A BBC survey claims that private sector landlords are more likely to accept potential tenants who own pets than ones who are claiming benefits.
An analysis of 11,000 advertisements - for apartments and rooms - found that all but a few hundred said explicitly that benefit claimants were not welcome; a higher proportion would accept non-benefit tenants who had pets.
The BBC analysed listings for London and 18 other towns and cities across England.
- Out of 11,806 adverts for rooms to let, just two per cent were open to people on benefits.
- The website's listings showed not a single vacancy for a benefit claimant in Bournemouth, Exeter, Leicester, Liverpool, Norwich, Oxford or Reading.
- Plymouth had the highest rate of acceptance, but even that was just 10 per cent of rooms, 15 out of 144.
- Across the 19 areas with the most available rooms, there were twice as many lets that accepted pets as accepted housing benefit claimants.