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Landlord and letting agent discrimination

(23 Posts)
HomewardBound84 Mon 08-Jun-15 17:55:51

This could be long but I don't want to drip feed. Today we viewed a rental property, all lovely went to put deposit down. Mentioned my husband claims dla (he also works full time in a secure job and if we needed one we have a guarantor), the estate agent has refused to let us the property because he claims dla shock
Now I know in nbu to be v.pissed off at this. They are breaking the 2010 equality act, the letting agent says it's not company policy but the choice of the landlord.
I'm not prepared to let this go, they have said they will speak to him but they don't hold much hope, they have also started coming out with bullshit about not allowing children and our income being too low (despite this being fine before).

My husband think I should leave it but I'm furious. Aibu to consider taking this further?

itsmeitscathy Mon 08-Jun-15 17:59:05

You're right to be furious, but it concerns your Dh so it should be his decision. You've had a lucky escape!

NRomanoff Mon 08-Jun-15 18:23:32

I assume the landlord has said no housing benefit, they have taken that as 'll benefits at all'. You would've thought the agent would know if this is illegal as it should be.

I think if your dh wants to leave it, then leave it, imo

TedAndLola Mon 08-Jun-15 18:26:52

YANBU at all. I think you should respect your husband's wishes to not pursue the letting but I would put in a complaint - not with the objective of getting the house you were after, but just letting them know this is not okay - then refer it to ARLA (assuming they are part of ARLA) if not happy with the response. They are acting illegally and it should be addressed.

HighwayDragon Mon 08-Jun-15 18:29:36

You probably should pursue it, but do you really want to live somewhere with a ll/ea like that?

hedgehogsdontbite Mon 08-Jun-15 18:36:33

Contact the Equalities Commission. They were brilliant at helping me fight against disability discrimination (properly worded letters, funding mediation etc). But if your DH does want to take action keep in mind there are quite tight deadlines so don't hang around.

Becca19962014 Mon 08-Jun-15 18:40:29

I suspect it's because of the huge amount of misinformation about DLA/PIP in the public domain not least of which is the assumption it is the same thing as ESA.

I know someone who experienced this, all it took was for them to look into what the benefit actually was and rant about journalism in this country and there was no further problem as they worked as a doctor.

Im not saying they are right, just it might not be as simple as it first looks.

Becca19962014 Mon 08-Jun-15 18:41:34

I should add they worked as a doctor and could easily afford the rent.

NotCitrus Mon 08-Jun-15 18:51:50

I'd bet they don't know what DLA is and assume it's an out-of-work benefit.
Also most mortgages, even ones that permit letting, specify "no tenants living on benefits" - so if LL doesn't know what DLA actually means, then he may think he cant rent to you if if he wanted to.

I'd complain (the agent should definitely know better - the LL is paying them to know the relevant law) while still looking to rent elsewhere.

Aermingers Mon 08-Jun-15 18:58:01

Did they put anything in writing? If not, and they are claiming other reasons like children and income then taking it further might mean a long draining legal battle you don't stand much chance of winning.

ttc2015 Mon 08-Jun-15 18:59:12

A lot of estate agents and landlords don't take it and usually are pretty quick to say, especially on things like Rightmove. My brother found it extremely difficult when he was looking because every property pretty much stated it. I'm surprised they didn't mention it front, that's really annoying plus time wasting for you too.

I'd leave it because your DH wants to and because you can't prove anything really, they have excuses ready and have already used them so unless you had in writing... My brother was given the excuse 'no pets' yet when he'd asked on first viewing and he was told that cats were fine.

HomewardBound84 Mon 08-Jun-15 19:01:21

We wouldn't take the property now anyway as I would be worried about the ll terminating the contract as soon as he could.

The letting agent seem to be aware it is not legal but claim it's not them making the decision it's the ll.

My husband isn't one for making a fuss but I'm so shocked that this could even happen that I want to make sure the letting agent and ll are prevented from doing it again.

ttc2015 Mon 08-Jun-15 19:01:48

Argh forget the first part, I thought it said DSS, not DLA!

ttc2015 Mon 08-Jun-15 19:02:30

You can flag it with the Ombudsman OP?

Tiptops Mon 08-Jun-15 19:04:08

YANBU to take it further. In fact, I'd really encourage you to do just that as it is blatant disability discrimination.

ReadtheSmallPrint Mon 08-Jun-15 19:26:53

Strangely enough, the building society would take my DLA into account as income when applying for a mortgage!

I would take it further. DLA is not a means tested benefit and there is no justifiable reason why someone claiming it would be turned down.

pressanykeytobegin Mon 08-Jun-15 20:35:19

Lots of landlord insurance/mortgages state no benefit claimants.

AntiHop Mon 08-Jun-15 21:02:48

Please take this further. This kind of discrimination needs to be challenged.

pointythings Mon 08-Jun-15 21:27:57

anykey DLA is not a benefit in the usual sense. It is for disabled people, to help them deal with the extra costs brought about by disabilities. It is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of disability. The LL is nevertheless doing so. OP, I would definitely lodge a complaint against this ll, he is breaking the law.

Rudeabaga Mon 08-Jun-15 23:11:20

Definitely discrimination please take it further!!

GlitterNails Tue 09-Jun-15 11:23:05

I thought the restriction was on housing benefit, not any benefit at all? I live with someone who works full time and has a decentish wage, but I can't work myself now. I always assumed because we weren't funding the rent with housing benefit it wouldn't be an issue, but now the fact I get disability benefits comes into it?

Great another thing to be constantly terrified about, along with being able to get an accessible property in the first place.

This issue impacts so many people - not just the unemployed, but single parents, carers, those unable to work. It's sad how it's seen as okay for mortgage companies to put these restrictions and for landlords to state 'no dss' - which stopped existing sometime ago.

Birdsgottafly Tue 09-Jun-15 11:29:18

DLA and PIP is exempt from the "No benefits" exclusion, its illegal to not do this.

I would report, but the mistreatment of disabled people is a bugbear of mine and not all disabled people can fight for themselves.

I would not directly do so, if my DP was against doing so, though.

Birdsgottafly Tue 09-Jun-15 11:32:58

Just to add, in the same way that Equality Charities send the same job application forms, just with a None English name on them, or as a LP etc, they do test LL in the same way, but throw in DLA/PIP.

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