As an agent or landlord, what is your approach when receiving an enquiry from a prospective tenant on benefits? Can they be trusted to pay the rent? Can you be bothered with the hassle of having to apply for rent to be paid directly to you? Have you considered the moral implications? We would like to think that agents and landlords with ‘blanket bans’ on DSS tenants are few and far between but it does still happen.
Now though, there are legal implications to consider too. Recently a Judge south of the border has declared that blanket bans on tenants who receive benefits is a breach of the Equality Act 2010. ‘But being on benefits isn’t a protected characteristic’ I hear you say. This is true, however the Judge took into consideration that Women, and those with a disability are the most likely to be in receipt of benefits, and therefore, prohibiting them from applying for your properties is unlawful and discriminatory, based on sex and disability.
At Evergreen, we believe in Equality and although everyone is subject to our affordability checks, we would never stop someone applying because they are on benefits.
Interested to hear your thoughts.