Housing Minister Heather Wheeler is planning a ban on private landlords who reject tenants claiming benefits.
She is opening a charm offensive to encourage landlords and letting agents to drop the no DSS adverts by lining up meetings with mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites.
But is ready to follow-up with a new law if the lettings industry fails to embrace the change.
Wheeler argues that 890,000 out of 4.5 million tenants renting private homes are paid housing benefits towards their rents.
But she is concerned half of landlords are unwilling to let homes to tenants on benefits, which rules out renting for thousands of vulnerable people and families.
The minister is also sharing a Private Rented Sector Access Fund of nearly £20 million between 54 housing projects in England to help the homeless or those at risk of losing their home.
The money is aimed at aiding councils to pay deposits and the first month’s rent on private rented homes.
“I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own,” said Wheeler.
“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.”
She also explained landlords can already receive rent from tenants on Housing Benefit and Universal Credit by payments directly into their bank accounts.
Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Justin Tomlinson said: “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.”
I completely agree, this is clearly discrimination. As I say there are two types of tenants good and bad! As a partner in this business, that, provides a Rent Paid…Guaranteed service, its the working person who did not pay. I prefer housing benefit customers! They don’t move and appreciate quality housing. So Heather Wheeler has my vote 100 fold. vote
Heather Wheeler’s is opening ” a charm offensive” !!! Don’t be taken in by her. This is just the start. The Government is desperate to house people. They bought this on them selves by selling council housing stock at discounted prices to gain votes. They want to stop landlords from refusing anyone for any reason. . ie if your policy is not to accept smokers, people with pets etc , soon this will be classed as discrimination. Beware landlords, dont get taken in by Heathers ” charm offensive” .
Would be OK if payment to Landlord could not be stopped by tenants when they feel the need to. Would be happy to take DSS if I could guarantee payments would keep coming – otherwise I will always choose full time employed.
Absolutely agree, this is the bit many new / naive landlords miss. Mrs Wheelers crew and LA will flag up the fact that payments can be made direct to the landlord. Yes. But what they will conveniently forget to advise is that on a phone call the tenant can reverse that decision at any time!!!! LA payments often 8 weeks or so behind, the canny benefit tenant can wait until the day before the payment is being made and direct the payment is sent to him!!!! Shady Blair introduced this ruling as a vote catcher from DHSS tenants. As usual with anything Government is involved in its flawed. The Government are fully aware how much risk is involved paying direct to the DHSS tenant , this is why they will not in any way act as a guarantor. That could possibly change if landlords hold out together in not considering DHSS unless the Government do guarantee payment. They may soon be so desperate for accommodation of DHSS it could happen !!! Dont hold your breath though !!!
Confirmation of my earlier message. Government made the mess , let them lie in it !!!