Incapacity Benefit

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    Incapacity Benefit

    I have recently found a flat to move into with my partner of 4 years. I work full time and my partner suffers from Autism so she recieves long term incapacity benefit.
    Together we can easily afford to rent the flat.

    I have been told by the letting agent that we cannot move into the flat because they do not accept rents to be paid using benefits. Surely this is breaking the law under the disability discrimination act 1995?

    Can anyone give me some advice?

    #2
    I don't think they are breaking the law. A LL can accept or decline anyone for any reason.

    Although, I must say, it does seem very harsh.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by rkemp78 View Post
      I have recently found a flat to move into with my partner of 4 years. I work full time and my partner suffers from Autism so she recieves long term incapacity benefit.
      Together we can easily afford to rent the flat.

      I have been told by the letting agent that we cannot move into the flat because they do not accept rents to be paid using benefits. Surely this is breaking the law under the disability discrimination act 1995?

      Can anyone give me some advice?
      Is discrimination on ground of autism or benefit receipt?
      Former would certainly be contrary to DDA 1995. Latter would almost certainly not be direct discrimination but might be indirect. However, s.19(2)(b) defines "provider of services" so as to require provision to public or section of public- private letting is not within this.
      You would therefore need to try s.22: unlawful for person with power to dispose of premises to discriminate against disabled (inc. "by refusing to dispose of those premises to the disabled person"). This does not apply to small dwellings, as defined in s.23.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

      Comment


        #4
        It does sound like they are being most unreasonable. Have you explained that the benefits you receive are not because you don't work (i.e. not income support) but incapacity? I think you should be able to make them see reason.

        But at the end of the day you can't force someone to accept you as a tenant --- it's their choice.

        Peter

        Comment


          #5
          Cheers for the responses. They are very helpful. I'm aware that I can't force someone but I'm just finding out what my rights are.

          Is there anything in the DDA2005?
          http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Disabled...hts/DG_4001068

          "buying or renting land or property, including making it easier for disabled people to rent property and for tenants to make disability-related adaptations"

          Comment


            #6
            It sounds like indirect discrimination to me. If the LL is using an agent, it is definately against the law to discriminate in this way. Get advice from National Disability Council

            It would be worth kicking up for the benefit of other disabled people...maybe you wont get this property anyway, but you may help some other disabled person in the process and buck the agencies ideas up in the process.

            Of course there may be other reasons they can bar you, but indirect disability discrimination should not be one.

            I don't know if this kind of benefit is unacceptable to some mortgage lenders either.
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

            You can search the forums here:

            Comment


              #7
              Note that L is refusing letting on ground that T is receiving benefits, not on ground of autism. T might have to argue that autistic people are more likely to be on benefit and therefore disproportionately affected- generally, "no DSS claimants" would not otherwise be prohibited.
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                As a comparison, banks will accept Incapacity Benefit as a form of income when assessing for both mortgage and loan applications.

                Pete

                Comment

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