The RLA is reminding landlords they must not impose blanket bans that discriminate against tenants on benefits.
As Shelter prepares to release a new report on the issue this week, the association has reiterated its position – that landlords should assess all potential tenancies individually, and that decisions must be made fairly on a case by case basis, considering all the risks.
David Smith, RLA policy director said: “A no DSS policy is wrong on a number of levels – firstly and quite simply it is outdated – the ‘DSS’ no longer exists.
“The legal position is unclear, but a blanket ban is potentially unlawful, unless of course a landlord’s lender specifically prohibits them renting to people in receipt of benefits in their mortgage conditions.
“Although fewer lenders have these conditions now, there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of mortgages already in existence that do, and this is something that needs to be addressed by UK Finance.
“The Government is piling on regulation after regulation and this, combined with recent tax changes, is making landlords increasingly risk averse.
“Research shows that fewer landlords are willing to rent to claimants as benefits, including Universal Credit, are still largely paid in arrears, making it more and more challenging for those receiving them to pay their rent in full and on time.
“The Government should ensure that the system does not place landlords that let to tenants in receipt of benefits in a worse position than those who do not.”