In a landmark ruling in York County Court last month, with far-reaching consequences for all residential landlords and letting agencies in England and Wales, it was held that a blanket ban on renting property to people on housing benefit is unlawful and amounts to indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex and disability under sections 19 and 29 of the Equality Act 2010, given that, women and disabled people are the groups most likely to be reliant on housing benefits.  

Whilst County Court decisions are not binding, it is likely that this case will be relied upon in similar cases in future and should there be an appeal to the High Court, the appeal decision would be binding. The Claimant’s legal representation was arranged by charity Shelter who have supported a number of similar cases which have settled out of court.