The BBC reports that discussions are taking place to make changes to the Renters’ Reform Bill to outlaw any rental listing excluding applications form families and recipients of state benefits. 

The BBC reports that discussions are taking place to make changes to the Renters’ Reform Bill to outlaw any rental listing excluding applications form families and recipients of state benefits. 

It is believed that the English, Welsh and Scottish governments are looking at making the reform apply nationwide. The Renters’ Reform Bill if it is passed into law will only apply to England.

In its report the BBC quotes Michael Gove as saying a joint approach by all three nations would “send a clear message to providers” and that “…this is a priority we share with the Scottish government and would send a clear message to providers across the whole of Great Britain.”

The report adds “Mr Gove has written to Scottish Housing Minister Paul McLennan to offer a joint approach. He said talks had also taken place with the Welsh government.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson is quoted: “We are aware of the UK government’s plans to introduce a ban on excluding those in receipt of benefits and those who have children and welcome this proposal.”

“We will work with the UK government as it develops its plans to consider how best to protect these groups in Scotland.”

A potential problem for implementation is that the Scottish Government spokesperson stated the joint approach “must include a close examination of the UK government’s decision to freeze Local Housing Allowance rates at 2020 levels for the third year running”, saying affordability was “the far more significant barrier to accessing a privately rented home”.

A BBC investigation published earlier this month found thousands of adverts for rental homes posted by private landlords and letting agents stated children or pets were not welcome.

Under existing equality laws, blanket bans on children have been shown to indirectly discriminate against women.

The National Residential Landlords Association has said any such bans reflected “the actions of a minority of rogue landlords”.

A previous BBC instigation has also found a large number of adverts for properties to to rent also exclude applications from recipients of benefits.