Stop Discrimination Against Benefit Claimants

ACORN members have found evidence of discriminatory practices from Bedminster letting agents Taylors. Hypothetically suggesting that he might soon be made redundant, ACORN member Doug Ross was told that "landlords don't want people on the dole with pitbulls moving into their houses when they could get doctors and lawyers.” This seems quite an assumption on the part of Taylors and seems more reflective of their own attitudes than anything else.

Doug says “As if searching for a new home wasn’t tough enough in the worsening rent crisis; I find it disgraceful that an estate agent would imply such a stereotypical and prejudiced view of tenants receiving housing benefit. Everyone deserves the right to a home; we can not tolerate the stigmatisation of people due to their personal circumstances. Landlords and letting agents are  forcing people from their neighbourhood because “there’s so much demand from London, landlords can be picky”. With “NO DSS” commonly featuring on letting listings, it’s hardly surprising there’s a growing number of homeless people in Bristol.”

When ACORN mystery shopper Joanna Ball rang to enquire about letting out a property, she was  advised against benefits claimants by Branch Manager Adam Millar. ‘I was shocked by the advice given to me as a landlord.  Adam seemed very passionate about not letting to Housing Benefit claimants and strongly advised me against doing so, saying that as Bristol was so booming at the moment and there are so many professionals looking to rent, why I would even bother with “these people”.  Even if you were an ethically minded landlord this strong advice would put you off.” 

Such advice, apparently from top staff condemns thousands of Bristol tenants as unfit to rent to;  disproportionately affecting groups such as single-parent families, those with disabilities and working people whose jobs simply don’t pay enough. Not to mention those unlucky enough to be out of work through no fault of their own!

Bristol rents have jumped 25% in four years. Our city is experiencing a major housing crisis and property professionals have key influence on affordability. By pushing landlords to let only to the most well off Taylors are complicit in pricing people out of communities such as Bedminster. We say that Taylors have a responsibility not only to their clients but to the sector they work in and to society at large. They do not operate in a vacuum and must also benefit the wider community.

Join us in calling on Adam Millar to:

Clarify Taylor's position and advice on benefit claimants

Commit to a meeting with ACORN representatives to discuss Taylors becoming signatories to the Ethical Lettings Charter

Ensure internal processes and training is non-discriminatory

 

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166 signatures

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Showing 153 reactions

  • signed 2017-02-12 11:03:49 +0000
    The state of renting in Bristol is atrocious, as a family with a 3 year old we were forced from our home by House and Co when they took over the management. We had kept the place immaculate. They are all at it, there needs to be a central government anti discrimination bill. Landlords shouldn’t be allowed to ask, it should just go on referencing. If you have always paid your rent what business is it of theirs where the money comes from.
  • signed 2016-05-29 09:50:52 +0100
    I am a single parents who runs my own part time business (and have done for 7 years) while undertaking a degree to become a teacher. For the past 6 months I have been trying desperately to move back to the area in which my children go to school and where my family live, however have just come across rejection after rejection from estate agencts because of ‘my situation’. Even when I explain I have excellent credit history / score, can get a guarantor and references for my current landlord I am being put at the bottom of a very long list. I feel totally discriminated against and find it absolutely shocking people are being treated like this in this day and age – put into a stereotype rather than looked at as an individual. I have spoken to my local mp but sadly they don’t seem to think this is discrimination?! And therefore can’t do anything about it, but I beg to differ. I feel strongly that this is something that needs addressing, and quickly.. Else the homeless crisis will just worsen in this country.
  • signed 2016-04-05 10:33:00 +0100
    Jonny Staines
  • signed 2016-03-23 10:39:50 +0000
    Ian Bradley
  • signed 2016-03-09 13:57:18 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-23 13:43:39 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-20 10:40:10 +0000
    Amy Murdoch-Davis
  • signed 2016-02-13 09:47:04 +0000
    Ruth Bennett. I am a carer for a family member and I have to remain in Bedminster, I am 1 of the lucky ones, I rent from family, but I do know the difficulties of finding affordable properties in this area. Instead of the government putting caps on benefit, they should be re-introducing controlled rents. Once a housing benefit claim is sorted landlords have guaranteed rents, jobs come and go, there is no such thing as a job for life these days, even “professionals” can be 1 pay packet away from homelessness and own a pitbull.
  • signed via 2016-02-13 08:44:30 +0000
  • signed via 2016-02-12 21:50:55 +0000
    I’m a UK citizen and an ex-Bristol resident, with family and friends still living there. Discrimination against people on housing benefits is paternalistic and elitist and victimises the most vulnerable, particularly women and children. Bristol is currently home for a richly-varied, tolerant and inclusive community and long may it remain so.
  • signed via 2016-02-12 20:57:15 +0000
    I’m so lazy I don’t work to lift a finger to pay my way .
  • signed 2016-02-12 16:10:25 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-10 12:35:06 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-10 10:12:11 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-10 09:56:42 +0000
    Boycott Taylors
  • signed 2016-02-07 18:16:09 +0000
    Sarah Rudston
  • signed 2016-02-04 20:30:05 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-04 09:02:39 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-03 14:58:43 +0000
    I am a doctor, a lecturer and on housing benefit. I think this combo might blow their tiny minds.
  • signed 2016-02-01 23:15:33 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 21:13:39 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 20:48:57 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 18:51:50 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 16:27:47 +0000
    Lewis Stewart
  • signed 2016-02-01 16:14:59 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 13:27:00 +0000
    Emma Barnes
  • signed 2016-02-01 13:26:20 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 13:24:29 +0000
  • signed 2016-02-01 13:02:09 +0000
  • signed via 2016-02-01 12:39:39 +0000