Refusing to let to DSS tenants is not unlawful

The Equality Act 2010 states that it is not unlawful discrimination to refuse to let to a tenant who is on benefits and a House of Commons paper has addressed this issue. The paper states a number of reasons why landlords do not want to let to claimants including the fact that many landlords associate such tenants with rent arrears, anti-social behavior and damage to property.  Another concern is that the benefits are paid direct to the claimants rather than the landlords.  The system trusts the tenants to pay the rent direct to the landlords but this trust is not shared by landlords.  Landlords can also encounter problems with insurers and lenders when letting to claimants.  The paper does not say how widespread the issue is but quotes a recent survey for Crisis which revealed that 55% of landlords were unwilling to let to tenants on benefits.

 

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