No DSS is unlawful

What the law says about no DSS policies

You should be aware of the [recent court judgments obtained by Shelter]

On 3 occasions the courts have ruled that ‘no DSS’ policies are unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

The courts have held that rejecting tenancy applications just because someone is in receipt of benefits is unlawful indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex and disability.

Official figures show that women and disabled people are more likely to receive housing related benefits. Some ethnic groups are also more likely to receive housing related benefits than others. For example, Bangladeshi or Black households.

No DSS policies therefore have a disproportionately negative impact on these groups.

Agents with these policies could face [compensation claims from tenants]

If it’s that it’s the landlord’s choice not to rent to tenants receiving benefits.

As an agent if you take an instruction to discriminate from a landlord this breaches equality law.

If it’s that the landlord’s mortgage lender or insurance company won’t allow lettings to tenants receiving benefits.

Most mortgage lenders have dropped these types of restrictions already.

Many insurance companies offer landlord insurance that does cover lettings to tenants in receipt of benefits.

Please be aware that the recent court rulings mean that any restrictive mortgage or insurance terms are likely to be unenforceable as they may also be indirect discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

If Shelter want to level up the playing field they should argue for landlords to DIRECTLY receive the H B right from the start of a tenancy … Some hope… I will continue to choose who I want to go into MY properties. The best that suits ME is who I will choose


As far as I knew the tenet can ask they payments for HB to go to landlord. I know that before it was universal credit it could.

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The tenant has to agree and can stop it any time and if they are not truthfull the rent money is claimed back from the landlord. It is NOT straight forward. There are conditions and the landlord does not have a say in it If arrears of 2 months then the landlord can apply to L A . By the time they get around to it it can be 4 months… You cannot trust the LA


Do you think it is morally wrong for LLs to be able to choose who/which type of tenant they rent to? Or for agents to be forced to spend time viewing properties to tenants who won’t be accepted as tenants on a property.

The decisions are taken by some old farts (read judges) who have not done a single day’s real work in their lives and do not understand how things really work.

Personally I’m glad that rents on my properties exceed the LHA so there is no need to waste time on applicants who can’t afford it.


Amongst my properties I have a 5-bed HMO. The insurance premium was quoted as approx £100 pa more expensive if one of the tenants was DSS, compared with all 5 being employed. For this reason, I can understand why Landlords might be resistant to letting to DSS tenants.


I see another 200+ thread looming.

not if we do not reply

Our insurance specifically asks if tenants are in permanent employment


You are of course exactly right. However, as you can see, many landlords simply ignore the law (when it suits them).

I spent some time trying to engage and understand there point of view. There are some nice guys who gave me useful insights and some out-and-out trolls. But the story as far as I can see is…

Landlords have been sold scare stories by an insurance industry that has been becoming ever more powerful, and sees itself as above the law. Most landlords are scared, and making money from them has been easy.
Insurance companies know that most landlords are financially unsophisticated, and have been sowing misinformation. By getting landlords to do the unlawful bits, they make good profits, while encouraging landlords to take the legal risks. A small minority of landlords can see this, a small number just enjoy having power over people, and really don’t care what the law is. Most however, most think that if they imitate what they see around them, they are safe. It’s like how people are happy to speed as long as they are in a group (they can’t arrest us all).

From my point of view, OpenRent was awesome, because it attracted the sort of smart landlord I could get on with. The sort that knew that estate agents were ripping them off. The sort that were happy with OpenRent’s entire system (those were happy days). You still had the problem with “no-DSS”, but really only “no-DSS”. I was offended by that (and still am) but at least it didn’t effect me. Now the brainless zombies have let the insurance industry virtually run the OpenRent letting system. The OpenRent team turn up from time to time, and try point out that they that landlords don’t have to break the law on the behalf of the insurance companies (in fact OpenRent run a very good vetting system, that I would highly recommend as being efficient and fair).

Now OpenRent is pretty much as useless to me.

It’s all because of the costs of eviction. This on average is around 10/20 pounds a year. The zombie-landlords will never “risk” of acting legally, because they wrongly assume the insurance companies will be jointly liable, when the chickens come home to roost, and they start getting sued.

The saddest thing is, this has happened before. Remember when they made it illegal for Estate Agents to charge fees? That was because the insurance companies were getting Estate Agents to ask for bribes. The tenants paid the bribes to the Estate Agents, and the Estate Agents gave the insurance companies their cut. Insurance companies directly profiteering from the corruption of what an “Agent” is. Rather than tackle the insurance companies for corruption, the government invented a fiction of a new law. It has always been illegal for agents to approach a third party for another source of income. It’s like your lawyer asking the buyer of your house to pay a 150 pound parking fee. It was a bribe, pure and simple. Kind of amazing how many landlords objected to making bribing their agents explicitly illegal.

Now the insurance companies can’t profiteer from Estate Agents, they are getting their unlawful kicks directly from scared misinformed landlords…

IMHO, obviously.

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Karl 11 your insurance quote of £100 extra pa does not seem too much extra to me Just less than £2 week .Just thought on > if you ever need to evict, the previous post has info on how to evict at an average cost of 10/20 pounds a year . That is very cheap.

Never had to evict . My tenants of between 7 and 21 years love me.(chicky chicky ferdi ) quite correct about the maths I am not good at it ,but it has not stopped me being a wealthy man.

Was unlawful… soon to be illegal…

Affordability will still apply.


I will never let to anyone who’s a layabout. Regardless of what the law says. Disabled, yes. Those who work part time and on UC, possibly. But some work shy freeloader, not a chance.

Affordability will always be a barrier anyway.

When a tenant says it’s “guaranteed income”, I have to laugh at their shear ignorance.


What the judge and shelter fell to understand, as a landlord I don’t need to give a reason , once had a black women have a go at me , I said if you bring the required information I have asked for them I will consider her, she didn’t and accused me of being racist !
So now I say if you are successful you will here from me .


Was ruled to be illegal when council advised tenant to wait for eviction: (can’t post link without approval)


spot on Mark .you cannot trust Local Councils

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robert 54 has disappeared

I just realised this thread was started in Dec 21! Whoops