Will I fall foul of discrimination law?

by Readers Question

15:24 PM, 9th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Will I fall foul of discrimination law?

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Will I fall foul of discrimination law?

I have been referencing a couple for one of my properties. There is a CCJ on one of the applicants reports, but I knew of this from the start and as its being paid and only a small amount I carried on with referencing.

The property they are living in I was told was a relatives so therefore no reference to be got, but I called at the house to put some paperwork through the letterbox and found property looked pretty rough and back garden full of old stuff.

I am reluctant to move forward with the application and feel perhaps that I should return the Holding Deposit.

My question is will I need to state the reason if I reject their application.

Can I be accused of discrimination.


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Mandy Thomson

12:54 PM, 14th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan Martin at 14/04/2018 - 12:43
I'm also a RLA member and I've just downloaded and read their holding deposit agreement. I'm satisfied it doesn't bind the landlord in any way should he/she decide to cancel.

I was simply concerned because sometimes holding deposit agreements CAN bind a landlord to consequences for pulling out if they're not properly worded.

Jan Martin

14:01 PM, 14th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 14/04/2018 - 12:54
Thank you for that Mandy . I have always thought the same up
untill this last time .
Great that you were able to download and your comments very valuable .

Kate Mellor

23:06 PM, 15th April 2018
About 3 years ago

It’s my experience that people being evicted, or who are in rent arrears will usually say they’ve been living with friends or relatives and therefore are unable to provide a landlords reference. This may well be the case here. You’ve saved yourself a hard time with these tenants by following your instincts and visiting their current property I would like to bet!

A Land Registry search on the tenants current property costing £3 will give you details of the owner of the property, the purchase date, the mortgage company. You can then use this knowledge to vet the landlords reference is genuine (ie they have detailed knowledge of the property). The tenants buddy is unlikely to be able to answer. (Although you should probably use tact when sounding them out as it could put some people’s backs up), it’s been used on me by an agent to verify the reference & I can certainly understand why...

Dave Driver

12:21 PM, 16th April 2018
About 3 years ago

I don't see how discrimination can apply in any case when letting a property. If you have 50 applicants for a property (as I currently have), you can only let the house to one of them. Would you expect the other 49 to be able to claim discrimination when I choose the one that looks like the best prospect for me?

The same goes for the recent debate about refusing to let to benefit tenants. Why would I choose a benefit tenant when there is a choice of good working tenants? It's my right to decide which one is most likely to pay the rent and look after the house.

Jan Martin

14:00 PM, 16th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave Driver at 16/04/2018 - 12:21
I was advised that if I chose to return their holding deposit that they had a right to have a copy of their credit checks and to know why I was rejecting them . Advised that if credit checks were poor then that would be easier.
I was told it was a difficult situation I presume because I had taken one step closer by taking the holding deposit.
I was not told not to reject them as that was up to me but that it could have consequences if applicants wanted to pursue this .

Jay James

15:43 PM, 16th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan Martin at 16/04/2018 - 14:00
Hi Jan, have you asked the association to clarify what they said?

Sue Marven

8:48 AM, 19th April 2018
About 3 years ago

I always meet new tenants at their home to complete paperwork for exactly this reason. I also drive past before I start referencing. I only rent to people I would want as my neighbours.

Jan Martin

14:12 PM, 23rd April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jay James at 16/04/2018 - 15:43
Sorry for late reply Jay .
I looked through my checks and saw that the gauge number when I carried out credit checks was very low which I know could be due to all manner of things but wondered if this would be easier for me to reject the potential tenant on .
I rang again to have a chat to ask about using the low gauge score as a reason . This time I had a different advisor who read the notes from my previous call that day. The advisor seemed to be reluctant that I should use the low gauge score listing possible reasons for such a low score. So yes I did try again .

Jay James

13:40 PM, 25th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan Martin at 23/04/2018 - 14:12In the absence of the Association clarifying what they said, there is no reason for you to follow their advice/what they said. Just refuse the tenant without giving a reason. If they then show case law or Act that requires you to give a reason, that's the time to concern yourself.

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