Trudeau set to halt passenger flights to Canada from the UK

Trudeau set to halt passenger flights to Canada from the UK

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TIA confirms 20 flights for Monday

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Agents breaking ‘No DSS’ listings rule will face sanctions, warns Zoopla

Weekend statements from the government and Housing Secretary have made it clear that the rental… There are growing calls for so-called ‘exempt accommodation’ to face the same controls that are… Industry suppliuer Inventory Hive has a launched a new 360-degree camera and app which it… A new report from the government says it’s too early to tell whether lettings agencies… The debate over rental properties listed on portals with ‘No DSS’ statements has reignited over the weekend. This follows a BBC investigation into the issue; this was aimed primarily at landlord-only websites such as SpareRoom and OpenRent, where the probe found as many as 80 per cent of listings carrying some form of overt anti-benefits statement. However, the BBC also found that there were some ‘No DSS’ statements on properties listed on Rightmove and Zoopla – although far, far fewer than on the landlord sites. Of 335,000 rental listings analysed by the BBC on Zoopla and Rightmove, fewer than one per cent – 3,350 – contained anti-benefit comments. It is possible that some of these may contravene a court ruling in the summer which determined that blanket bans on benefit claimants contravened the 2010 Equality Act. Now Zoopla has responded to this, issuing a statement to Letting Agent Today over the weekend. It says: “Zoopla was proud to work closely with Shelter on this issue, becoming the first portal to ban ‘No DSS’ and similar language in listings and inspiring the wider industry to follow our lead. “While we are happy that the BBC’s research showed over 99 per cent of our listings are compliant we recognise even one listing with discriminatory wording is too much. We are constantly updating our systems to ensure any attempts by agents to circumvent our rules are caught and, while we have made strong progress on this, the process is ongoing.  “Any agent we do find attempting to breach our rules on this can face a variety of sanctions including the removal of their ability to list properties on our site.” “Both platforms currently offer landlords a tick-box option to exclude people on benefits, although SpareRoom plans to remove the option” says the corporation. OpenRent founder Adam Hyslop told the corporation: “We know that access to suitable properties for benefit claimants is a real and painful problem, and we want to solve the root causes of these issues. “We’ve raised these issues in Parliament and with industry lobby groups and are working hard to address the root causes – as well as trying to combat prejudice by educating OpenRent users. “OpenRent does not ban any group of tenants, and in the past year we have let over 25,000 properties where applications from benefit claimants were explicitly welcomed by the landlord.” And SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson says: “After the July ruling we changed the way SpareRoom works, so landlords can only list rooms as unavailable to benefit claimants if their mortgage or insurance specifically forbid it. However, we’ve seen far more rooms still being listed as unavailable than the small number we expected. “The reality is that there are almost no buy to let mortgages left with those clauses in them, so we’re currently in the process of removing the option to list as unavailable to benefit claimants completely.” “No DSS” has been meaningless for years and has been a lazy ‘marker’. Agents were advised over a decade ago that it breached the then Disability Discrimination Act as it prevented anybody claiming any type of benefit from applying. ‘ No housing benefit’ would have been more accurate. In order to progress your enquiry we need to know which method(s) of contact you would like to be used – email only, or email and phone. Please enter the details you would like to be contacted on regarding your enquiry and then submit your enquiry. By submitting your enquiry you agree to the contact details entered in this form being used to contact you regarding your enquiry and that you have read and accepted our Terms and Conditions. Please see our Privacy Policy for information regarding the processing of your data.
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