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Blanket bans against tenants in receipt of social benefits have no place in a fair and modern housing market, said housing spokesman Eddie Hughes last week.
Answering a Parliamentary Question from Labour MP Feryal Clark, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rough Sleeping and Housing assured her the Government had agreed an approach with the letting industry to end the practice.
‘Major lettings portals Zoopla and Rightmove agreed to stop the use of “No DSS” adverts on their websites, and several major lenders agreed to remove restrictions on mortgages which prevented landlords from letting to tenants on benefits.
‘We will continue to encourage landlords to look at all tenants on an individual basis. Current legislation prohibits acts of discrimination against individuals on the basis of a number of protected characteristics. Where a prospective tenant believes that they have been discriminated against, they should seek independent legal advice or contact Citizens’ Advice for free, impartial advice.
‘Additionally, it is a legal requirement for letting and managing agents in England to belong to one of the two Government approved redress schemes. If a prospective tenant feels that a letting agent is acting unfairly or continues to offer a poor service, they can raise a formal complaint’.