Legal victories over ‘No DSS’ letting agents

Amanda Staples

Image caption

Ms Staples needed accommodation after her marriage broke down

The battle against the discriminatory practice of landlords not renting to benefit claimants has intensified after legal victories by two single mothers.

Amanda Staples and Emma Loffler both won out-of-court settlements against “No DSS” letting agents, on the grounds of indirect discrimination.

In a 2018 case, another single mother, Rosie Keogh, backed by charity Shelter, successfully argued blanket bans on claimants indirectly discriminated against women, especially single ones, who were more likely to be on benefits.

Ms Keogh’s case was cited in letters of complaint Ms Staples and Ms Loffler wrote to different letting agents who had refused to show them properties.

Shelter took on their legal cases when the agents refused to budge.

Personal circumstances

Ms Staples, 36, who has three primary-aged children, needed accommodation after her marriage broke down.

“I kept ringing around estate agents and when I said I would be a housing benefit [claimant] it was a blanket ‘No,”” she said.

When a property came up in the Cambridgeshire village she was based in, she was initially excited but then hit a wall.

“I had noticed ‘No DSS’ adverts before but I thought I would be able to find somewhere locally so my children could still go to the same school and so I…

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