There has been a recent case heard in the York County Court in respect of landlords and agents rejecting tenants based on the fact that they are in receipt of housing benefit. It was held “rejecting tenancy applications because the applicant is in receipt of housing benefit was unlawfully indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex and disability, contrary to … the Equality Act 2010” (as reported by Shelter).
This is the first time that a court has ruled on this specific issue despite the issue being discussed in many articles previously.
The case in question involved a prospective tenant who was a single mum of two children. A letting agent refused to rent any properties to her because she was in receipt of housing benefit. Shelter took up the case on behalf of the prospective tenant.
Going forward, landlords and agents need to be aware of this ruling and the risk of legal action being brought against them if they determine tenancy applications based on whether a prospective tenant is in receipt of housing benefit.
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