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New CMA guidance on tenants receiving benefits

4th October 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued updated guidance to say there should be no blanket bans on tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

In March 2019 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced plans to look at letting adverts which potentially discriminate against would-be tenants on housing benefit and made clear these should end. In light of this, the CMA would be concerned if terms that specify that a property cannot be occupied by a person in receipt of housing benefit are currently being included in any new contracts

It also suggests that mortgage contracts should no longer include the restriction in new contracts with buy-to-let landlords.

safeagent welcomes this update from the CMA. We are opposed to both direct and indirect discrimination. Ensuring tenants in receipt of housing or other benefits can access the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is a vital part of making the sector fairer and accessible for all.

Read the guidance here – It is for all professionals involved in the lettings market, including letting agents, landlords and property intermediaries. It aims to help lettings professionals to comply with consumer protection laws, and laws about dealing with other businesses, in the context of letting privately owned residential property.

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