A lettings agency is telling landlords to take more tenants claiming housing benefits.
The agency in question says it’s wrong that some landlords apparently still refuse to take claimants despite a ruling in July last year banning discrimination against tenants with ‘no DSS’ or similar adverts and requests.
“It’s shocking to still see landlords refusing to house tenants on benefits, several months after the new ruling. For years, so-called no-DSS policies have stopped hundreds of thousands of people from renting homes because they receive housing benefit” says Mish Liyanage of Greater Manchester agency Pick My Pad.
He cites unsourced figures suggesting that 63 per cent of private landlords say they don’t let’, or prefer not to let, to people who receive housing benefit.
“In many inner-city areas higher than market rents can be achieved letting to tenants on benefits. These increased Local Housing Allowance rates mean much higher yields and a healthy cashflow. For example, monthly rental for LHA tenants is Salford is 35 per cent more than the average private tenant rents” he claims.
The July 2020 ruling declared for the first time that ‘rejecting tenancy applications because the applicant is in receipt of housing benefit was unlawfully indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex and disability, contrary to […] the Equality Act 2010’.
Landlords who have a blanket policy of refusing all tenants who claim benefits risk legal action.
“Tenants on receipt of benefits tend to stay much longer than professional tenants, which means less voids and increased cashflow. Direct payment can be obtained in a large number of tenancies, therefore reducing the risk of arrears” adds Liyanage.
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