Tuesday, October 20, 2020
UK

Zoopla to lift ‘no DSS’ restrictions

Zoopla

Property advertising platform, Zoopla, will lift restrictions on renters on housing benefits

Zoopla has become the latest firm to lift restrictions on renters on housing benefit.

Earlier, the Work and Pensions Committee wrote to four property advertising platforms, including Zoopla, about potential DSS discrimination clauses in their policies.

The firm has confirmed that additional measures will be launched in the coming weeks ready for final implementation in April 2019. These include prohibiting the inclusion of ‘No DSS’ restrictions on the site, removing the references from listings on the Zoopla website and removing the ‘No DSS’ fields in its cloud-based software products.

This comes after Natwest lifted its restrictions on BTL landlords earlier this month – the previous restrictions prevented BTL landlords from extending their mortgage if a tenant was in receipt of housing benefits.

The property agents were asked how many properties available to them in the UK currently are available to recipients of any kind of benefit.

Zoopla managing director Charlie Bryant commented that they fully support the recommendations of the NLA and the RLA, which oppose blanket bans against tenants in receipt of housing-related benefits.

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, Charlie said.

He said it proactively sought the views of its largest lettings-focused agents to ensure the above measures were undertaken on a collaborative basis and received significant support in respect of its proposed additional measures.

Residential Landlords Association vice chair Chris Town said they welcome the announcement from Zoopla which comes after extensive campaigning by the RLA.

Chris said landlords should not refuse someone solely because they are on benefits and should consider prospective tenants on a case by case basis. But with growing numbers of benefit claimants now reliant on the private rented sector, more needs to be done to give tenants and landlords greater confidence in the benefits system.

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