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Single mum wins ‘no DSS’ letting battle

A LETTING agency’s ‘No DSS’ policy discriminated against a single mother, a county court has ruled in a landmark judgment hailed as ‘momentous’ by housing charity Shelter.

The mum ended up homeless and had to move into a hostel with her two children after her application for a property in York was rejected because she received housing benefit.

District judge Victoria Mark ruled the decision against the 44-year-old, who has ADHD, anxiety and depression, was ‘unlawfully directly discriminatory on the grounds of sex and disability’.

More women than men claim housing benefit and people with disabilities are also more likely than others to rely on it, said the judge, who ordered the agent to pay £3,500 compensation.

The mum, who works part-time, had applied for the property as she faced a no-fault eviction by her landlord.

She said she had always paid her rent, adding: ‘I was shocked and found it very unfair that they wouldn’t even give me a chance.’

Polly Neate, of Shelter, said: ‘This momentous ruling should be the nail in the coffin for “No DSS” discrimination.’