Stopping DSS discrimination

You’re helping us say no to ‘No DSS’

Stopping DSS discrimination

You’re helping us say no to ‘No DSS’

We’re campaigning against discrimination faced by renters who receive housing benefit when looking for a home – and we’re winning.

So-called ‘no DSS’ policies put in place by letting agents and landlords unfairly lock hundreds of thousands of people out of homes they could otherwise afford – simply because they receive housing benefit.

This is discrimination, and it’s unlawful

It has a direct and devastating impact on the lives of tenants who receive housing benefit. It causes huge stress and anxiety, leads to people staying in unsuitable and unsafe accommodation because they can’t move – and ultimately, it can make people homeless.

Since we started campaigning to end housing benefit discrimination, we’ve won important changes. But we know there’s still more to do. Right now, we’re calling on OpenRent to end DSS discrimination on its site. OpenRent is one of the UK’s largest online letting agents, but it is also one of the worst offenders of DSS discrimination.

Will you join us in telling OpenRent that we all deserve access to safe, affordable homes?

Key wins to #EndDSSDiscrimination so far

We’ve made great progress so far in our campaign. Some of our key wins include:

  • Stamping out DSS discrimination in the buy-to-let mortgage industry
    Many landlords used to have terms in their mortgages which prevented them letting to tenants receiving housing benefit. We’ve convinced many banks, including NatWest, Metro Bank, Co-op and more to remove DSS restrictions from their mortgage terms. Now all major players have removed them, and mortgage terms are no longer a barrier for landlords letting to tenants who receive benefits

  • Securing legal victories over ‘No DSS’ letting agents on the grounds of indirect discrimination
    The agents agreed to settle out of court, issued public apologies, and received fines of up to £13,000. They’ve also agreed to adhere to our Letting Agents Guide

  • Persuading Zoopla and Rightmove to remove ‘No DSS’ restrictions from their sites
    These should no longer appear on the property portals’ adverts

  • Demonstrating that insurance policies that don’t discriminate are available
    Some thought landlord insurance policies prohibited landlords from letting to tenants who receive housing benefit. But through our work with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (IBBA), we’ve shown that most insurance brokers can find insurance policies that cover this situation at little or no extra cost

  • Getting confirmation that there is no excuse for blanket bans
    Organisations like the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) and The Property Ombudsman (TPO) confirmed that there is no excuse or justification for letting agents and landlords having blanket bans against tenants who receive housing benefit

Together, we’re making progress and changing things for renters receiving Housing Benefit. We know that change is possible, but if we’re going to stamp out DSS discrimination, it’s going to take all of us. Stay up to date with our No DSS live campaign blog and keep an eye out for future wins!

Two campaigners with our letter to OpenRent