Discriminated against because I receive DLA? — Scope | Disability forum
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Discriminated against because I receive DLA?

lilanne
lilanne Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited November 2020 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hi, I don’t know if anyone can help but I think I’m being discriminated against because I receive DLA and PIP.

My husband works and earns a good wage. I’m currently unable to work and receive PIP and NS-ESA, and we receive DLA for my son as well.

We are looking to move and getting stonewalled by letting agents. Not because we are on a low income (our income is actually really good and higher than the U.K. average) but because we receive disability benefits. 
This may sound a bit far fetched but as an example a letting agent sent to me earlier today after I asked to put down a holding deposit: 

“Have you got a guarantor at all? Just as with receiving disability allowance you would need a guarantor or be able to pay 12 months upfront”

This doesn’t say low income, or poor credit, or anything else, this quite clearly says that it is because I receive disability benefits that I need a guarantor or 12 months upfront. 

Any thoughts on this or whether it’s allowed? 

If they’d said it was due to income or credit history or something else I’d understand. But receiving DLA shouldn’t even come into it? 

Please help!

Our current housing is unsuitable for my needs and overcrowded, we’re in the highest banding for council house but they’ve still said a minimum 3 year wait, which I why we’re looking for private. But as we’re near London we don’t have £20,000+ for 12 months upfront and we don’t know anyone to act as a guarantor. 

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,374 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome I'm not sure on the legal aspect but unfortunately when people are on benefits this is the norm from landlords as the benefits are not guaranteed 

    Would you be able to apply just using your partners income taken into account ? 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can't help I will
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,907 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    Would you be claiming for any help with your rent? This would usually be the reason why they often refuse tenants. Although they are not supposed to refuse those claiming benefits, they can and do and i'm speaking from personal experience.
  • lilanne
    lilanne Member Posts: 4 Listener
    edited November 2020
    @janer1967 I do understand that benefits aren’t guaranteed but we have to tell them about all income when we applied as they ask.

    I even understand why they ask for a guarantor when someone is on income-related benefits or a low income, but we receive neither. 

    So the only reason they are asking for a guarantor is because I am disabled. My partner’s wage alone is enough to pass referencing here, but because we have to list my income too, and it mentions a disability benefit, they have said we need a guarantor. 

    If my husband applied to live here on his own without me (or if I had zero income and wasn’t disabled, just a stay at home mum) he wouldn’t need a guarantor, but because I’m moving too and receive a disability benefit, we require one. Even though that actually increases our income? 

    Surely that’s the definition of discrimination? 
  • lilanne
    lilanne Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi,

    Would you be claiming for any help with your rent? This would usually be the reason why they often refuse tenants. Although they are not supposed to refuse those claiming benefits, they can and do and i'm speaking from personal experience.
    No, we don’t claim any income-related benefits (not even tax-credits) or receive help with rent and wouldn’t when moving here. 

    So the sole issue is that I am receiving a disability benefit. Their message was very clear about that too if you see the quote above. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 23,907 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you asked them why they are discriminating because you're claiming a disability benefit? If it was me then i'd be asking them.
  • lilanne
    lilanne Member Posts: 4 Listener
    edited November 2020
    Have you asked them why they are discriminating because you're claiming a disability benefit? If it was me then i'd be asking them.

    I haven’t asked them yet, I wanted to see what others thought in case I was missing something obvious or it wasn’t actually discrimination. I’m also scared to rock the boat and upsetting the letting agent and have them find more reason not to rent to us.

    I’m not very good with confrontation and don’t know how to handle the situation.

  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    edited November 2020
    @lilanne I understand your frustration.  I'd query it with them too as by asking the question you aren't doing anything wrong, just clarifying their position.

    If you read this Shelter Disability Discrimination and Human Rights webpage, you can see how it falls under the umbrella of disability discrimination.   

    Please let us know how you get on and good luck.

    Just to add, for more information and a definitive answer from a housing specialist, I'd recommend contacting Shelter via the options on their 'Get help' webpage.

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  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,356 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @lilanne I think the answer is simple there is no need to tell them about your income or your sons if your husbands income will be enough to pay the rent. I don't think you would get very far going down the discrimination road as its very difficult to prove.
    Just my opinion.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.

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