On 1st January 2016, the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 introduced "housing assistance" as a new discriminatory ground.
The importance of a stable and sustainable supply of good quality housing for any society is indisputable. Houses become homes, which become neighbourhoods and communities.
The legislation means that people in receipt of housing assistance or other social welfare payments can no longer be discriminated against by their landlords because their rent is paid by the State.
On the basis that the person concerned is in receipt of state aid, discrimination on the housing assistance ground include:-
- Publishing or displaying advertisements including such phrases as 'rent supplement not accepted', 'professionals only'
- Refusing to allow a person to view a property
- Refusing to let a property
- Including a discriminatory term or condition in a lease, tenancy agreement or licence agreement
- Refusing to renew a lease, tenancy agreement or licence agreement
- Terminating a lease, tenancy agreement or licence agreement
- Withdrawing or restricting access to services related to accommodation
Before any new lease is signed, a thorough inspection should be carried so both landlord and tenant have a record of the property's condition at the time of occupancy. This approach may prevent disputes arising in the future.