The government has revealed plans to crack down on landlords discriminating against tenants on housing benefits.
Housing Minister Heather Wheeler announced that government officials are set to meet mortgage lenders, landlord associations, tenant groups and property websites in a bid to stop the ‘no DSS’ adverts culture.
Currently, 889,000 claimants out of 4.5 million households living in private rented accommodation are on benefits.
The low number is unsurprising when a recent Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) survey found that half of landlords said they wouldn’t let to a tenant on benefits.
Meanwhile, Natwest has announced it would be scrapping restrictions on buy-to-let mortgages that prevent landlords from renting properties to tenants on benefits.
The bank has announced it will also extend their maximum length of an assured shorthold tenancy from 12 to 36 months in a bid to increase security for tenants.
Read more: New landlord tax changes
Wheeler’s announcement is part of wider measures to tackle rough sleeping which includes an injection of £19.5 million across England to help councils secure tenancies for vulnerable people by covering deposits or their first months’ rent.
“I want everyone to have the security, dignity and opportunities they need to build a better life – at the heart of which is ensuring everyone can find a safe and secure home to call their own,” said Wheeler.
“This funding will make a huge difference in opening up the private rented sector to people who need it and give them the chance to rebuild their lives. I will also be meeting key stakeholders to tackle the practice of ‘No DSS’, to underline the need for immediate change.”
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