Despite a recent landmark ruling stating that landlords are not permitted to discriminate against private renters in England receiving benefits, many people are now saying that that they’re still finding it hard to secure accommodation.
Speaking to the Guardian, chief executive of Shelter Polly Neate said that hundreds of people have been in touch with the housing charity since the ruling raised concerns about the issues surrounding DSS.
“The recent court judgment was an incredibly important step forward, but Shelter has been fighting No DSS for nearly two years and will continue to do so until these discriminatory practices are stamped out for good. All landlords and letting agents should know that if they keep acting unlawfully, they could face legal action and hefty fines,” she said.
Last month, a court ruled that the no DSS rule breached equality rules, after a disabled single mother found herself homeless when she was refused the chance to rent a private property because she was on benefits.
‘No DSS’ has been seen in property listings for years, making it clear that those in receipt of benefits wouldn’t be considered for tenancies – a practice decried by welfare charities, arguing that it should be relegated to the history books.
There are numerous reasons why some landlords have chosen not to rent to those on benefits over the years, such as the fact that insurance policies and mortgages were invalid if a tenant was receiving government support.
But times have changed and many mortgage providers have now loosened restrictions relating to this demographic – and property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove have now banned the phrase ‘no DSS’.
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