RLA welcome Zoopla ‘No DSS’ ban

RLA welcome Zoopla ‘No DSS’ ban

15:01 PM, 18th March 2019, About 4 years ago 12

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Responding to news that Zoopla will ban property owners advertising properties to rent as ‘No DSS’ on its website, Chris Town, Vice Chair of the Residential Landlords Association said:

“We welcome today’s announcement from Zoopla which comes after extensive campaigning by the RLA. 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 building on positive changes already made by the Government by 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 as NatWest has already done; and ending the Local Housing Allowance freeze which has meant benefits bear little resemblance to rents.

“We look forward to working constructively with the Government to address these issues.”

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.

Research by Manchester Metropolitan University for the RLA has found that 53% 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.


Luke P

7:51 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Whose side are they on? Yeah, it all sounds nice and makes them look reasonable, warm and fuzzy but, as we all know, many leases and mortgages prevent it and you couldn’t really get a better ‘excuse’ or legitimate ‘deflection’ than that.

Man up (RLA)!!


8:10 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Seems to me the RLA are firmly behind the government and tenants now

Sunita Rickman

8:54 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 19/03/2019 - 07:51
Totally agree with you Luke - You forgot to mention the Landlords insurance - Not only do all my buy-to-let mortgages with various lenders forbid DSS Tenants - I haven't come across one single mortgage provider that allows DSS tenants ???? but also invalidates the insurance. What are the RLA playing at - it seems that they do not know the market that they are supposed to represent ?

Jerry Jones

9:08 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Sunita Rickman at 19/03/2019 - 08:54
I insure with a well-know specialist broker in Norwich, that has no problem with benefit claimants as tenants. On the properties in that part of the market, I also have mortgages with Paragon that have no such restriction.

Hamish McBloggs

9:15 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

It is discrimination.

I have a 7 year old second hand car. I am saving up for a new second hand one.

I don't have a right to a new second hand one.

Today, I have a right to ask whether or not I can get finance.

A finance company has a right to decline the extension of credit for measured reasons that have nothing to do with who or what I am.

Landlords must be no different.


Larry Sweeney

9:24 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

No Surprise here at all. The RLA publish Shelter poetry (yes this is true) , they assist councils with their shambolic licensing schemes, why would they not jump on another populist bandwagon.
Its quite simple. Landlords en masse need to cancel RLA/NLA membership and join the alliance. We promised never to jump in to bed with local authorities and never to flog rubbish courses. Promise kept. We now specifically ask RLA/NLA members to ditch their memberships today and join the Alliance.

Luke Roxberg

9:32 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Is the RLA trying to lose members? Makes me wonder if it has been taken over by Shelter. This is utterly false. Please tell me what protected category under the anti-discrimination legislation this falls under. You won't be able to because it there isn't one. It isn't discrimination.

It is assessing if someone has the ability to pay, as any prudent business does. with 90% of UC recipients in arrears, it is pretty clear that the landlord is guaranteed to be behind and offering free overdraft facilities (this ontop of the rest of the PRS having payment 1 month in advance, while UC is payment 1 month in arrears on a lunar calendar).

Dylan Morris

10:42 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Jones at 19/03/2019 - 09:08Problem is Jerry those BTL lenders who will allow DSS charge a much higher interest rate. Why should I be forced to take out a poorly competitive rate. The reason of course is that DDS tenants are much higher risk.

My rental properties are fairly upmarket and I don’t want DSS tenants in them. That’s my underwriting criteria. I’d be happy to be forced to remove my DDS restriction so long as all mortgage lenders have to similarly remove their restriction on lending to mortgage applicants whose income is from benefits. I don’t know of any mortgage lender who would grant a mortgage to somebody on benefits.
I joined the RLA last year for the sole reason of complying with GDPR. To be fair they did have a very good Data Protection Policy document which I used. However given their stance on this I will consider carefully whether I want to renew my membership with them in 12 months time. (Also their specimen tenancy agreement is very poor).

Jerry Jones

10:56 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

I'm fortunate in that the mortgages in question are from 2007 on reversionary rates of under 2%. You need an agent with a good relationship with the local benefits office and a VERY proactive attitude. The 10% plus yields make it just about worthwhile although I would never go down that route again.

Mick Roberts

11:01 AM, 19th March 2019, About 4 years ago

I want to take HB LHA Universal Credit UC tenants. But I can't. As I asked my Mortgage Lender 'Do u know if this UC tenant don't pay me for 2 months I report arrears & UC don't reply, then I complain, & have to take the complaint to the Regulator ICE, who then take another 18 months to look at the complaint, can u wait for 2 years without me paying you any mortgage money?' And the Mortgage Lender replied Get real Mick, We'd have repossessed long before then.
I said Oh dear, I don't what to do then as this is real life situations I am having RIGHT NOW with my HB tenants that have been switched onto UC.

This more or less explains to Shelter from me and many HB Landlords why we don't take HB and Universal Credit any mo

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