Acorn demonstrates against claimed DSS discrimination

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A property investment firm has been accused of discrimination because it turned down a would-be tenant who apparently did not pass its credit checks.

The incident was reported by the Oxford Mail which said police had been called to a demonstration outside the offices of John Charles Property Investment. It had been organised by Acorn – the Association of Community Organisations for Reform Now Limited – which was supporting claims that the lettings company had breached ‘No DHSS’ rules.

There is no evidence of this. The tenant, who is in receipt of Universal Credit, had been accepted as a tenant subject to credit checks. But, said the Didcot-based firm, the application was rejected ‘due to multiple inconsistencies’ found in her application and had nothing to do with universal credit. 

‘The board can only make an assessment based upon the evidence it is presented with’, the firm told the newspaper ‘An application from another prospective tenant has now passed internal assessment and fraud checks’.

The unlucky tenant said she had provided two guarantors and had income of more than twice the rent. She went to Acorn, claiming she had been discriminated against. ‘clear case of discrimination’ against tenants in receipt of benefits – which the landlord has strenuously denied.

The spokesperson for the letting agent told the newspaper it did not act in a discriminatory way and had current tenants in receipt of benefits.