Zoopla promises to end housing benefit discrimination
People receiving housing benefit can now not be barred from renting homes marketed on one of the vital UK’s greatest checklist websites.
Zoopla says it is going to limit landlords posting “No DSS” commercials, a commonly-used acronym of the now defunct Department of Social Security.
The National Housing Federation and Shelter discovered that one in 10 brokers in England refused to let to DSS tenants.
Approximately 889,000 folks in England obtain housing benefit to assist pay their hire.
- Online commercials ‘refusing’ tenants on advantages
- Landlords who say ‘no DSS’ flout the legislation
Yet in accordance to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), round part of landlords would now not be prepared to let to them.
Last August, Birmingham resident Stephen Tyler informed the Victoria Derbyshire programme that housing benefit discrimination had pressured him to sleep in his automotive.
The wheelchair consumer mentioned: “We had been attempting to to find lodging since we had been evicted from our final belongings once we requested for diversifications to be made for wheelchair get right of entry to.
“I telephone the rest up to 20 landlords, property brokers, an afternoon and none of them will settle for DSS.”
In November, the National Housing Federation and charity Shelter printed research of 86,000 letting agent advertisements on Zoopla, which discovered that eight,710 of the postings contained the phrases “no DSS” or “no housing benefit”.
Other advertisements implied that nobody on advantages used to be welcome – as an example via pronouncing “professionals only”.
While it’s not illegal to refuse folks on advantages, Shelter mentioned it used to be most likely to contravene the Equality Act.
Earlier this month, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler referred to as for the apply to be stopped, and mentioned the federal government would discover the choice of creating it unlawful.
She warned that if the sphere used to be unwilling to take motion then the federal government would “explore all options to remove this practice”.
‘Everywhere mentioned no DSS’
Benefit claimant Michelle Hunte mentioned she had discovered it very arduous to discover a position to reside, after being evicted from a flat in London in 2016.
“I woke up every day at 6am to look for a home,” she mentioned. “Everywhere I looked online said ‘No DSS’ – Gumtree, Facebook, everywhere.”
She ended up dwelling in a mattress and breakfast, whilst her six kids lived in different places.
“It was so stressful being apart from my family. I’m now suffering from anxiety and depression.”
Charlie Bryant, managing director of Zoopla, mentioned: “We fully support the recommendations of the NLA and the RLA, which oppose blanket bans against tenants in receipt of housing-related benefits, and are pleased to be taking action which clarifies this position.”
The transfer follows expanding power on loan lenders, insurers, belongings brokers and belongings advert websites now not to discriminate towards folks on advantages.
This month NatWest Bank mentioned it could alternate its restrictions on buy-to-let mortgages – which in a single case led to a landlord receiving a requirement for the revocation of an current loan whilst being refused a re-mortgage after she rented the valuables to a tenant on housing advantages.
Parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee has introduced an inquiry into discrimination towards advantages claimants.
It is quizzing lenders, landlords, brokers and benefit recipients and operating a web-based survey of claimants who’ve had issues discovering a spot to hire or issues of their landlords.
A criminal case final yr noticed a unmarried mom win repayment for discrimination from a lettings company that refused to believe her as a tenant as a result of she used to be on advantages.
She argued that the restriction not directly discriminated towards girls, particularly unmarried girls, as a result of they’re proportionately much more likely to be claiming housing benefit than unmarried males, in accordance to legitimate figures.