Can a landlord refuse to rent to me?

Renting accommodation and discrimination

The provision of private rented accommodation is considered a service under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 which prohibit discrimination, directly or indirectly, on the grounds  outlined below:

  • Gender
  • Civil Status (Changed from marital status following the enactment of "Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Acts 2010)
  • Family status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Race
  • Membership of the Traveller community
  • Disability
  • From 1st January 2016, a landlord cannot discriminate against a person in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or any payment under the Social Welfare Acts.

Also a person cannot be discriminated against by association.

Some examples of discrimination include using terms such as ‘rent supplement not accepted’, ‘professionals only’ in property ads; refusing to allow a person to view a property or let to them because they are in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or other social welfare payment, ending a tenancy or not renewing an agreement because they are in recipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or other social welfare payment.

It is illegal to discriminate against those in receipt of rent supplement in terms of the provision of accommodation services. However, landlords are entitled to seek a market rent for the property and Rent Supplement doesn’t always cover this.

Where the accommodation is being offered in a person's own home, that is you are sharing with the home owner, a licence agreement exists and the Equal Status Acts do not apply.

What to do

If you feel you have been discriminated against by an accommodation provider contact Threshold or the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission(IHREC)  for more information.

You may be able to make a complaint through the Workplace Relations Commission.

Further Information

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

Workplace Relations Commission

To speak to an adviser phone:

Cork: 021 4278848
Dublin: 1890 334 334
Galway: 091 563080

Click here to email your query, or view advice centre locations →

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