Guides & Advice

No DSS – finally unlawful

Published: 15th July 2020
Area: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

No DSS – finally unlawful

A ruling from the county court should be the final nail in the coffin for the practice of landlords and letting agents discriminating against tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

The ruling came from a case heard at York County Court which was brought by a single mother who was on the receiving end of a ‘No DSS ‘ response from a letting agent, when she had inquired about renting a two bedroomed property.

District Judge Victoria Mark, found the claimant to have been indirectly discriminated against on the grounds of sex and disability in contravention of the Equality Act 2010.

This judgment should signal the end to this once common practice and is being hailed as a victory for the millions of home renters in the UK.

Danielle Sodhi, team manager of the housing management team, commented:  “This is a landmark case, and after much debate surrounding the issue, landlords are now finally provided with clarity that the statement of ‘No DSS’, ie tenants in receipt of housing benefit, on lettings advertisements is unlawful. However, this does not mean that landlords and letting agents should not carry out their affordability and credit checks to ensure the tenant has sufficient means to afford the rent. In fact, affordability checks are even more important to protect both landlords and tenants from disputes relating to rent during the course of the tenancy”.

Contact us
For further information on your housing management issues please contact Danielle Sodhi or another member of the housing management team.

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