Equality News Update: Landlords who say ‘no DSS’ breaking equality laws

The thousands of lettings agents and landlords around the country who reject housing benefit claimants could be flouting equality laws, due to a recent legal case.

The widespread practice has led to “no-go zones” for those on lower incomes – especially in desirable residential areas.

But single mother Rosie Keogh won compensation for sex discrimination from a lettings agency that refused to consider her as a tenant because she was on state benefit.

The cleaner and former paralegal successfully argued that blanket bans on benefit claimants indirectly discriminated against women, especially single women.

This is because they are proportionately more likely to be claiming housing benefit than single men, according to official figures.

Rosie’s attempt to rent a property in a smart area of Birmingham in May 2016 was blocked when the lettings agent found she would pay some of the rent via housing benefit.


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Information and Communications Assistant at Fife Centre for Equalities