'No DSS' unlawful

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:38 am

Brightonian wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:19 am
In his assessment of a prospective tenant, my neighbour said she was "from Jamaica". Of course, I said I didn't want her as a tenant. I say "of course" because the rent was half her income, plus she was a lone parent who wanted to send her daughter to a well known private school. The fees for the school were higher than her income! I suspected my neighbour was really asking me whether blacks were allowed, so I replied that the tenant could have been suitable if she hadn't raised the fantasy of the private school.
Private schools offer scholarships and bursaries of up to 100% of the fees, as part of their charitable remit. They have done for literally centuries, and it's part of the reason some of them even exist. So while she might have been ambitious for her kid I don't know why you'd assume it's a "fantasy". It sounds like she could have been perfectly well informed and rational.

The whole private-renting ecosystem makes me queasy because of this sort of thing. People make ill-informed judgements about each other all the time, and tying a (usually relatively disadvantaged) person's ability to obtain housing for them and their family to a (usually relatively privileged) stranger's snap judgement of their circumstances, morals and prudence is a crap way to run an equitable society.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:44 am

Mmm indeed. A former landlady of mine (who was a kind of relative in law) said she didn't want to let a room in our flat to someone on HB because she didn't want to have to create a written tenancy agreement, as she seemed to be under the mistaken impression that not having a written agreement magically means tenants don't have any rights. I tried to subtly coach her in the right direction but without much luck (we never heard back from that prospective tenant anyway so it didn't make any material difference to them in the end). It wasn't really about worries about them not being able to pay but just another misunderstanding about how the system works, based on assumptions. That's one of the reasons I said I don't have sympathy for landlords who don't get at least basic legal advice when they start letting out properties.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Stephanie » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:01 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:38 am
Brightonian wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:19 am
In his assessment of a prospective tenant, my neighbour said she was "from Jamaica". Of course, I said I didn't want her as a tenant. I say "of course" because the rent was half her income, plus she was a lone parent who wanted to send her daughter to a well known private school. The fees for the school were higher than her income! I suspected my neighbour was really asking me whether blacks were allowed, so I replied that the tenant could have been suitable if she hadn't raised the fantasy of the private school.
Private schools offer scholarships and bursaries of up to 100% of the fees, as part of their charitable remit. They have done for literally centuries, and it's part of the reason some of them even exist. So while she might have been ambitious for her kid I don't know why you'd assume it's a "fantasy". It sounds like she could have been perfectly well informed and rational.
Indeed. My dad, raised by a lone parent, attended one on a scholarship.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by lpm » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:02 am

discovolante wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:12 am
Why does a discussion involving benefits (in this case the broader impact and legal implications of claiming benefits) have to become a discussion about whether people who claim benefits are stupid and disorganized? Is that really the best we've got? For crying out loud.
I'm not sure why there's any purpose in pretending anyone has said people who claim benefits are stupid and disorganized, but go ahead if you like.

This is about practicalities, not law. Covert discrimination existed before this ruling (when it was already recognised that "no DSS" wasn't a position you could go to court on). Is there any reason to suppose covert discrimination won't carry on as before?

To end this discrimination, you have to explore why the discrimination exists. It doesn't exist because most LL are evil bastards but because they have a large financial risk at stake, as Millennie Al said. It costs many thousands in lost rental income and legal costs to evict someone who's had their benefits cancelled - likely over ten thousand in London - and private LLs (e.g. someone who owns a flat but is working abroad for two years and needs to rent the flat to cover the mortgage) are rationally frightened of this risk.

The govt has (purposefully IMO) designed complexity into the benefits system to make claimant error very common. If you are a LL, you need to take into account the chances of claimant error, the chances your tenant will promptly sort out the error, what happens if you have a disorganised tenant who can't cope with financial matters and whether you yourself have an understanding of the benefits system. For most casual private LL, this shouts steer clear, and so they will use some pretty easy techniques to weed out DSS applicants.

The tenant & housing issue has to be based on the practicalities of the real world. We have a benefits system that is not particularly compatible with "DSS" tenants renting from the casual private LL. A law case clarifying that no DSS is unlawful does not change anything on the ground, except to generate more techniques to keep it covert, so I'm not sure why this case should be celebrated. There's a far deeper structural issue that needs to be addressed - and the answer is probably to attack on the social LL/housing association front, not the private LL front.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:09 am

Stephanie wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:01 am
Indeed. My dad, raised by a lone parent, attended one on a scholarship.
Me too! High five to your dad ;)
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Brightonian » Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:54 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:38 am
Brightonian wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:19 am
In his assessment of a prospective tenant, my neighbour said she was "from Jamaica". Of course, I said I didn't want her as a tenant. I say "of course" because the rent was half her income, plus she was a lone parent who wanted to send her daughter to a well known private school. The fees for the school were higher than her income! I suspected my neighbour was really asking me whether blacks were allowed, so I replied that the tenant could have been suitable if she hadn't raised the fantasy of the private school.
Private schools offer scholarships and bursaries of up to 100% of the fees, as part of their charitable remit. They have done for literally centuries, and it's part of the reason some of them even exist. So while she might have been ambitious for her kid I don't know why you'd assume it's a "fantasy". It sounds like she could have been perfectly well informed and rational.

The whole private-renting ecosystem makes me queasy because of this sort of thing. People make ill-informed judgements about each other all the time, and tying a (usually relatively disadvantaged) person's ability to obtain housing for them and their family to a (usually relatively privileged) stranger's snap judgement of their circumstances, morals and prudence is a crap way to run an equitable society.
Good point about scholarships, though when my neighbour asked how she would afford this, she said she'd "do some overtime", and he didn't say she said anything about a scholarship.

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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:47 pm

Brightonian wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:19 am
Ads on SpareRoom and the like (Housing Benefits = No, Max Age = 45 etc.), they're illegal now, so I can just ring the police who will swoop down and these evil landlords will go straight into the slammer.

Or maybe it's a bit more complicated than that. Would individual prospective tenants have to prosecute individual landlords, or could SpareRoom be prosecuted (who by? Government? Councils? Individuals?)?
Firstly the decision is only in relation to 'no DSS' so e.g. age would be different. The no DSS case is specifically about blanket no HB bans, and focused on women and people with disabilities, not age. It's a bit weird and I'm not totally certain about this but I think age discrimination is excluded from acts done regarding 'premises' (see my post upthread that talks about premises, service providers) - which would mean that technically landlords can discriminate according to age as they please - but not acts relating to provision of services, so if landlords are seen as service providers as well as managers of premises then they wouldn't be able to discriminate in relation to age, and letting agents wouldn't either. I think the exclusion in relation to management of premises is in relation to e.g. retirement homes. Sorry that's a bit confused but it's not something I've had to think about or look into closely.

Also 'max age = 45' would be a different type of discrimination (direct) and could be justified if it's a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim (again see my earlier post) - so perhaps if you were a landlord with a portfolio of quite different properties and just said 'no over 45s' across the board, then you might be stuck, but if you had a specific property e.g. a house that had 3 women in their early 20s then there might be a good reason to refuse to let the last room to an older guy. (I'm just speculating here though and it might depend on the circumstances).

So anyway in relation to this case, if you want to stop someone from discriminating because they are applying 'no DSS' you would need to bring a civil case against the landlord/letting agent. Which is far from ideal but that's the world we live in eh.
I stopped using the letting agent a few years ago, and got a neighour of the house to manage the letting for me. I speculated whether I should start allowing housing benefit tenants, and the neighbour very vehemently advised against HB. He didn't actually spell out why he was against, but it made me feel better about my initial refusal so I went along with that again. I had however told him in my initial pitch about managing lettings that "you can choose your neighbours".
See with respect this is another reason why I think landlords should do their research. Renting out a property is about giving someone a home and anyone doing it has (in my opinion) a moral obligation to think about what that entails rather than just going with gut feelings. It's not easy to get to grips with all of it but certain issue will have arisen as you went through the process and it's not really right or fair to gloss over it. I appreciate there are situations where people are thrown into being landlords for various reasons and I don't know what yours are, but if it was a conscious choice then imo the prep work needs to be done into the law as well as just doing the property up etc.
Oh and a final personal note: when I was in my early 20s when I was looking to rent somewhere, a lot of ads said "professionals only". I assumed for some time this mean people in the professions. It took me some time to realise that lawyers, accountants, surgeons etc. wouldn't be wanting to rent a cheap bedsit in a run-down area of Croydon.
Well I dunno, when I was a trainee I lived in a mouldy bedroom in a flat with a caving in ceiling in a run down building, in Shepherd's Bush, not Croydon. But yeah it's a weird phrasing.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by bolo » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:46 pm

In DC, age and source of income are both protected traits for housing under the DC Human Rights Act.

https://ohr.dc.gov/protectedtraits

This varies by state, however. In Virginia, source of income is protected, but age isn't, only "elderliness" -- i.e. you can't deny housing to someone based on age if they are over 55.

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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by nekomatic » Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:57 pm

Thanks for your considered and informative input on this thread, disco, it doesn’t go unrecognised. I think even if it doesn’t magically stop discrimination on the ground overnight then at least the existence of a law ought to send a signal in the right direction.

I guess that seeing as how both benefits and housing are somewhat f.cked up in this country, it would be a miracle if the place where benefits and housing intersect wasn’t at least a little tricky to sort out.

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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:58 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:27 pm
lpm wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:21 pm
I hope nobody here is confused enough to think this means all people on benefits are stupid, careless and disorganised.
Not all, but this:
Millennie Al wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:59 am
Those who are clever, diligent, methodical, and well-connected are unlikely to need benefits.
does seem to suggest that most of them are, which I'm not at all convinced is the case.

I'm happy to accept it wasn't what Millennie Al really meant, but it's not the best phrasing.
I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion. If we assume the four qualities are independent, and take the people who are in the top 5% for each, that gives around 400 people in the country. Given that the number of people claiming benefits is in the millions, I don't see why a comment on a tiny proportion of the population makes any comment on the claimants.

But to be more practical, do you agree that people differ in the extent to which they are clever, diligent, etc? Do you agree that these qualities are correlated with relevant factors, such as type of job, wealth, and savings? Do you think that comparing a random sample of people in need of benefits with a random sample of people not in such need would find the two groups were very similar or quite different?
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:04 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:38 am
The whole private-renting ecosystem makes me queasy because of this sort of thing. People make ill-informed judgements about each other all the time, and tying a (usually relatively disadvantaged) person's ability to obtain housing for them and their family to a (usually relatively privileged) stranger's snap judgement of their circumstances, morals and prudence is a crap way to run an equitable society.
If you think private business decisions are bad, wait until you see how it turns out when governments do it instead. In the private sector landlords who make bad decisions lose money, sometimes to the extent that they have to sell the property. Those who make good decisons make money, sometimes to the extent that they can buy another property. So there is a selection pressure improving the quality of landlords. While this is no guarantee of the quality of any individual landlord, it is an effect which is missing in public provisionsing which relies on voters being made aware of problems (so the most vociferous get their way), voters caring enough to change their vote on this issue, or politicians consciences.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:32 am

bolo wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:46 pm
In DC, age and source of income are both protected traits for housing under the DC Human Rights Act.

https://ohr.dc.gov/protectedtraits

This varies by state, however. In Virginia, source of income is protected, but age isn't, only "elderliness" -- i.e. you can't deny housing to someone based on age if they are over 55.
Interesting, thank you. I can't see this decision making it's way into legislation somehow but it's interesting to see how other places do things.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Stephanie » Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:46 am

nekomatic wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 8:57 pm
Thanks for your considered and informative input on this thread, disco, it doesn’t go unrecognised. I think even if it doesn’t magically stop discrimination on the ground overnight then at least the existence of a law ought to send a signal in the right direction.

I guess that seeing as how both benefits and housing are somewhat f.cked up in this country, it would be a miracle if the place where benefits and housing intersect wasn’t at least a little tricky to sort out.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:05 pm

lpm wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:02 am
This is about practicalities, not law. Covert discrimination existed before this ruling (when it was already recognised that "no DSS" wasn't a position you could go to court on). Is there any reason to suppose covert discrimination won't carry on as before?
Of course it will carry on covertly. See the seventh post in this thread. That's one reason to make a big fuss about the decision, so people know what their rights are and can take action if they spot it happening to them. Sometimes they won't know, sometimes they will.

There are loads of reasons why people are unable to enforce their rights (or rights they should have). They range from not being able to prove what has happened, not being able to get legal representation, the law itself being insufficient (deliberately or otherwise), people not knowing what their rights are, the court process being too intimidating, other methods of resolving problems outside the court system lacking any teeth, and they are just the obvious ones. Nobody who has ever tried to help people understand and enforce their rights would even think of arguing otherwise. This issue alone took years of litigation. Should we just give up then and make it every man for himself? Scrap every bit of legislation that purportedly protects individual rights because people will carry on breaching them anyway, either secretly or out in the open?

In the meantime, there may well be landlords and agents who change their practices, or perhaps landlords who felt a bit iffy about letting to people on benefits but weren't really sure, found out they couldn't blanket refuse them and so change their behaviour from what they would have done. I don't know what proportion of landlords that would be, it may be a tiny minority at least to start with but that's better than nothing.
To end this discrimination, you have to explore why the discrimination exists. It doesn't exist because most LL are evil bastards but because they have a large financial risk at stake, as Millennie Al said. It costs many thousands in lost rental income and legal costs to evict someone who's had their benefits cancelled - likely over ten thousand in London - and private LLs (e.g. someone who owns a flat but is working abroad for two years and needs to rent the flat to cover the mortgage) are rationally frightened of this risk.
Yes and in my reply to Millennie Al I went through each of the risks they put forward; each situation related to a pretty specific set of circumstances that can be mitigated against by doing proper referencing checks and making sure your tenancy agreement is up to scratch. It can't eliminate risk but risk is part of running a business, isn't it. People also keep bringing up these 'accidental' or partly accidental landlords. What proportion of the landlord population do these people take up? And what about someone who doesn't own a flat and works abroad for two years and doesn't have the luxury of choosing to keep their flat in the UK while they do that? They would be reliant on a benevolent landlord allowing them to leave the property unoccupied or perhaps to arrange for some sort of guardian to look after it while they're away, but that's going to be a pretty unusual situation.

The discussion always seems to come round to 'what about the landlords?' What about them? I suspect most landlords have chosen to go into this line of business and they need to be prepared to take on the risk that entails. People who are so poor they need to claim benefits *need* a roof over their head, there is no choice about it. And as has been demonstrated in the OP, most of the people in this situation are going to be women (and therefore probably more likely to be caring for children) and disabled people. I'm not arguing that there's no rationality to it; I'm saying it's a cop out and protection should be in place to prevent it from happening.

Do you think it would be reasonable to ask prospective tenants to disclose if they are say, in remission from cancer treatment (and therefore potentially at risk of a drop in income if they get ill again), or if they have elderly parents they might need to quit their job for to look after?
The tenant & housing issue has to be based on the practicalities of the real world. We have a benefits system that is not particularly compatible with "DSS" tenants renting from the casual private LL. A law case clarifying that no DSS is unlawful does not change anything on the ground, except to generate more techniques to keep it covert, so I'm not sure why this case should be celebrated. There's a far deeper structural issue that needs to be addressed - and the answer is probably to attack on the social LL/housing association front, not the private LL front.
Yes, that sound you heard last week was every person who has ever campaigned for housing rights sitting back, sighing and going 'right, no DSS banned, that's the housing crisis sorted at last then! Best go pursue my second career as a hedge fund manager so I can make a massive wodge of money before I retire'.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:08 pm

Quality post, disco.

On this bit:
discovolante wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:05 pm
The discussion always seems to come round to 'what about the landlords?' What about them? I suspect most landlords have chosen to go into this line of business and they need to be prepared to take on the risk that entails. People who are so poor they need to claim benefits *need* a roof over their head, there is no choice about it. And as has been demonstrated in the OP, most of the people in this situation are going to be women (and therefore probably more likely to be caring for children) and disabled people. I'm not arguing that there's no rationality to it; I'm saying it's a cop out and protection should be in place to prevent it from happening.
I think this is the crux of the matter, in terms of maximising human welfare. Tenants are more numerous and more in need of support than landlords. It's a bit odd, given that housing is one of the few commodities that is 100% necessary for participating in society (and, indeed, pretty much for survival) that new consumer protections get met with so much "what about the business owners?"

I wonder if its because, unlike with other businesses, investing in and profiting from housing speculation has been promoted to an entire generation of people as a fairly natural part of getting on in life. My parents' generation was brought up being told that they should 'get their foot on the property ladder' as early as possible and work their way up, and also normalised the idea of using buy-to-let as a largely unregulated business opportunity to increase their capital for retirement.

Whereas the only people I know my age who own property are people who've had one or more relatives die young enough not to have spent all their capital on end-of-life care. Meanwhile the rest of us have to move between crappy rented houseshares every few years based on the whims of landlords, the strangers we cohabit with and the fact that career progression generally involves changing post and moving anyway.

Landlords are speculating on an essential commodity during a time of crisis. They are morally equivalent to speculators hoarding food during a famine. I'm not saying we should go full Mao on them, but at the very least it's absolutely right that the balance of power should be with customers rather than wealthy capitalists, and "you can't legally discriminate against poor people" is hardly a flagrant example of class warfare.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:25 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:08 pm
Quality post, disco.

On this bit:
discovolante wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:05 pm
The discussion always seems to come round to 'what about the landlords?' What about them? I suspect most landlords have chosen to go into this line of business and they need to be prepared to take on the risk that entails. People who are so poor they need to claim benefits *need* a roof over their head, there is no choice about it. And as has been demonstrated in the OP, most of the people in this situation are going to be women (and therefore probably more likely to be caring for children) and disabled people. I'm not arguing that there's no rationality to it; I'm saying it's a cop out and protection should be in place to prevent it from happening.
I think this is the crux of the matter, in terms of maximising human welfare. Tenants are more numerous and more in need of support than landlords. It's a bit odd, given that housing is one of the few commodities that is 100% necessary for participating in society (and, indeed, pretty much for survival) that new consumer protections get met with so much "what about the business owners?"

I wonder if its because, unlike with other businesses, investing in and profiting from housing speculation has been promoted to an entire generation of people as a fairly natural part of getting on in life. My parents' generation was brought up being told that they should 'get their foot on the property ladder' as early as possible and work their way up, and also normalised the idea of using buy-to-let as a largely unregulated business opportunity to increase their capital for retirement.

Whereas the only people I know my age who own property are people who've had one or more relatives die young enough not to have spent all their capital on end-of-life care. Meanwhile the rest of us have to move between crappy rented houseshares every few years based on the whims of landlords, the strangers we cohabit with and the fact that career progression generally involves changing post and moving anyway.

Landlords are speculating on an essential commodity during a time of crisis. They are morally equivalent to speculators hoarding food during a famine. I'm not saying we should go full Mao on them, but at the very least it's absolutely right that the balance of power should be with customers rather than wealthy capitalists, and "you can't legally discriminate against poor people" is hardly a flagrant example of class warfare.
I think, to be fair to Millenie Al and lpm, they are not necessarily trying to protect landlords' interests but arguing that landlords seeking to protect their own interests are an inevitability. Which of course they are in many if not most cases and that's why there are laws in place regulating what they can and cannot do. But I also think that the immediate swerve to defending that angle comes from a culture where it is ingrained and I'm going to be cheeky and suggest that MA and lpm might be as guilty of falling for that subconsciously as I am for being anti- anything that makes life harder for tenants (for example).

I think you are right though; I came perilously close to almost being able to consider being a landlord for a very brief period (and I mean very brief) when I was living in London and earning enough to realistically have a chance at being able to get a mortgage in Scotland (but not London) and was thinking of moving up here. A couple of people suggested to me that I get a place in Scotland and rent it out until I moved up (I don't earn that much money any more btw, that was a flash in the pan). I never looked any further into whether that would have been possible for all the various legal and financial reasons, partly because I am lazy and partly because I felt extremely squeamish about the idea. I was also chatting to a couple of friends of SvL's who are doing exactly what lpm referred to - they have gone abroad for a bit having just bought a house (that they got through inheritance) and were thinking of letting it out while they were away. I mentioned (in a friendly way, but still a know it all way no doubt) some of the things they would need to do to be able to do that and it hadn't even occurred to them.

I understand that the point of view of 'what about the business owners' in some respects comes from the same place as Rishi Sunak's threats that we had better all go out shopping ASAP or else he will need to tax us more - because 'protecting business is protecting the economy' - but I'm not sure that lpm would disagree that maybe we've already gone a bit too far with that philosophy.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:37 pm

Private people invest to make a return. Change the balance to make it harder to make a return and they will invest less. While such a large proportion of tenancies are provided by private landlords, it's not a great idea to reduce investment.

The UK is locked into perpetual muddling along, as BoaF describes, instead of a coherent policy. It would be far better for DSS to never interact with private landlords than expect muddling through to work. Do what most European countries do - change the fundamental basis for investment in property and get the state to play its part fully.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:57 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:37 pm
Do what most European countries do - change the fundamental basis for investment in property and get the state to play its part fully.
Only if you do it first.


Seriously though, or maybe not seriously, please don't keep confusing 'a thread on an internet forum about one positive story' with 'an event that will entirely transform the housing sector in the UK'.

The No DSS decision is a positive outcome within the existing framework. It also brings the issue of tenants rights into the spotlight and allows the conversation to continue. But there is absolutely no reason for you to think that people who are pleased with this outcome don't understand that there are more fundamental issues at stake. Why would you think that? At the moment though we are at Robert Jenrick levels of integrity so if you think the focus of the discussion should change, please do let us know about your concrete proposals for achieving what you think should happen.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by lpm » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:06 pm

I'm not sure a positive development in a "muddling through" situation is actually positive. Maybe it prolongs the muddling? Whereas outrageous discrimination triggers revolution.

2021 is going to be awful. Previously employed tenants will be unable to pay rent, property owners might be forced sellers, house prices could slump causing negative equity. Realistically only govt can fund housing during mass unemployment.

Good, honest landlords tend to be driven out in slumps, replaced by exploiters, enthusiastic evicters and rent bullies.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:17 pm

lpm wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:06 pm
I'm not sure a positive development in a "muddling through" situation is actually positive. Maybe it prolongs the muddling? Whereas outrageous discrimination triggers revolution.
This thought sometimes crosses my mind but I'm yet to turf myself out onto the streets to give my home to someone who's in a worse position than me, how about you?
don't get any big ideas, they're not gonna happen

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JQH
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by JQH » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:39 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:08 pm

Landlords are speculating on an essential commodity during a time of crisis. They are morally equivalent to speculators hoarding food during a famine. I'm not saying we should go full Mao on them, but at the very least it's absolutely right that the balance of power should be with customers rather than wealthy capitalists, and "you can't legally discriminate against poor people" is hardly a flagrant example of class warfare.
This.

I had to put up with private landlords and their sh.t back in the 80s. I spent my entire working life in a notoriously badly paid profession and the only reason I was able to get out of renting and buy my own gaff was the early 90s property crash.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Millennie Al
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Millennie Al » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:58 am

discovolante wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:25 pm
I think, to be fair to Millenie Al and lpm, they are not necessarily trying to protect landlords' interests but arguing that landlords seeking to protect their own interests are an inevitability.
Yes, but not just that. It's important to ensure landlords' interests are fairly balanced against tenants' interests. Otherwise you drive the good, honest landlords out of business and are left with the ones who are not afraid to break the law to get a return on their money.
Which of course they are in many if not most cases and that's why there are laws in place regulating what they can and cannot do. But I also think that the immediate swerve to defending that angle comes from a culture where it is ingrained and I'm going to be cheeky and suggest that MA and lpm might be as guilty of falling for that subconsciously as I am for being anti- anything that makes life harder for tenants (for example).
One of the problems with regulations is that the harm suffered by specific tenants at the hands of specific landlords is easy to see, so it is very tempting to over-regulate (in some places there are rent controls, for example). This may be in tenants' short term interests but not in their long term interests as if it is too onerous to be a landlord then some people will put their money in ISAs/premium bonds/shares/commercial property etc. which reduces the supply of lettings. This either results in higher rents or, more likely in an over-regulated environment, waiting lists for tenancies so people cannot get housing where they need it.

In other words, it's important to understand why landlords do specific things to ensure that if you interfere in those areas you are not accidentally doing a greater harm to tenants elsewhere.
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discovolante
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by discovolante » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:43 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:58 am
discovolante wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:25 pm
I think, to be fair to Millenie Al and lpm, they are not necessarily trying to protect landlords' interests but arguing that landlords seeking to protect their own interests are an inevitability.
Yes, but not just that. It's important to ensure landlords' interests are fairly balanced against tenants' interests. Otherwise you drive the good, honest landlords out of business and are left with the ones who are not afraid to break the law to get a return on their money.
We've been here already.
Which of course they are in many if not most cases and that's why there are laws in place regulating what they can and cannot do. But I also think that the immediate swerve to defending that angle comes from a culture where it is ingrained and I'm going to be cheeky and suggest that MA and lpm might be as guilty of falling for that subconsciously as I am for being anti- anything that makes life harder for tenants (for example).
One of the problems with regulations is that the harm suffered by specific tenants at the hands of specific landlords is easy to see, so it is very tempting to over-regulate (in some places there are rent controls, for example). This may be in tenants' short term interests but not in their long term interests as if it is too onerous to be a landlord then some people will put their money in ISAs/premium bonds/shares/commercial property etc. which reduces the supply of lettings. This either results in higher rents or, more likely in an over-regulated environment, waiting lists for tenancies so people cannot get housing where they need it.

In other words, it's important to understand why landlords do specific things to ensure that if you interfere in those areas you are not accidentally doing a greater harm to tenants elsewhere.
In this post and your previous one you've invoked 'the market' in theory terms but haven't really demonstrated how this has already worked in practice. So what you are saying doesn't sound any different to people saying 'you can't possibly tax high earners even 1% more in income tax than they are currently paying because they will all leave the country and nobody else will want to earn money ever because they will have to pay tax on it' - I.e., somehow anything slightly less favourable than the current conditions suddenly become intolerable, somehow.

I started looking up examples of different changes to the PRS over the years and the impact they have had on the sector but it will take a long time, so if you want to come up with stuff to back up what you're saying so that it's more than just theorising then please go ahead, and explain why this particular decision is likely to have the impact you're saying it will. I'd be happy to consider it.
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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by bolo » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:41 pm

I posted previously about source of income being a protected trait for housing access in some US states and cities. I've just found this report with a lot more detail:
https://prrac.org/appendixb/

Relative to the UK, I suspect that stronger US protections for initial access may be offset by weaker US protections against subsequent eviction for non-payment. I don't actually know that, but if it's true, it might be significant for the discussion of landlord incentives.

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Re: 'No DSS' unlawful

Post by Millennie Al » Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:47 am

discovolante wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:43 am
explain why this particular decision is likely to have the impact you're saying it will. I'd be happy to consider it.
Then I'd better say what I think the impact of this decision will be: minuscule. It's fairly clear that he landlord in this case was a fool for missing the opportunity to do business with an exemplary tenant. Unless there is a great oversupply of tenants compared to properties, this is just a way to make less money than being reasonable. As such, reasonable landlords will not be affected by a ruling that a blanket ban on DSS tenants is illegal, since they wouldn't be operating one.

I suppose it's possible that the ruling might inspire people to try to broaden it, either by bringing cases where the tenant was less and less exemplary or by introducing legislation, but I'm not sure that would be really an effect of this ruling.
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