Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

by Readers Question

17:00 PM, 8th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

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Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

I have had an enquiry from a disabled gentleman who has two dogs to help him with his disability and has disability benefits as his only income. He has claimed that Citizens Advice and the local council have both told him that it is illegal for a landlord to refuse to let him a property on the grounds that he is disabled or that his income is disability related. He also claims that his dogs must be allowed as they are required due to his disability.

I have told him that often landlords state no benefits or no pets due to insurance policies or mortgage limitations and that therefore they cannot make exceptions. He does not accept this as being a valid argument.

In view of discrimination being a topic of discussion in the press lately, I wondered how a landlord’s selection process stand in a legal sense.

For example, my preference for tenants for a particular property would be as follows:
1. Employed single professional
2. Employed professional couple
3. Employed single parent with one child
4. Employed single parent with two children
5. Employed couple with one child
6. Employed couple with two children
7. Any other applicants that can pass the referencing/credit checks/provide guarantor etc.

So if I were to use this list as my way of selecting from 5 applicants for the property and placed them in this order, would I be breaking any discrimination rules. I don’t think I would be as everyone is considered, but ultimately one has to be chosen and for reasons such as less chance of wear and tear on the property, more chance of a longer staying tenant, etc. this is the order I have come up with.

What are your views on this?

Thanks.

Deborah



Comments

AA

22:56 PM, 8th March 2018
About 9 months ago

Only if his dog is a guide dog .... however its your property. You do not have to take anyone on you do not want to. This is a commercial decision. I would not show your hand to anyone regarding your selection criteria though, just a polite sorry you were not successful. I am sure some ambulance chaser would find fault. As much as I feel sorry for the applicants circumstances I would be seriously p***** off and give anyone the bird if anyone came to me and dictated who I must rent to. And I do discriminate - turn up to a viewing wearing a baseball cap backwards and shorts using sentences with "dude" and "awesome" and you can forget it. Also visible piercings, colourful hair, forgot to put any clothes on ..... Its sayonara.

Monty Bodkin

7:18 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Irrespective of their circumstances, I wouldn't give the time of day to any confrontational prospective tenant.
Why are you engaging in such arguments?

Sam Addison

8:01 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

We have a similar situation when we are interviewing job applicants. While we do have a policy of advising people their application has not been successful we were strongly advised not to give reasons as they could backfire on us as reasons for a discrimination claim.

Ed Tuff

8:16 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

I'm even worse:
Can't write a respectful email with half decent spelling and grammar...... you're not getting a viewing.

Martin Roberts

8:23 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

You can't discriminate on grounds of disability, and can't refuse assistance dogs, but I've never heard of anyone requiring two dogs, and I would, and have, refused because of attitude.

This person will cause you trouble, but as suggested, you don't need to give a reason.

As I've pointed out to prospects, if we get 30 applications then 29 people won't get the flat.

Deborah Clare

8:47 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 09/03/2018 - 07:18
Fortunately he doesn't seem to be particularly interested in my property. However, this discussion with him made me think about the issue. I've never really had to point blank refuse anyone before as demand us usually high and I prefer local people that I know so tend to find somebody quickly without having to consider lots of people. I just wondered what the general approach is in this type of situation.

Deborah Clare

8:51 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 08/03/2018 - 22:56
I tend to go for a tenant who i think i will be able to deal with easily without hassle so it has to be somebody who i can chat with easily and get on with. Personality has a lot to do with it. This one didn't give a good vibe.

Ed Tuff

8:54 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

I use "Openrent" to find my tenants. For a potential tenant to progress to the post-viewing stage, I have to give my approval via a button on the website.
During the viewing you just tell the tenant that if they have been successful they will be notified through the website. It takes all the awkwardness and potential confrontation out of the equation.

terry sullivan

9:33 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

lawyers are scum--many MPs are lawyers

Deborah Clare

9:40 AM, 9th March 2018
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ed Tuff at 09/03/2018 - 08:54
Yes I've used open rent before. It's handy.

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