Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

Reasons for not selecting tenant and claims of discrimination?

17:00 PM, 8th March 2018, About 4 years ago 69

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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

by Mark W

15:12 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Annie, your lender and insurer may not have clauses contrary to the DDA. You may not say these exists to cover yourself. MarkW

by sam

15:51 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Does anybody know why you have to give a reason for failing an applicant ? Be it a job or a flat ? Or for anything ?

by Denise G

16:10 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

2 thoughts: 1) We do already have tenants whose income is entirely composed of DLA and Carer's Allowance and so far neither our mortgage company nor any of the Landlord Insurance companies we have used have objected (even though they have pretty much all that they stated won't sanction our renting to tenants on benefit)
2) We wouldn't select anyone who was in any way confrontational to live in any of our properties and agree that you don't need to show your hand about what criteria you are using to make your choice from the many applicants you will no doubt have had (and it would indeed to be risky/foolish to do so)

by AA

16:22 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 09/03/2018 - 15:51
This is getting silly. Having to prove you did not discriminate does not arise if you keep your lips sealed. There HAS to be testable action Not prove your innocence as is suggested. This example here - I would reject this application on his attitude and not his disability. Some here are suggesting there s legislation in place as to whom I can like and whom I cannot.
Has Kim Jong Un taken over?

by Puzzler

20:43 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Ignoring this particular tenant, which the OP has said is unlikely to want the flat - you need to decide if you have the right premises (a period flat on the 5th floor with no lift will not do). Then if the flat is suitable and you have a disabled applicant then there really isn't an issue. You don't have to make any physical modifications but minor things such as signs in braille might be requested. Likewise the need for assistance dogs. Each case should be assessed on its merits.

by sam

22:25 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 09/03/2018 - 16:22
This is exactly my point : why do I have to tell anybody that I rejected this applicant on his attitude ? Or the colour of his tie or he had bad breath or I couldn’t pronounce his mother’s name ? It is up to him to prove that I am guilty of whatever he accuses me of if he wants to take it that far : Innocent until proven guilty.
‘Sickness comes in through the mouth. Disaster comes out from the mouth.’ Keep it shut and we will all live happy ever after.
If ever push comes to shove, better to focus on why I chose the tenant that I chose than to defend my reason for the rejection - as there was no rejection, simply a process of choosing the most suitable tenant to suit myself. It doesn’t even have to be logical or sensible other than out of 30 applicants, I can only choose 1.

by sam

22:40 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 09/03/2018 - 20:43
‘Each case should be assessed on its merits’.
For sure I would bend over backwards if I have an empty flat for 3 months and this is the only applicant. But why would I want to install Braille or put up with dogs if there are 29 other applicants with no requirements whatsoever ?

by Whiteskifreak Surrey

22:58 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by sam at 09/03/2018 - 22:40
Because you are a good man and these people have enough hardship already... If he is able to pay your rate...
Saying that, anyone who is confrontational at the first meeting, does not make it to a shortlist anyway.

by sam

23:27 PM, 9th March 2018, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 09/03/2018 - 22:58
'Because you are a good man and these people have enough hardship already...'.
Sure. By all means help those less fortunate among us but lets not confuse it with business or the law of the land.
Beware also that 'help' has a habit of becoming 'rights' as it so often is.

by David Aneurin

8:25 AM, 10th March 2018, About 4 years ago

The statement used for the dogs were required for his disability. The key word here is registered guide dog e.g. Hearing dog for the deaf or seeing dog for the blind. Also I have never come across two dogs. I would therefore classify them as pets not assistance dogs with the relevant certificates.


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