Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

by Readers Question

17:00 PM, 8th March 2018
About 2 years 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

Rod

9:55 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

Any confrontation with a tenant at the viewing is a good guide to what is it going to be like when occupied in my view!

AA

10:09 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

I principally rent to students and in the interview I ask this question which has never failed me yet - Give me an example of when you exercised responsibility. The .oh...mmm......well...mmm. That s a forget it, you are not learning to grow up in my flat. The Looking after the hamster. Yes very good. The I have 2 jobs never paid the rent late and can prove it. You have the flat.

Paul Kaye

10:31 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

No one dictates to me whom I rent to.
It is MY property.!
I have a great find a tenant agent and I have the final say.
I do specialise in family homes 3 to 6 bedroom and no single person would apply anyway ! nor afford the rent. My agent vets all applicants and references,so far this has worked very well indeed.

Darren Peters

10:54 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

You haven't signed a contract, you haven't been paid money and already you are having hassle and implied threat - avoid like the plague. It's not worth being reasonable and explaining yourself as you'll waste time and money arguing with lawyers.

Ed Tuff

11:15 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

Agreed. Don't even engage them in discussion.

Ian Cognito

11:43 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

Hi Deborah
Ignore the quip from Monty Bodkin: “Why are you engaging in such arguments?” which was very arrogant and not especially helpful.
You asked a sensible question, clearly worded.
Others may suggest otherwise, but, in my opinion, you do need to tread carefully and hold back with the bravado.
This link may help: https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights
Good luck!

AA

11:48 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Kaye at 09/03/2018 - 10:31
Fast forward a few years and it wont be. If the likes of Shelter, Corbyn and Sturgeon get their way, you will most likely be allocated a tenant.

Ed Tuff

11:49 AM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

This scares me.

AA

13:29 PM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Cognito at 09/03/2018 - 11:43
Ian - get a grip. This country has 18000 chapters of legislation. If the government legislated everyone has to wear a turnip on their head I take it you will be queueing at the greengrocers tomorrow.
Any commercial decision in this context is always non discriminatory. Individual takes a view on the risk they are taking - end of.

Mark W

13:41 PM, 9th March 2018
About 2 years ago

As a disabled person and a landlord of 4 flats I advise you to be careful of the Disability Discrimination Act DDA. In law a service animal is not a pet. Also Disabilities Benefits could be other benefits not DHSS. If you are taken to the Tribunal you have to prove you did not discriminate and made reasonable adjustments for the disabled person. The disabled person does not have the responsibility of proving their case. Mark W.

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