Letting agents to be banned from screening out foster parents

Housing minister says provisions within the Renters (Reform) Bill will make 'blanket bans' of foster parents illegal.

tim loughton mp foster carers

Letting agents have been warned that they will soon not be able to exclude tenants who foster children from applying for rented homes they market.

The comments were made during yesterday’s Renters (Reform) Bill third reading in the Commons during which housing minister Jacon Young said that “measures to prohibit blanket bans on the basis that a child will live with or visit a person at a property include foster children”.

Young’s comments followed a speech by Tory MP and former children’s minister Tim Loughton, who said that, from his experience working with fostering groups, “landlords can be reluctant to rent to foster families who have a number of children who will change and may be a little more problematic in some cases as well.

Foster families

“But foster families do an essential job and we are short of about 8,000 or 9,000 foster carers in this country, and the last thing we need is for them not to be able to offer a safe, stable, loving home to a child who has been through traumatic experiences because they cannot get into rented accommodation themselves as landlords do not want to be housing children who may be a little more challenging in some circumstances, but in most cases are not.”

In reply, Young said that his Renters (Reform) Bill’s existing measures meant that “landlords and letting agents will not be able to discriminate against potential tenants on the basis that they foster children.

“No further legal provisions are needed to do this.”

The Bill will also outlaw letting agents and landlords from using ‘blanket bans’ to exclude tenants with pets, those on benefits and those with families.

Read more about the Renters (Reform) Bill.

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