"No DSS" IS unlawful.

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    "No DSS" IS unlawful.

    You may have missed it in all the shouting about facemasks in shops, but a judge has ruled that "No DSS" rental bans are against equality laws and therefore unlawful.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53391516

    District Judge Victoria Mark heard this latest case in York County Court on 1 July, and ruled: "Rejecting tenancy applications because the applicant is in receipt of housing benefit was unlawfully discriminating on the grounds of sex and disability".

    And this was, therefore, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, she said.

    #2
    I think we all secretly knew that, didn't we? That's why people put 'No DSS' rather than 'No Housing Benefit.'

    Just saves benefit recipients going through the rigmarole of applying, to be turned down for some other 'reason'.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by JK0 View Post
      I think we all secretly knew that, didn't we? That's why people put 'No DSS' rather than 'No Housing Benefit.'

      Just saves benefit recipients going through the rigmarole of applying, to be turned down for some other 'reason'.
      With respect, this is nonsense. Stipulating 'No DSS' is equally unlawful, because it MEANS 'no applicants on benefits' and thus 'no applicant on HB'. If challenged, the LL wouldn't be able to justify it.

      Listen to Woman's Hour!
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

      Comment


        #4
        interesting that when I put a property on Open Rent today, they had a toggle for "DSS Income Accepted". I assume that this would be illegal now?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by tatemono View Post
          I assume that this would be illegal now?
          Actually not, - Saying 'DSS Income Accepted', or not mentioning DSS at all, are both inclusive of everyone, you are not excluding anyone and so it's not discriminition.

          It would be different if if it said 'DSS Income NOT Accepted' that becomes discrimination and so unlawful.

          BTW It''s not suddenly become unlawful, it has been for years.
          At least since The Equality Act 2010, and arguably/probably before that as well.

          It just hadn't been ruled on in a court before - not even a County Court.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tatemono View Post
            interesting that when I put a property on Open Rent today, they had a toggle for "DSS Income Accepted". I assume that this would be illegal now?
            On the contrary, it is perfectly okay to say you Will accept DSS.

            Comment


              #7
              errr... that's not the logical outcome (literally) of a toggle switch. The attached image is what shows on your listing if you don't toggle it on, and that looks very much like you won't accept them to me:

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                it has been for years.
                At least since The Equality Act 2010, and arguably/probably before that as well..
                Not sure that is true. The act stipulates discrimination on the following grounds, none of which I can see would apply in this case. Is it something else?
                ...age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The issue is indirect discrimination (which covers almost anything where there is a correlation to one of the protected characteristics).

                  https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/la...iscrimination/
                  There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by tatemono View Post
                    errr... that's not the logical outcome (literally) of a toggle switch. The attached image is what shows on your listing if you don't toggle it on, and that looks very much like you won't accept them to me:
                    It's a more interesting question from what we can now see in your screenshot.

                    Having the big red 'X' on there as the default option makes it more problematical, but not discrimination by policy (Blanket Ban).
                    If it was a green tick as default then it would be no problem at all.

                    Having the red 'X' as default is the equivalent of saying "We would prefer you not to let to benefits tenanants but the choice is yours".

                    It's not discrimination by policy on the part of of Open Rent because they do give the LL the choice.

                    However it is discrimination by default - With the option not to discriminate.

                    It also doesn't indicate whether or not the LL has a discriminatory policy.
                    That's because he may well take benefits tenants, but just not in that particular property.

                    The recent court ruling was only about discrimination by policy (Blanket Bans) that have no method to vary from that policy.
                    If there is a choice, ie. a method to vary the policy, then it's not a blanket ban.

                    The difference between 'by policy' and 'by default' may seem a subtle difference, but subtleties are all important in law.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Will the judge be able to understand your argument on subtle distinctions and agree with you?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Judges are paid for weighing up subtle legal distinctions, that's their job.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The question is whether a busy county court judge has time for subtle distinctions.

                          Comment

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