Illegal Discrimination: Do You Know What It Is?

Illegal Discrimination: Do You Know What It Is?

If you are a property owner and regularly rent out your home to tenants, it is important to know what is illegal discrimination.

The Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Amendments Act is based on property owners not being able to discriminate renters for a variety of statuses.

In the UK, it comes under the umbrella of the Equalities Act.

However, the specifics of both acts pretty much cover the same regulations.

Illegal discrimination

If you own rented property you cannot deny a potential client on the grounds of race, religion, color, sex, national identity or disabilities (physical and mental).

Therefore, landlords must also check whether the state law or local laws expand to discrimination against marital status, age, and sexual orientation.

It is probably a good idea to err on the side of caution and practice no discrimination at all.

Besides, property managing agents will look for nothing.

But renters who can prove they are good payers, well behaving and model tenants.


Anything else about the person and his background should not come into the equation.

Illegal discrimination
No smoking policy

Most importantly, there are rules on smokers, for example.

Landlords cannot impose a denial to a person simply for being a smoker.

However, you certainly can insist that any smoking inside the property is illegal.

Most house owners will want to keep the property smoke free.


Property owners can decide for themselves if their property must remain pet free.

Property management services have a list of every home on its books and a pet policy next to it.

Illegal discrimination
No pets

Some allow dogs, many do not.

There are landlords who have a weight limit on the dog.

As far as illegal discrimination is concerned, it is legal to deny a potential renter.

A tenancy because of dog ownership when you allow another dog to live there with a different tenant.

Application No-no’s

Writing out an application should be non-discriminatory.

Advertising that landlords require “women only” or “Christians Only” must not be on the application at all.

The rented property must be open to all regardless of the demographics of a person.

Illegal discrimination

House owners should not ask questions that probe into a renter’s sexual orientation or religion.

If landlords notice the client has a foreign accent, it is wise not to ask where they come from.

Should that client be unsuccessful in their application, that friendly comment could be used against the landlord?

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