Campaigning charity Shelter says it is “doubling up” its efforts to make sure letting agents comply with anti-discrimination legislation when it comes to tenants.
The charity says: “We know the ‘no DSS’, ‘no benefits’ and ‘no Universal Credit’ policies are widespread” and that as a result of a court ruling this week “letting agents and private landlords will have to drive out old discriminatory practices for good.”
Earlier this week a court in York has ruled that blanket bans on claimants are strictly forbidden, on the grounds of discrimination. It found a single mother of two had experienced indirect discrimination when a letting agent refused to rent to her.
Now the charity - in a new blog on its website - alleges that while other discrimination cases have been resolved out of court, with letting agents offering compensation and changing their policy, this was the first case to go before a judge.
“We’ve been pleased to see the changes that these individual letting agents have made, but to bring about widespread change across the private rented sector – and be able to help others who have experienced housing benefit discrimination in the future – we wanted a judge to make a formal ruling on a case” says Shelter.
The charity insists that the ruling will make a difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of private renters across the country who receive housing benefit “and have been facing discrimination when looking for a home.”
And it adds: “We’ll be doubling up our efforts to end housing benefit discrimination for good – and make sure letting agents are complying with the ruling.“