No DSS' letting bans 'ruled unlawful' by court

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    #46
    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
    The person who advertised ""DSS only"" did not actually say that (or might not say that). The legitimate goal might be to not want "DSS" in and of itself (for all sorts of reasons or for no reason at all apart from that in itself). "DSS" is not a protected class -- so that fails. "DSS" selecting for a "protected class" also fails -- because so does bank-balance select for that class.
    But the legislation isn't aimed at society as a whole, it's aimed at (legal) people who make specific decisions.

    Provided anyone who can pay £995 per month can rent a property, making a reasonable and fair judgement that person X can't afford it and person Y can isn't discriminatory.

    Even if the reason that X can't afford it are the result of discrimination by others or society as a whole, the agent isn't discriminating in the decision that they make.
    And it's the agent who's in court, not anyone else, or all of us.
    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


      #47
      The point is that it's discriminatory because it affects one group of people with a protected characteristic more than another. The group of people it affects more is women. Sex and gender are protected characteristics. This is because women are on the whole the people who look after the children and with whom the children generally reside. This means they are more likely to be in receipt of benefits because they are quite often unable to work full time. Or, because of a break in their careers to have children they earn less than men. The majority of part time workers are women. Therefore it is discriminatory to have a blanket policy not to let to benefits claimants because that affects women more than men. I hope that explains it.

      Comment


        #48
        Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
        The point is that it's discriminatory because it affects one group of people with a protected characteristic more than another. The group of people it affects more is women. Sex and gender are protected characteristics. This is because women are on the whole the people who look after the children and with whom the children generally reside. This means they are more likely to be in receipt of benefits because they are quite often unable to work full time. Or, because of a break in their careers to have children they earn less than men. The majority of part time workers are women. Therefore it is discriminatory to have a blanket policy not to let to benefits claimants because that affects women more than men. I hope that explains it.
        Sorry to go round in a loop. But no, it explains nothing. Selecting by income (or assets) also affects more women than men.

        Comment


          #49
          Because the letting agency had a blanket ban on benefit claimants. If it had accepted applications and then refused them on affordability grounds that is different. Because affordability is a different test than being in receipt of benefits. It's a point of law. It is very clear. A person could be in receipt of benefits with an income of £1600 a month. They should be considered for the tenancy if they can afford it. A blanket ban means they are not even considered.

          Comment


            #50
            Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

            Sorry to go round in a loop. But no, it explains nothing. Selecting by income (or assets) also affects more women than men.
            And that is the basic point.

            They were NOT selecting "by income (or assets)".

            They were not even considering a particular individuals income or assets.
            Just making an assumption of what the income/assets may be - without any evidence whatsoever of the individuals means.

            Comment


              #51
              Originally posted by nukecad View Post
              And that is the basic point.

              They were NOT selecting "by income (or assets)".

              They were not even considering a particular individuals income or assets.
              Just making an assumption of what the income/assets may be - without any evidence whatsoever of the individuals means.
              Who said they were making an assumption as to what income or assets may be?

              If I select people only by income level, I am also not "even considering" any other aspect of disabled individuals.

              I have no idea why everyone is tacitly assuming here that income is the only relevant thing when selecting a tenant. I'm baffled.

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                They should be considered for the tenancy if they can afford it.
                Why on earth is that the case? That assumption seems to be the core logical flaw in this thread.

                I don't reject benefit claimants because I assume they might have a low income, or not pay.

                Comment


                  #53
                  It's political correctness Andrew.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                    If I select people only by income level, I am also not "even considering" any other aspect of disabled individuals.
                    You can do that, if it is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. I have no doubt that ensuring that the property is affordable is a legitimate aim.
                    And I'm sure that ensuring that you don't take tenants who claim benefits, regardless of their otherwise suitability for the property, is not a legitimate aim.

                    All people have to do is spend 5 seconds considering if they are suitable, without having a blanket rule, it's hardly a big deal.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      'DSS is not no longer a recognized term and DSS is no longer resp for paying Housing Benefits et al.
                      DSS T is an inacurate, sloppy name.
                      AFAIK any LL can reject any prospective T ,provided no reason is discriminatory.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                        And I'm sure that ensuring that you don't take tenants who claim benefits, regardless of their otherwise suitability for the property, is not a legitimate aim.
                        Kindly point me to the lines in legislation that say this. You might think this.

                        Likewise also point me to the lines in legislation that say that

                        "ensuring that you don't take tenants who SMOKE, regardless of their otherwise suitability for the property, is not a legitimate aim."

                        I'm afraid that you (and judges) are just making stuff up. The judiciary should be applying the law, not creating new law inventing new arbitrary distinctions while lying in the bathtub.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          In the realm of discrimination, smoking is a choice, and sex and being handicapped are characteristics (about which people have no choice).

                          The legislation doesn't define what a reasonable aim is, or what is proportionate.
                          Setting those levels and meanings is one of the key purposes of the judiciary.

                          Judges apply the law in the sense that they marry the abstract wording of legislation to real life situations.
                          That's why legislation uses words like "reasonable" and "proportionate", so that judges can both define the meaning and, critically, can change it to reflect changes in society.
                          Where parliament doesn't wish judges to do that, the language of legislation is different.

                          Judges aren't making stuff up, they're interpretting the law.
                          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


                            #58
                            It's always the issue when you discuss any kind of discrimination under the Equalty Act.

                            People try to make comparisons with things that may 'look' similar to them, but which are not discrimination in terms of the Act.

                            Part of that of course is that those who are doing the discriminating don't want to admit that what they are doing is discriminatory, and so try to fog the issue with spurious comparisons.

                            (The government are good at that when they come up with a discriminatory benefits policy, it usually ends up at Judicial Review in the High Court before they will admit their discrimination and put things right.
                            One particular discrimination case, originally TP & AR, is now on it's way back to Judicial Review for the fourth time because the government/DWP keep refusing to fully comply with the initial High Court ruling and 2 subsequent High Court rulings that they were/are still being discriminatory).

                            Comment


                              #59
                              Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
                              The judiciary should be applying the law, not creating new law inventing new arbitrary distinctions while lying in the bathtub.
                              'Applying the law involves' creating new arbitrary distinctions, otherwise parliament would have to enumerate every single future possibility in advance.
                              Judges have done this since before the law was even written down, it's in Chapter 1 of Law for Dummies.

                              Comment


                                #60
                                Originally posted by Ted.E.Bear View Post
                                You can do that, if it is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”. I have no doubt that ensuring that the property is affordable is a legitimate aim.
                                And I'm sure that ensuring that you don't take tenants who claim benefits, regardless of their otherwise suitability for the property, is not a legitimate aim.
                                I'm not convinced it is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. A decent lawyer could come up with a dozen reasons.

                                Nothing was decided in this case as no defence was entered.

                                Comment

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