Housing Minister Ready to Ban ‘No DSS’ Adverts

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler is planning to ban private landlords who reject tenants claiming benefits. 

She is opening a charm offensive to encourage landlords and letting agents drop the no DSS adverts by lining up meetings with mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites. 

But is ready to follow up with a new law if the lettings industry fails to embrace the change. 

Wheeler argues that 890,000 out of 4.5 million tenants renting private homes are paid housing benefits towards their rents. But she is concerned half of the landlords are unwilling to let homes to tenants on benefits, which rules out renting for thousands of vulnerable people and families. 

The minister also shares a Private Rented Sector Access Fund of nearly £20 million between 54 housing projects in England to help the homeless or those at risk of losing their homes.

The money is aimed at aiding councils to pay deposits and the first month’s rent on private rented homes.

“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.”

She also explained that landlords can already receive rent from tenants on Housing benefits and Universal Credit by directly paying directly into their bank accounts. 

Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance Justin Tomlinson said: “Everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they receive benefits.

“With Universal Credit, payments can be paid directly to the landlord, and we continue to listen to feedback and work with landlords to improve the system.”

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