3 breakthroughs to help renters on benefits

28 March 2019 by

Prejudice against people on housing benefit is leaving renters with nowhere to turn. But thanks to your fantastic support, we’ve taken three big steps forward. 

People who rent in the UK often face unfair discrimination if they’re on benefits, which prevents hundreds of thousands of people living in homes they could otherwise afford, pushing them closer to homelessness. There’s no excuse for this, and even the most plausible defences of No DSS are bogus 

That’s why, in August 2018, we began our campaign to stop DSS discrimination. Here’s what we’ve achieved to date, thanks to your support.  

1) Ludlow Thompson agrees to retrain staff 

Campaigning outside Ludlow Thompson

After we got thousands of letters, tweets, emails and calls from Shelter supporters Ludlow Thompson — a letting agent and one of the worst offenders — agreed to retrain its staff not to discriminate against renters on benefits.

2) Rightmove and Zoopla update guidelines

We persuaded popular house hunting websites Rightmove and Zoopla to advise letting agents not to post ‘No DSS’ adverts. 

‘People who rent need a decent, safe and affordable place to call home. The system is currently denying them that. It must change.’

Shelter campaigns team

3) NatWest reviews its buy-to-let mortgage policy 

We supported a landlord’s campaign against her buy-to-let mortgage lender, NatWest, after it told her to either evict a tenant on housing benefit or face an expensive charge. As a result, NatWest announced a review of its buy-to-let mortgage policies. 

We need your support 

When we work together we’re a powerful movement. Because thousands of our supporters like you spoke up about Ludlow Thompson’s behaviour, it was forced to address housing benefit discrimination. Haart is also moving in the right direction. 

But we need to push them all much further.

That’s why we need everyone to sign our petition calling on agents to treat all renters fairly.
Sign the petition now

Want to read more?

Keep updated on our campaigning

To receive updates to your inbox about Shelter’s latest campaigns sign up here.