The fines that could be imposed on summary conviction for certain criminal offences referred to in this document were, at that time, subject to specific caps of £5,000 or above. With effect from 12 March 2015, these caps have been removed and those specific offences are now punishable by a fine of any amount. For more information see the Ministry of Justice news story.
3.10.19: The CMA included the example of ‘housing benefit claimants’ in this guidance (page 49) to account for circumstances where a particular property cannot be let by a landlord to those on housing benefit, i.e. when a term of a contract, such as a mortgage contract, specifies this, as this would constitute material information for would-be tenants (equally, claiming that such a term exists when it does not would be misleading) . Where such restrictions do exist for a specific property they need to be brought to the attention of prospective tenants. The inclusion of housing benefit claimants as an example does not justify or excuse letting agents or property portals having blanket bans in place against those on housing benefit.
In March 2019 the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government announced plans to look at letting adverts which potentially discriminate against would-be tenants on housing benefit and made clear these should end. In light of this, the CMA would be concerned if terms that specify that a property cannot be occupied by a person in receipt of housing benefit are currently being included in any new contracts