Ending unfair evictions will help prevent homelessness
Ending unfair evictions will help prevent homelessness

This week, the government announced plans to abolish Section 21 evictions, meaning that private renters can no longer be evicted unless their landlord has a legitimate reason to do so. This is a historic change which will offer Britain’s 11 million private renters the security they have too long been denied.

Shelter has long campaigned for greater security for those living in the private rented sector, from families to older people. And this is an outstanding victory for those who … Read more

Not enough of a Rightmove
Not enough of a Rightmove

More significant progress in Shelter’s fight against housing benefit discrimination this week, as Rightmove signalled their intention to ban all ‘No DSS’ adverts from their website. At least that’s what the headlines say…

Look beyond them and it’s clear that Rightmove still have work to do to end DSS discrimination for good. We commend them for acting, but under their proposed approach, letting agents will still be free to post discriminatory adverts in breach of equality law.

What are Read more

Our lack of social housing is failing those in desperate need
Our lack of social housing is failing those in desperate need

At Shelter, we see many people who’ve had bad experiences renting privately, but Tom’s experiences are exceptionally bad. First, his landlord blocked off access to the boiler and left the thermostat set so low that the heating wouldn’t come on unless it was freezing cold. Then he started coming to the property on a daily basis, going into his tenants’ rooms without their permission.

Things got worse when there was a gas leak in the property. When Tom informed his … Read more

Another year poorer: is Targeted Affordability Funding enough?
Another year poorer: is Targeted Affordability Funding enough?

As we start a new financial year, the one million households claiming Housing Benefit in the private rental sector continue to see their Local Housing Allowance (LHA) frozen.

The government is fully aware that rates now fall short of increasing rents in the vast majority of the country. Every month, renters are left with a shortfall that puts them at risk of debt and homelessness. Nonetheless, the government has insisted on enforcing the freeze until April 2020, rather than bringing … Read more

Private renters’ rights just got stronger
Private renters’ rights just got stronger

From today, private renters will benefit from an extra layer of security. New regulations introduced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will protect both tenants and landlords’ money – such as deposits and rent payments – from theft or misuse while being held by letting agents.

We strongly supported this introduction of mandatory Client Money Protection (CMP) and have long argued for better protections against unscrupulous letting agents for both renters and landlords.

What was the… Read more
3 breakthroughs to help renters on benefits
3 breakthroughs to help renters on benefits

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 … Read more

My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes
My disabled daughter has had 14 different homes

I’m a single parent with three children. My 15 year old daughter Sasha is severely disabled. For the last 15 years I’ve been trying to secure her suitable accommodation – a property which is safe for her and gives her some independence through being adapted – but I’ve been unsuccessful.

We’ve also been constantly facing eviction from different private rental properties since 2016, for reasons that are out of our control. Last year we were living in a bungalow, and … Read more

Evicted for complaining about a gas leak
Evicted for complaining about a gas leak

Tom did his best to cooperate with his landlord’s ‘put up and shut up’ policy. But when he complained about a leaking gas oven, he found himself locked out and homeless.

Things had never been quite right with Tom’s shared house — far from it, in fact.  

His landlord blocked off access to the boiler and would leave the thermostat on such a low setting that the heating wouldn’t come on unless it was freezing.  

He also made a daily habit of coming to … Read more

How I challenged DSS discrimination
How I challenged DSS discrimination

A version of this blog was published on Huffington Post UK.

Guest blog by Philippa Lalor, a Shelter supporter and client

Almost one in three renters receiving housing benefit haven’t been able to apply for a place to live because of discriminatory ‘no DSS’ practices.

These range from a total ban on renting to people on benefits, to simply advertising a vast number of properties as ‘no DSS’.

As part of our campaign against DSS discrimination, Philippa successfully challenged discrimination … Read more

Zoopla bans DSS discrimination
Zoopla bans DSS discrimination

We’re celebrating another huge win in the fight to end DSS discrimination, as Zoopla announced that they are banning ‘no DSS’ adverts from their website!

Zoopla are the first major property portal site to scrap this open prejudice, which plagues portals by deterring renters receiving housing benefit from applying to homes, even when they can afford the rent.

For far too long, tenants have been barred from renting a home simply because they receive housing benefit – but changes like … Read more

International Women’s Day: we must see an end to women in housing poverty
International Women’s Day: we must see an end to women in housing poverty

International Women’s Day is a brilliant celebration of the women we all know and look up to, including our women politicians. But as well as those with a high-profile, we should also be celebrating the thousands of women, often hidden from view, who are keeping their families going despite facing homelessness and destitution.

Every day in the UK, women are waking up in poverty because they can’t cover the costs of their rent. This is no accident. The housing benefit … Read more

Two big wins in the fight against DSS discrimination
Two big wins in the fight against DSS discrimination

Over the last year we’ve been campaigning hard to end the discrimination people on housing benefit (also known as DSS) face when they try and rent a home.

Together we’re making a real difference. Last week we had not one, but two massive campaign wins.

The first is that the government announced a crackdown on landlords who simply refuse to rent to people who receive housing benefit.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler said:

‘Everyone should have the same opportunity when … Read more