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Housing

Online property giant Zoopla is removing ‘No DSS’ from adverts on its sites

The news follows a government crackdown on renting discrimination while Natwest also relaxed its rules on renting to people on benefits

Zoopla has joined the mounting movement to stop discrimination against renters on benefits by revealing that it will scrap “No DSS” adverts on its sites.

The online property giant will remove all traces of the term from rental listings on its website as well as amending its terms and conditions and removing “No DSS” tickbox options.

The firm took action after discussions with the National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Residential Landlord’s Association (RLA) and aim to complete the move by next month.

“We fully support the recommendations of the NLA and the RLA, which oppose blanket bans against tenants in receipt of housing-related benefits, and are pleased to be taking action which clarifies this position,” said Charlie Bryant, managing director of Zoopla. “All tenants who are looking to rent a property deserve the chance to be fully assessed for their suitability and matched to a home that suits both their and the landlord’s circumstances.”

RLA vice-chair Chris Town added: “Landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits, and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis.

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“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.”

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler revealed earlier this month that the government would begin a crackdown on discrimination against people with benefits in the private rental sector.

Citing figures that showed just 889,000 benefits claimants among 4.5 million British households living in private rented accommodation, Wheeler vowed to meet with mortgage providers, landlord associations, tenant groups and property websites to bring in a ban.

If a leading name like Zoopla can play its part in treating customers fairly, on a case-by-case basis, then others can too

NatWest quickly followed that up with axing restrictions preventing landlords on their buy-to-let mortgages from renting to would-be tenants on benefits.

Zoopla joining that list has been praised by homelessness charity Shelter chief executive Polly Neate, who has called for other lettings firms to follow in their footsteps.

“If a leading name like Zoopla can play its part in treating customers fairly, on a case-by-case basis, then others can too,” she added. “Rightmove and the wider lettings industry must now follow suit and make ‘DSS’ discrimination a thing of the past.”

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