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Blanket benefit ban ruled unlawful

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords are being reminded they should not have blanket policies that discriminate against benefits claimants.

This comes following a court case in York, regarding a letting agent which refused to rent any properties to a single mother due to a ‘long term policy’ of not accepting housing benefit.

The judge ruled it is unlawful for landlords to discriminate in this way.

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the NRLA said: “No landlord should discriminate against tenants because they are in receipt of benefits. 

“Every tenant’s circumstance is different and so they should be treated on a case by case basis based on their ability to sustain a tenancy.”

“More broadly, the Government can also support this work by ensuring benefits cover rents entirely.

“It should also convert the loans to cover the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit into grants.” 

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.


  • How would this work where it’s a condition from the mortgage company that the property is not let to tenants on benefits. Also, as insurance is more expensive for benefits claimants, is it allowed to charge a higher rent?

  • I do not descriminate against prospective tenants who receive benefits,
    however my buildings insurance precludes my taking in students and people on benefits

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