Lettings Trade Body In No.10 Meeting To Discuss ‘No DSS’ Tenants
A lettings trade body has recently attended a ‘summit’ at No.10 Downing Street this week, to take part in a roundtable meeting to discuss the ‘supposed’ blanket ban, within the PRS, of not letting ‘homes’ to housing benefit recipients.
The meeting was headed by Heather Wheeler MP, the Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
In the roundtable meeting the trade body told Heather Wheeler and Will Quince MP, the Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, that one of the major issues with letting to housing benefit tenants, had been caused by the government’ refusal to increase the levels of Local Housing Allowance to be in alignment with the market rents for each particular area.
The trade body also emphasised to all present, that the problem is further exacerbated by the size of BRMAs (Broad Rental Market Areas) which causes an even more severe under estimation of market rents in many areas.
The trade body has advised landlords when hearing that prospective tenants are in receipt of benefits to treat them on a case-by-case basis, instead of just including ‘No DSS’ on their adverts.
It should be noted that landlords have a bona-fide legitimate right not to ‘house’ tenants who may have affordability problems with maintaining rent payments.
The much publicised ‘No DSS’ adverts were investigated in the inquiry held by the Work and Pensions Select Committee. The Committee found that many landlords had been issued with restrictive clauses, in their BTL mortgage conditions, that they must not let their properties to benefit claimants.
There are increasing numbers of lenders who have made a U-turn on this stance and no longer include the restrictive clauses.
In 2018 both Rightmove and Zoopla stated that they would be following guidance by advising landlords that they should consider housing benefit claimants on a case by case scenario.