A second UK court has ruled that ‘No DSS’ is unlawful, after a renter won a legal trial against housing benefit discrimination.
Stephen Tyler, who is disabled, successfully argued that ‘No DSS’ discrimination is unlawful and in breach of the Equality Act after he was prevented from viewing properties listed with a letting agency Birmingham estate agent due to the fact that he was receiving housing benefit.
Tyler and his family lost their home in February 2018 after being served with a Section 21 eviction notice.
But when looking for a suitable new property to rent, Tyler was told by estate agent Paul Carr that it was ‘company policy’ not to rent to people who receive housing benefit.
The discrimination Tyler faced was deemed in breach of the Equality Act at Birmingham Ciunty Court because it disproportionally affects disabled people, who are more likely to need some support with paying their rent.
Her Honour Judge Mary Stacey ruled that: “There is no doubt that there was a blanket policy that no one in receipt of housing benefit would be considered for the three properties. It put the claimant and other disabled people at a particular disadvantage when compared to others.”
She added: “We make a declaration that the defendant has unlawfully indirectly discriminated against the claimant by imposing a provision, criteria or practice (PCP) that those in receipt of housing benefit could not apply to those three properties.”