No DSS' letting bans 'ruled unlawful' by court

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    #16
    I don't rent to anyone who hasn't got at least 10K in the bank in hard cash. Is that discrimination? What if I put it in the advert? Or put in the advert "must be employed and earning more than 40K" -- because those would eliminate "DSS" too.

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      #17
      Having £10k in the bank isn't an illegal discrimination.
      Must be employed now seems to be (as an indirect discrimination against people unable to work because of a disbility).

      But, again, the case hasn't actually set a precedent and another county court could decide differently.
      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).

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        #18
        On the basis of this ruling, I am unable to find the discrimination against sex and disability that the case was won on. The letting was rejected on grounds of affordability (receiving benefits).

        All I can work out from the article is that No DSS restrictions = Only women qualify as a target and having children is considered a disability.

        Can someone please explain this in idiots terms because I cannot get my head around the logic of the argument or the verdict.

        Comment


          #19
          It's quite possible to be getting Housing Benefit, or UC Housing Element, with £10K in the bank.

          The savings/capital/investments cut off for claiming either benefit is £16K, - so you may want to up your limit.

          Remember that this ruling hasn't actually changed any law, it's simply clarified what the existing law is. (Existing law which many have been ignoring and will continue to ignore but they will simply stop saying that they are).

          Comment


            #20
            See indirect discrimination...
            https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/la...iscrimination/

            Comment


              #21
              What about the environmental impact and other costs imposed (including on the tenants) visiting properties they don't have a hope of acquiring. Sometimes people travel hundreds of miles to visit.

              And are we saying (if tenants are accepted) that we might not be potentially able to charge a different rate of rent depending on the risk.
              I generally don't advertise an exact rental price "Rent Approximately £1000 pcm depending on the circumstances".
              Because that would definitely stuff certain tenants up royally.

              Comment


                #22
                Instead of telling landlords who they can or can’t rent their houses to the government should start building more council houses as part of this ‘build build build’ plan that they are supposedly putting in place to keep the economy moving. Government are happy to hand out all these benefits to people that can’t financially support themselves but they don’t want to maintain the homes that these people live in.
                How long before it becomes unlawful to check prospective tenants payslips? Surely that will soon become discriminatory as it gives an unfair advantage to people that go to work to earn their own money?
                Give it a few years and it’ll be unlawful to discriminate against somebody that’s got a CCJ against them.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by Mardanis View Post
                  Can someone please explain this in idiots terms because I cannot get my head around the logic of the argument or the verdict.
                  The would be tenant was not allowed to rent from a letting agent because she was in receipt of benefits.
                  The letting agent had a blanket no benefits recipients rule and didn't consider the other attributes of the person - who had been renting for several years and had good references.

                  The court held that, as she was receiving benefits because she was a single mother and was handicapped, the blanket rule was indirectly discriminatory, and the discrimination brought about a negative outcome for the would be tenant.
                  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


                    #24
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    The would be tenant was not allowed to rent from a letting agent because she was in receipt of benefits.
                    The letting agent had a blanket no benefits recipients rule and didn't consider the other attributes of the person - who had been renting for several years and had good references.

                    The court held that, as she was receiving benefits because she was a single mother and was handicapped, the blanket rule was indirectly discriminatory, and the discrimination brought about a negative outcome for the would be tenant.
                    Taking a step back I agree this is inappropriate. I would hate that my own disabled child were discriminated against purely because they are disabled (though receiving no benefits at all because I pay their way). It is the "considering other attributes" parts that is key. And unfortunately the various news reports don't make this clear. That most "DSS" tenancy applicants have BAD other attributes. That might mean they are risky (not bad people - but sometimes they are bad people too, statistically anyway - more likely to trash properties and generally cause problems). Taking statistics into account is not in my view discrimination but perhaps if is if spelled out. Not taking into account that the disabled person actually has a hefty income stream and an unblemished record is.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      I have had too many bad experiences with tenants on benefits. Shelter have done nothing to make it attractive to take on tenants on DSS.

                      Trying to get the property back, involves an expensive trip to the Courts.



                      ​​​​​​

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Flashback1966 View Post
                        I have had too many bad experiences with tenants on benefits. Shelter have done nothing to make it attractive to take on tenants on DSS.

                        Trying to get the property back, involves an expensive trip to the Courts.
                        ​​​​​​
                        Who would have thought that Shelter would cause tenants to be stuffed up while making their political points from leafy Hampstead.

                        They really don't give a toss about increasingly beleaguered tenants in general - just their favoured ones where the points can be made.

                        Tenants are not a homogeneous group by the way.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Once again Shelter going at it from the wrong angle, all part of their evil landlord narrative.

                          Why can't they lobby councils and governments to provide more support for benefits tenants within the PRS, you might have more uptake then.

                          This ruling is a load of nonsense and will have zero impact on the chances of benefit tenants securing a house in the PRS, it just means we have more applications to sift through now.

                          Instead of no DSS it will now be "sorry you don't meet the affordability criteria".

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                            I don't rent to anyone who hasn't got at least 10K in the bank in hard cash. Is that discrimination? What if I put it in the advert? Or put in the advert "must be employed and earning more than 40K" -- because those would eliminate "DSS" too.
                            Can I ask please how that goes down when you ask if they have 10k in the bank? do you ask to see the savings/bank account statement and do most supply or try and resist?

                            All the best

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Stew View Post

                              Can I ask please how that goes down when you ask if they have 10k in the bank? do you ask to see the savings/bank account statement and do most supply or try and resist?

                              All the best
                              Never a problem one way or the other. I always ask for original bank statements covering a fair period of time. I obviously only ask actual plausible candidates. Nobody has ever declined. Anyone who did would be given a swift goodbye.

                              Not sure why anyone would find it unusual to be scrutinised when being handed a £500K asset - indeed they should be astonished not to be so examined in detail.

                              Strangely my insurer (AXA) insists on it too.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                To take a step back from the rhetoric.

                                Nobody is forcing any private landlord to take any tenant, whether they are on benefits or not.

                                The ruling simply confirms that under The Equality Act 2010 Blanket Bans on all benefit claimants are discriminatory, and thus unlawful.


                                That is all that this is/was about, nothing more or nothing less - The Blanket Bans policies being used as a matter of course by some LLs/Agents.

                                Your individual choice to accept a potential tenant or not, based on their individual circumstances and finances, has not been affected in the slightest.

                                In this instance, as in many others, the litigants individual circumstances were not even being considered, a Blanket Ban was being applied before any consideration was made.
                                It's that Blanket Ban and lack of individual consideration that is discriminatory.

                                If a potential tenant doesn't fit your criteria for income then that's fair enough they are not suitable for your property, but you can't just assume as a matter of course that any/all benefit claimants will not fit your criteria.

                                You could always set your criteria to specifically exclude Income Related Benefits claimants (as said above a requirement for savings of over £16K would do that) but you would then have to apply those same criteria to every non-benefits claiming potential claimant.

                                Comment

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