Lettings agents have defended the use of “No DSS” phrases in property listings, claiming landlords are often following instructions from their mortgage lenders or insurer.

MPs on the Work and Pensions Committee heard evidence from agents, banks and tenants yesterday as part of an inquiry into discrimination against benefit claimants in the housing sector.

Speaking to the committee, Greg Beales, director of communications, policy and campaigns for Shelter, said that including terminology such as “No DSS” or “no housing benefit tenants” in listings was a form of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act.

He claimed that mystery shopping among agents by the charity had found landlords were being warned that housing benefit tenants were more likely to trash a property.


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