NLA attends 'No DSS' roundtable at No 10

Article Posted -
11 Jun 2019

credit MHCLG

photo credit: MHCLG

The National Landlords Association (NLA) today attended a roundtable at 10 Downing Street, led by Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Heather Wheeler MP, to address the blanket ban on letting to tenants in receipt of benefits.

At the roundtable, the NLA emphasised to Heather Wheeler and the Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, Will Quince MP, that we believe the underlying issue with access to the private rented sector for tenants in receipt of benefits is the failure of the Government to increase the level of Local Housing Allowance rate in line with market rents. This is further impacted by the size of Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs) which further underestimate local rent levels in certain areas.

The NLA advises our members to consider each tenant on a case-by-case basis, rather than stating ‘No DSS’ on the advert. However, landlords have a legitimate right to refuse a tenancy based on affordability. You can find more guidance for landlords here.

So-called ‘No DSS’ adverts were the subject of a Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry which found that lenders used restrictive clauses to ensure that landlords could not rent to benefit claimants. However, many lenders have since confirmed they no longer include these restrictions.

Last year, Rightmove and Zoopla announced that they would be adhering to guidance issued by the NLA – landlords should consider each tenant’s circumstances on an individual basis before making a decision of whether to agree to a tenancy.

What can you do:

Landlords should follow our guidance on letting to tenants in receipt of benefits. Services such as NLA Tenant Check are available to members at a discount to help them make informed decision on their portfolios.

What the NLA is doing

We are continuing to push the Government to address the challenge of affordability by reforming the current methods for calculating the Local Housing Allowance rate. We are also emphasising to the Government the detrimental impact their proposed removal of Section 21 will have on the ability of tenants in receipt of benefits to access properties in the private rented sector. For more information and to sign our campaign on Section 21, visit www.landlords.org.uk/section21.  

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