No DSS' letting bans 'ruled unlawful' by court

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    No DSS' letting bans 'ruled unlawful' by court

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

    #2
    My insurer overtly discriminates on the basis of benefits. I pay higher premiums where my tenants are in receipt of HB. Does this ruling make that unlawful too?
    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

    Comment


      #3

      It's not a nail in the coffin at all. If landlords don't want 'DSS' the solution is to simply put the rent up to above the LHA and to refuse 'DSS' on the grounds of affordability. Perhaps Shelter would like to have a little think about why Private Landlords refuse 'DSS' and do something about the reasons.

      So thanks, York CC and Shelter. You've managed to put rents up again.

      Comment


        #4
        Pretty much meaningless;

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ettings-agency

        "Although the ruling, made in a virtual hearing on 1 July, does not set a legal precedent...."


        Comment


          #5
          No, because an increased insurance premium affects the LL and does not directly affect those on benefits - so it is not discriminating against the tenant(s).

          However if you pass that extra cost on to a benefits tenant, so that they are paying more than a non-benefits tenant would for the same property, then you could/would be discriminating against the tenant.
          Although that is less clear cut and would probably need another court case to clarify if you could lawfully pass that increased premium on.

          Generally though if you charge a benefits tenant more than a non-benefits tenant than that is discrimination.

          If the insurer (or BTL mortgage provider) has a 'No Benefits tenants' clause then that is discrimination, and is now clearly unlawful under this ruling.

          I suspect that all such insurance/mortgage clauses will be quickly and quietly dropped, and ammended in existing policies/mortgages.

          Basically all this ruling does is finally acknowledge that 'No DSS' is on the same legal footing as 'No Foriegners' and other such discrimination.

          Some landlords will always discriminate of course, they just can't get away with doing it overtly to benefits claimants anymore.
          And if they are discriminating as an unstated policy then they can now be more easily legally challenged.

          Comment


            #6
            The ruling doesn’t actually set a precedent (the court isn’t senior enough).
            It doesn’t make No DSS illegal, just gives support to anyone else who wants to go to court - it doesn’t mean that (say) Trading Standards can stop someone using the expression in an ad (but they could point out the possible consequences of doing so).

            But if everyone behaves as if it does, it will.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Wealth / income has a correlation to various protected characteristics, so it seems to me that by the same logic used by the court here, selling anything moderately expensive (and thus out of reach of a chunk of the population, who are disproportionately likely to be [insert characteristic here]) is indirect discrimination and therefore unlawful.
              There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by doobrey View Post
                My insurer overtly discriminates on the basis of benefits. I pay higher premiums where my tenants are in receipt of HB. Does this ruling make that unlawful too?
                No, insurance companies blatantly discriminate against men by charging us more than women.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Section20z View Post
                  No, insurance companies blatantly discriminate against men by charging us more than women.
                  They don't do that any more, it's illegal discrimination.

                  Even though it's justified by women being safer drivers making fewer and cheaper insurance claims than men, sex is a protected characteristic.
                  When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                  Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Surely insurers overtly discriminate based on protected characteristics? (e.g. age being an obvious one ; there is a well-known company that will not provide services to the under 50s...)
                    There is a fine line between irony and stupidity. If I say something absurd please assume that I am being facetious.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Age is a tricky protected characteristic that doesn't follow all of the same rules as most of the other protected characteristics.

                      The sex/insurance case was a specific EU court ruling.
                      It's possible other cases may go the same way.
                      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So can we change 'no dss' to 'working person only'?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by royw View Post
                          So can we change 'no dss' to 'working person only'?
                          It would have to be tested, but probably not - if a disabled person is not able to work that would be indirect discrimination.
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by royw View Post
                            So can we change 'no dss' to 'working person only'?
                            "Would suit working professional".

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rather than trying to find carefully compliant wording in the advert, I think many landlords will shift the filtering to their initial telephone conversation with the applicant. Experiences of Covid and forthcoming legislative change is going to lead to fewer "benefits tenants" being housed by the prs, not more.

                              Comment

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