Discrimination against tenants who claim housing benefit, which frequently surfaces as ‘no DSS’ in rental listings, has generated a significant volume of political, media and industry debate this year.
EYE initiated its own investigation in March, ultimately banning such ‘DSS restrictions’ across its portal.
EYE led the sector in its approach, inciting change amongst its peers, while aligning with other prominent businesses such as the banks, namely Metro and NatWest, and charities such as Shelter.
EYE shone a light on this insidious issue and didn’t shy away when it became divisive.
It is Zoopla’s position that each tenancy application should be assessed individually.
In an era of housing shortages, population growth that outpaces the speed of new homes construction, and local authorities leaning on the private sector to house their tenants, the need to unlock access to rental stock has never been greater.
Furthermore, ‘no DSS’ is an antiquated term – despite being entrenched in the lexicon of our industry. Lest we forget that the Department of Social Security was replaced by the Department of Work and Pensions in 2001.
Using the right terminology is essential – particularly if the issue is ever to progress; indeed, I will refer to ‘housing benefit discrimination’ for the rest of the article.
Admittedly, EYE's corporate position is not (yet) enshrined in law; however, since March, guidance on the legalities has evolved, and it’s vital for those in the sector to understand the implications.
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