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Single mothers claim legal victory over agents for discrimination

Two single mothers have won legal victories against letting agents who refused to rent to benefit claimants.

The BBC reported that Amanda Staples and Emma Loffler won out-of-court settlements against “No DSS” letting agents, on the grounds of indirect discrimination.

Staples, 36, needed accommodation with her three children after her marriage broke down.

She told the BBC: “I kept ringing around estate agents and when I said I would be a housing benefit [claimant] it was a blanket ‘No’.

“I had noticed ‘No DSS’ adverts before but I thought I would be able to find somewhere locally so my children could still go to the same school and so I could keep my job there.

“It was really uncomfortable to keep having to explain my personal circumstances to strangers.

“The whole thing was so difficult – I was working part time, I’ve always paid my rent, I had a child-maintenance order, and I ended up on benefits because of the divorce and because I had three children.”

Rosie Keogh, backed by charity Shelter, successfully argued in 2018 that blanket bans on claimants indirectly discriminated against women and disabled people who are more likely to be on benefits.