Can a landlord refuse to rent to me?
The provision of private rented accommodation is considered a service under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 which prohibits discrimination, directly or indirectly, on the grounds outlined below:
- Civil Status
- Family status (for example being pregnant, parent of child under 18, parent or carer of person over 18 that has a disability)
- Sexual orientation
- Membership of the Traveller community
Also, a person cannot be discriminated against by association.
A landlord cannot discriminate against you if you are in receipt or seeking assistance in paying your rent through rent supplement or Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).
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 receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or other social welfare payment.
You can view some of the decisions reached by the Workplace Relations Commission on their website www.workplacerelations.ie including the refusal of a prospective tenant who was dependent on HAP, delaying in providing the paperwork or refusing to rent a property to a single parent with a child.
Whilst it is illegal to discriminate against those in receipt of rent supplement or HAP landlords are entitled to seek a market rent for the property and rent supplement/HAP do not always cover this. Where the accommodation is being offered in a person's own home, that is you are sharing with the homeowner, a licensee agreement exists, and the Equal Status Acts do not apply.
Dafte.ie have guidelines on property advertisement equality which you can access by clicking here. Likewise Myhome.ie have guidelines to prevent discrimination appearing on adverts placed on its site and the guidelines can be found by clicking here
What to do
If you feel you have been discriminated against by an accommodation provider contact Threshold by phoning 1800 454 454 or submit your query to us via the website by clicking here
or alternatively the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) for more information.
You may also be able to make a complaint through the Workplace Relations Commission.