Skip to content
Advertisements

One In Ten Rental Homes Advertised As Excluding Benefit Claimants

November 9, 2018

At least one in 10 rental properties in England could be being unlawfully advertised by explicitly discriminating against people on housing benefit, housing charities have said.

Analysis of around 86,000 letting agents’ adverts on the property website Zoopla by the homeless charity Shelter and the National Housing Federation (a trade association for social housing providers) in England found 8,710 posts that ruled out tenants on housing benefit.

Thousands of lettings agents and landlords who reject housing benefit claimants could be in breach of equality laws after a single mother won compensation for sex discrimination from a lettings agency that refused to consider her as a tenant, in a landmark case in February.

The analysis by the two housing organisations found that discrimination was widespread in England. Nearly 60% of adverts in north Cumbria excluded potential tenants on housing benefits. A quarter of adverts in Gloucester, Lincoln, Halifax, Worthing, Oldham and Rochdale said “no DSS”, referring to the Department of Social Security, now called the Department for Work and Pensions.

Michelle Hunte, 36, who experienced discrimination after she and her family were made homeless in 2016, said: “I couldn’t find anywhere to live, so ended up in a horrible B&B with only a single bed for myself, my husband and our one-year-old child, who is disabled. There was no space for a cot, it was dirty and there were no cooking facilities. There was nowhere for my other children to sleep, so they had to stay with different family and friends.

“Eventually, I found this home through Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association, who were the only landlords who would accept someone on benefits. They really supported me and gave me a long tenancy. I’ve never missed a rent payment before and I’ve looked after every home I’ve lived in really well. What am I supposed to do? This kind of discrimination has to stop.”

Polly Neate, the chief executive of Shelter England, said: “It’s staggering to see this discrimination laid out in black and white – and brazenly enforced by letting agents, landlords and online property websites. ‘No DSS’ is outdated, offensive and causing misery for thousands.

“Not only is ‘No DSS’ grossly unfair, it is likely to be unlawful because it overwhelmingly affects women and disabled people. That’s why we need the lettings industry to stop blaming each other, accept its role in this shocking practice and clean up its act.”

Kate Henderson, the chief executive of the NHF, which represents social landlords to around 6 million people, said: “Many housing associations were created in the 50s and 60s in reaction to discrimination and racism from private landlords who wouldn’t house migrants, and said ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.’ Today’s discrimination is hardly any different and we refuse to turn a blind eye.”

A spokesman for Zoopla said: “Zoopla supports the recommendations of the National Landlords Association and the Residents Landlords Association, which have advocated that landlords do not impose blanket bans against tenants on benefits.

“Zoopla is aware of a small number of rental listings on its websites that fit into this category and Zoopla will write to all of its member agents to recommend that they follow the NLA and RLA guidance.”

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ralph permalink
    November 9, 2018 12:08 pm

    Just part of the hostile environment for poor and sick people. The blame lies squarely at the door of the Tories and their media cheer leaders.

  2. November 9, 2018 2:34 pm

    True Ralp…. and their Fake ‘Charity’ BullS**ters.

    To point out the bleedin obvious –

    Landlords don’t want to rent to people who might at any time be unable to pay the rent because of DWP FRAUD, VULNERABLE ADULT ABUSE, HATE CRIME, TORTURE AND ATTEMPTED MURDER. (they call it ‘sanctions’)

    Why won’t the Guardian or Fake Charities say that?
    .

    .

    Difficult to appeal/report DWP Fraud and Abuse when you’re out on the streets.

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: