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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 
  • Family status (for example  being pregnant, parent of child under 18, parent or carer of prson over 18 that has a disability) 
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Race
  • Membership of the Traveller community
  • Disability

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.

Click the links below for examples of some decisions made by the Workplace Relations Commission on discrimination:

Refusal by landlord of existing tenants seeking HAP

Refusal by a landlord of a prospective tenant seeking HAP

Refusal of 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 home owner, a licencee agreement exists and the Equal Status Acts do not apply.

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 on 1800 454 454 or email  advice@threshold.ie

or alternatively 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 www.ihrec.ie

Workplace Relations Commission www.workplacerelations.ie

To speak to an advisor call our FreePhone:

1800 454 454

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