To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what legislation is in place to prevent discrimination against (a) housing benefit and (b) universal credit recipients in the private rented sector; and what assessment has been made of the adequacy of that legislation.
The Government appreciates the problems that some housing benefit and universal credit claimants can face in finding accommodation in the private rented sector. We strongly encourage landlords and agents to look at all potential and existing tenants in receipt of housing benefit or universal credit on an individual basis and we will shortly be publishing a new How to Let guide to help landlords better understand their responsibilities. The Government is helping benefit claimants to access the private rented sector through further Targeted Affordability Funding in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
There is no legislation that prevents private rented sector landlords and agents choosing not to let their property to an individual claiming (a) housing benefit or (b) universal credit. However, the Equalities Act 2010 exists to prohibit acts of discrimination against individuals in terms of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.