Shelter is continuing to keep up the pressure on letting agents over the issue of tenants on benefits.
Last Friday it sent out another email to its supporters, asking for signatures to its petition
The petition specifically names certain agents – Bridgfords, Dexters, Fox & Sons, haart, Hunters, Ludlow Thompson and Your Move – telling them to “stop discriminating against tenants on benefits”.
By the weekend, over 3,500 people had signed the petition. However, Shelter is trying to boost the number to at least 10,000, saying that bugs in the system may have prevented some from signing.
In its latest letter to supporters, Shelter says that its campaign to end “DSS discrimination” began when “thousands of us emailed, tweeted and rang” ludlowthompson “to hold them to account for their discriminatory behavior, and it worked!
“Ludlow finally acknowledged their bad practices and took the first steps to stamping it out.”
The email goes on: “This week, property portals Rightmove and Zoopla issued guidance to letting agents stating that ‘no DSS’ ads shouldn’t be used on their site!”
If Shelter were quoting the story published on EYE, it hasn’t got it right.
Rightmove and Zoopla haven’t said that listings should not stipulate ‘no DSS’. Nor have they even used the term DSS.
Instead, they have said that there should not be blanket bans on tenants in receipt of benefits, and that each case should be considered individually.
A parliamentary briefing paper published in April said that “refusing to let to benefit claimants is unlikely to amount to direct discrimination” because the receipt of benefits is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 in the same way that disability and gender are.
However, it could be indirect discrimination.