housing benefit was unlawfully indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex and disability, contrary to the Equality Act 2010.”

The solicitor for Shelter who led the case, Rose Arnall, said:“This is the first time a court has fully considered a case like this. It finally clarifies that discriminating against people in need of housing benefit is not just morally wrong, it is against the law.”



Comments

Dave Moran

10:28 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

RIP BTL

WP

10:32 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

reject on the basis that the DWP is ultimately the body funding the claimant and on that basis, as you have no guarantee that rent will always be paid and arrears will not accrue then you reject. The same would be the case for a person needing a guarantor and the guarantor could not fulfil the requirements to ensure the same.
You could then argue that having has direct experience of previous issues with the DWP where this scenario of unpaid rent and rent arrears we accrued by way of this exact situation, then there is a business case to reject that applicant. end of.

Luke P

10:34 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

It’s a petty point, but seeing as the DSS no longer exists, surely the phrase ‘No DSS’ has no meaning and thus can continue…??

Alison King

10:59 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Great, so tell that to buildings and contents insurers, rent guarantee insurers and building societies.

Monty Bodkin

11:09 AM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

If this is such a great victory, why don't they release the full court transcript instead of just their edited highlights?

Good to see the NRLA speaking up for the landlord perspective (not).

Dylan Morris

12:56 PM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

My landlord’s buildings insurance policy is with Direct Line recently renewed and states the following and I quote:
At least one of the individuals who have signed the tenancy agreement must be either:
* employed (or have been in the last 6 months
* in full time education (or have been in the last 6 months)
* retired
* in receipt of carer’s allowance or disability benefit
at the point of signing the tenancy agreement.
So I am unable to rent to a person who has been unemployed for more than 6 months and doesn’t fit the other criteria above. Surely it’s Direct Line that are discriminating and not me ?

Chris @ Possession Friend

13:41 PM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

I wouldn't necessarily put too finite a reliance on the judgement, certainly without reading a copy of the case commentary and judgement ( which I have requested )
Many initial county court cases are Appealed successfully.

Jack

14:37 PM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

As a landlord for over 30 years letting to benefit claimants i wish i had not gone down that parth for the last 5 years as every uc tenant has cost me money in lost rent as you say UC do not care about the landlord at all poor contact poor paperwork and very one sided on the side of the tenants UC rules are all one sided in favour of the tenants

Paul Shears

15:39 PM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 14/07/2020 - 12:56
No they are just being rather generous in my opinion. And it is to your benefit.

Dylan Morris

16:10 PM, 14th July 2020
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 14/07/2020 - 15:39
So in your opinion can I refuse to rent a property to somebody who is unemployed and receiving UC on the basis that if I did so my property would be uninsured ? Would this be discrimination ?

1 2 3 4

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Two speed rental market between London and the rest of the UK

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More