OpenRent Community

Discrimination against people who are Disabled and in receipt of benefits

I have not been able to even be considered for a property because I receive financial assistance for my disability. There is a blanket of prejudice by both landlords and agents. I appreciate there are tenants who don’t pay their rent but there are equally as many tenants who are not in receipt of benefits and still don’t pay their rent.

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Bad experiences may well make some landlords wary and that’s understandable. Their lives are being torn apart and their livelihoods wrecked.
Rather than landlords being prejudiced against benefit claimants, the law being ‘prejudiced’ against landlords is more likely the cause, as it does not give a landlord any protection against bad tenants.
It would appear from this forum, in the absence of any equality in law, the only small amount of protection many Landlords can get for themselves is through Rent Guarantee Insurance. It appears (correct me if wrong please) that the tenant has to be working in the majority of cases and meet all criteria set by the Insurance Company - not the landlord or agent.

It’s pretty pathetic that this is the only small life raft available to a landlord.
Surely a law that is prejudiced and predetermined in favour of one party, i.e. a bad tenant, over the other, regardless of events, needs to change to one that is unbiased.

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Got it in one MrT. when the law is as it is we will cherry pick tenants

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Agree with Mr_T. If insurance could cover all kinds of tenants, we will have no problem of accepting. But now they are not, so landlord have to be picky and wise to choose. Landlords are just the face of the such discrimination and bearing the bad names.

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Contact the homeless charity Shelter and ask them to act as your guarantor.
They get around £67 million a year income and all they would have to do is step in and pay your rent if there was any issues with your UC payments.
It would end any perceived discrimination overnight.
I am totally in agreement with you that there are lots of good tenants on benefits and Shelter are happy to confirm that is the case.
So let’s make this into a practical solution.
Shelter act as guarantors and Landlords would be happy to let to benefit claimants.
Please let me know Shelter’s response and good luck finding a nice home.

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I love that post . my tongue is right against my cheek

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T you are right but when tenants get the rent money from the goverment( IE us taxpayers.) and we do not get it directly ,its a nail in the coffin of benefit renters… as landlords we are allways going to choose the “best” tenants and no law will make me do any different. I simply will be very carefull what I say to applicants

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Wow thanks Colin, I hope you and your family are never in a position where you are left homeless due to being disabled. Even the term “cherry picking” is highly offensive to a woman stuck in a wheelchair because a drunk driver hit her.

Perhaps you could share your cherry picking tactics, spread some more discrimination around. My comment was not for you to jump on , I am looking for help. It’s not for privileged landlords to have a dig at me. I’m not hear to hear you all cry about bad tenants.

Thank you Jim, this is very helpful. I really appreciate it

Again … I’d like to highlight your comment here about (us taxpayers)

Thanks for your contribution to my disability thanks for funding me Colin. Please send me an address so I can send you a thank you card

Perhaps contacting your MP for help would be a more fruitful approach.

If you request bad tenants be accountable for their actions and the law be unbiased towards hard working, honest landlords who have to repair damages from privileged tenants who feel entitled to damage someone’s livelihood then surely things would be a lot easier for everyone.

There are a few people on here in similar circumstances but it’s not the landlords fault anymore than its your fault.

I most certainly am not feeling privileged to have my health and as well as my house damaged by people who have no regard for myself as a person or how this will affect any subsequent tenant such as yourself.

I hope you receive the help you are looking for and can initiate some change in the system.

Best wishes.

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I would recommend going to your local council and asking them to put you into social housing if you don’t find anything and are under the threat of losing somewhere to live. My experience has been that OpenRent is a difficult place to be outside the ‘normal’ parameters for renting - I am not sure how much that is driven by rental insurance or the landlords perception. Good luck.

The truth is landlords do cherry pick, simply because statistically and experientially, tenants on benefits are a higher risk category in terms of defaults, antisocial behavior, issues with bureaucracy etc. Unfortunately, you all get lumped together, the good and the bad, under the category of benefits claimants. It’s nothing to do with discriminating against your disability, it’s not even discrimination. Discrimination is prejudicial treatment because of someones race, disability, age, or whatever. Landlords prefer not to take DSS,not because they are on benefits, but because they are a higher risk of being a hassle and costly. I’d be happy to take benefit claimants if the state was to underwrite the risk and give us the tools to quickly evict the bad ones. Unfortunately, the direction of travel presently is the the opposite direction. So, as Mr_T suggests, this is one for your MP.

Forgot to mention, you can’t stipulate no DSS in adverts, but the test case was indirect discrimination against women. That said, despite the law, landlords will still discern.

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Hi Jim
I agree with you.

I had very bad experience with tenants and and also with law even when the tenant did a fraud writing reference by themselves under my name and somehow got caught because that tenant decided to rent a flat in the same development. Other landlord made enquiry to the housing officer who was aware of that bad tenant.

What we are going through now I said there are so many people have not got jobs or got furloughed so I will allow dss. I have some enquires for viewing the property but when I ask for basic questions and request ask local authority be a guarantor and to contact me by email. None of the tenants from 5 enquires replied to me.

So I just wanted to say that what can I say about the benefit claimants, law, government, charity Shelter who get around £67 million a year income.

So yes I would like to if Shelter or local councils and are happy to act as a guarantor too for best private accommodation.

If they act as a guarantor to private landlords and instead of wasting money on hotels, and bed& breakfast so many property problems can be solved for all.
But only support is for tenants and not for the landlords. Government and Shelter should realise that there are so many landlords created jobs for themselves as becoming landlord and renting properties.

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“Government and Shelter should realise that there are so many landlords created jobs for themselves as becoming landlord and renting properties.”

I really hope that the government makes much bigger efforts to make it uniformly fair on property rentals where it originated from stock that was originally for those who are on benefits or in a position where they need that support. When the properties originated from social housing, council housing and first time buyer discounted/supported properties where landlords/owners took advantage of schemes like RTB, RTA and any homebuy scheme it should have different rules since they benefited off government funding and support.

Now that stock is depleted and the build rate of these properties is slow and with oversubscribed lists, there are few options for people on benefits or low salaries. If councils could be guarantors (or any other government funded charity) it’d save headaches at this moment in time… but ultimately I don’t think that’s the solution to this problem.

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Housing stock for those in need is depleted but landlords were not able to benefit from RTB.

There were/are rules in place that the person buying had to actually be the tenant and live there for a set period of time afterwards.

If that tenant who exercised their RTB, then decides to sell on to a landlord, the landlord isn’t actually benefitting as would be paying market price. It’s the ‘in-need’ tenant, now owner, who benefits from the sale and the current in-need tenant who loses out.

But see your point that a tenant who bought at a discounted rate, after a set period of time, could then let out the property and become a landlord. Agree, that’s not what the scheme was for and shouldn’t be allowed.

Another example of bad, selfish ‘tenants’ then with no respect or compassion for their counterparts.

Same as good tenants, benefits or not, are lumped in with bad, the same happens with landlords.

Another one for the MP. Keep social housing as social housing.

If Shelter or LHA became guarantors it would help quite a few people on here at the present though.

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Shelter gurantee rent? Hey I just saw a pig fly past my window…!!

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not being able to find a place may well be because many homes are not wheelchair friendly. and flats certainly not >I know of tenants who cherry pick the best landlords. How offensive is that to a OAP like myself. It is a fact any money distributed to the public comes from taxes , (chips on shoulders does not help) I get a state pension that comes from taxes paid… rent benefit comes from taxes, mine and yours. I got a terrific grant to help my insulation business a covid grant… that comes from taxes … no need to send me a card . your thanks is duly noted

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We all know the reason they don’t is because they do not trust tenants not to default!

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martin12 You put that so well totally agree, well done.