Senior lettings agency figures are amongst those who will this morning give evidence to a committee of MPs investigating so-called ‘DSS discrimination’ against benefit recipients who privately rent.
The all-party Work and Pensions Select Committee sits this morning and amongst those giving evidence will be Glynis Frew, chief executive of Hunters, and Helen Buck, chief executive of Your Move.
Other evidence will be given by a number of tenants, representatives from mortgage companies including buy to let products in their portfolios, along with Greg Beales, communications director at Shelter and Adam Hyslop of OpenRent.
The committee’s investigation into the apparent discrimination was sparked by media reports late last year of mortgage lenders restricting landlords from renting to people on benefits.
The committee has now widened its inquiries to take in other potential forms of direct or indirect housing discrimination against benefit recipients: from the ‘no DSS’ ads run (at least in the past) by letting agents and portals, to property insurance policies that won’t cover homes rented to people who claim a benefit.
The NatWest Bank, Zoopla and more recently Rightmove have amended policies which appeared to discriminate against DSS benefit recipients.
A statement from the committee ahead of this morning’s hearing says: “The lenders and property agents will be questioned about their policies in relation to benefit recipients, and what action are going to take to rectify any potential discriminatory impacts of their policies. The landlords and tenants will provide personal testimony of their experience of discrimination against benefit recipients in housing, and what the solutions are.”