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Government launches campaign to stamp out ‘No DSS’ lettings adverts

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler says she is to meet all the stakeholders in the private rental sector including portals to work out a way to end the practice.

Nigel Lewis


The practice of estate agents and landlords stipulating ‘No DSS’ within lettings adverts is to be challenged by the Government, which says it wants to see “immediate change”.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler (pictured, above) is to meet leading industry representatives including mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups, and property websites to clamp down on blanket exclusions in adverts and hopefully stamp out the practice altogether.

The official figures are stark. Half of all private landlords say they won’t rent to ‘DSS’ tenants even though 20 per cent of renters are in receipt of benefits of some kind to help them pay their rent.

“Everyone should have the same opportunity when looking for a home, regardless of whether they are in receipt of benefits,” says Wheeler.

The Residential Landlords Association has welcomed the initiative, but has criticised the two-thirds of buy-to-let lenders who ban landlords from renting to tenants who are in receipt of benefits.

It is also critical of the Government for freezing the Local Housing Allowance, which has helped price millions of tenants out of their local rental markets and widened the affordability gap by up to £100 a month.

“Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis,” says John Stewart (left), the RLA’s Policy Manager.

“But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector we need to do more to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

The RLA has also called for the system that enables tenants to have the rent portion of their Universal Credit payments paid directly to their landlords to be improved.


March 4, 2019


  1. This subject should not be taken easy as a Landlord’s hard-working investment goes through the window, when a tenant doesn’t pay rent, refuse to leave from the property as per council advice, and when he does leave, he trashes the property. Therefore Landlord has to pick up costs to update the property to let it again, bear the costs of void periods on the top of the unpaid rent. You must address these issues before jumping to support the minister!

  2. I only want to reply, John Stewart, that you can only be ‘pro DSS’ if you can solve the hurdles of:

    – Rent must be paid directly to Landlords;
    – Landlords are allowed to communicate with councils if rent is not received, without the authority of the tenant;
    – Lender would not follow up with the Landlord if mortgage not paid due to non receipt of rent;
    – Landlord has easy process to evict tenant if they don’t pay rent;
    – Lenders remove the conditions ‘no DSS.

    Thank you. Hibat

  3. Is this not a lending issue, with the majority of bank & building societies restricting the rental market?

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