Government looks to ban “no DSS” letting advertisements

The Government is calling for the end of housing advertisements which specify “no DSS” tenants, it has been revealed.

According to a new report, published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, ministers will meet with leading industry representatives – including mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups and property websites – to clamp down on blanket exclusions in adverts.

It comes after new research revealed that around half of all landlords said they would not be willing to let to tenants on Housing Benefit, despite 889,000 people currently receiving housing benefit to help pay their rent.

The research suggests that letting adverts potentially discriminate against these would-be tenants, ruling out “thousands of vulnerable people and families”.

This month’s announcement forms part of a packet of measures designed to “unlock” the private rented sector for vulnerable adults. Alongside banning discriminating adverts, the Government said it will also provide more than £19.5 million to local authorities to help people secure their own tenancy through support such as paying deposits or putting down the first months’ rent.

Commenting on the report, Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said:  “This funding will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it and give them the chance to rebuild their lives.

“I will also be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of ‘No DSS’, to underline the need for immediate change.”

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson added: “Everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they are in receipt of benefits.

“With Universal Credit, payments can be paid directly to the landlord, and we continue to listen to feedback and work with landlords to improve the system.”