Stephen Tyler has won his case against housing benefit discrimination at Birmingham County Court, becoming the second person in England to do so, according to housing charity Shelter.
A Birmingham-based estate agent did not allow Tyler, who is disabled, to view advertised properties due to receiving housing benefits.
Rose Arnall a solicitor at Shelter, argued that the discrimination Tyler faced was deemed in breach of the Equality Act, because it disproportionally affects disabled people, as they are more likely to require some support with paying their rent.
According to research collected by Shelter, 45% of private renters, who claim disability benefits like Disability Living Allowance or Serious Disability Allowance also claim housing benefit.
Mary Stacey judge, said: ‘There is no doubt that there was a blanket policy that no one in receipt of housing benefit would be considered for the three properties.
“It put the claimant and other disabled people at a particular disadvantage when compared to others.
‘To be told simply, because of his benefit status, that he could not apply for three properties which were perfectly located for his children’s school, his GP and health needs, and extended family support, […] would be distressing.
“We make a declaration that the defendant has unlawfully indirectly discriminated against the claimant by imposing a PCP [Provision, Criteria or Practice] that those in receipt of housing benefit could not apply to those three properties.”
Tyler, said: “I feel relieved that it is over. It has been a very stressful time. It is amazing to have won, not just for me, but for the tens of thousands of people like me facing this discrimination. Hopefully now it is clear that the law is on our side, things will change.”