Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Discrimination when renting residential property


Are advertisements saying that landlords won’t accept tenants getting Rent Supplement allowed?


Equality legislation applies to lettings and accommodation. The Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 ban certain kinds of discrimination. Broadly speaking, discrimination means that you receive less favourable treatment than other people in a comparable situation on grounds of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Traveller community. Landlords cannot discriminate against potential tenants on these grounds.

Since 1 January 2016, following an amendment to the Equal Status Acts, landlords cannot discriminate against tenants because they are getting Rent Supplement or any other social welfare payment, or a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). This means that landlords can no longer state when advertising accommodation that Rent Supplement (or HAP) is not accepted and they cannot refuse to rent you accommodation because you are getting Rent Supplement, HAP or a social welfare payment.

However if you are sharing with the home owner (under the Rent a Room Scheme, for example), a license agreement exists and the Acts do not apply. There are some other exemptions. If you feel you have been discriminated against by a landlord or their agent, you can contact the Workplace Relations Commission to find out more about making a complaint under the Equal Status Acts. Visit for contact details.

For more information about your rights you can contact the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below.

Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

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