Landlords can no long discriminate against those in receipt of rent allowance

Landlords can no long discriminate against those in receipt of rent allowance

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has begun a campaign warning landlords they can no longer discriminate against prospective tenants on the basis of being in receipt of housing assistance or rent supplement.

Landlords will be in breach of equality legislation if they include the words “no rent allowance accepted” in letting adverts.

The commission has published information for landlords, tenants and accommodation advertisers to alert them to the new legal protection for those in receipt of State supports.

Housing assistance has been incorporated as a new ground for protection under equal status legislation passed last year.

It means that people in receipt of housing assistance, rent supplement, or other social welfare payments can no longer be discriminated against in relation to the provision of accommodation.

Chief Commissioner Emily Logan said her office is aware that the practice of posting discriminatory adverts continues, and it negatively impacts on families in receipt of State support by excluding them from the private rental market.

Prospective tenants who are discriminated against can take a case to the Workplace Relations Commission which can make a maximum award of €15,000

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Ms Logan said the new legislation is an “important first step” towards ending barriers for people on welfare accessing rental accommodation.

Commenting on the new rules, managing director Angela Keegan said: “In the interest of fairness to all are happy to support the changes.”

Let us know what you think of the new changes:

  • Will they help more people find accommodation?
  • Can they be effectively enforced?
  • Do you welcome the changes?

Have your say below…

There are 23 comments for this article
  1. Tony Gunn at 8:23 pm

    Can anyone tell me when was rent allowance first introduced?
    Did it replace local authority house building?
    Could this be the reason this country can’t afford a public housing programme?
    Regardless,what we have now is a kneejerk reaction by simple minded politicians
    who were running scared.

  2. maire at 9:56 pm

    Why would anyone want to be a landlord??? You will soon be ordered to take who the Government decides!!

    • July at 7:14 pm

      Yes,we are landlords,because we are just away from Ireland at the moment ,but looks that government would like to pay my mortgage when my tenants are not paying rent or agrees to refurbish our house when is it serious trashed .

  3. Milly at 10:42 am

    I gave many a family on rent allowance and it ending up costing me in the end. some absolutely wrecked the house and didn’t pay the last 6 weeks of rent on one occasion after constantly ringing them and calling to the house to chat to them about it. I also had to borrow money to fix up the house after the damage and because of this the house was empty of over a year.

  4. Niamh kinsella at 10:10 am

    I am a landlord over 25 years. I will rent to whoever I want. I have a rent allowance tenant at the moment no issues but always have the feeling they could stop paying at anytime as the rent does not come to me directly from the council. I will not take the chance again. I feel my tenants with jobs are more in tune with the real world and act accordingly. Can’t wait to exit when I can. Too much hassle for a modest income.

  5. Pingback: Landlords can no long discriminate against those in receipt of rent allowance | Rosalie Rodney
  6. DC at 5:30 pm

    regulation is like medication. Except for one big problem. They don’t test for possible side effects from the regulation(medication) and when the symptoms get worse, instead of withdrawing the medication, they throw more pills at the problem.

  7. Mairead Byrne at 4:41 pm

    I was renting a house for my son and took in people getting rent allowance all was ok for six months. /after that they defaulted on the rent, I paid them several visits o be told each time the money had not arrived from Social Welfare. They cleared out overnight leaving me with a huge ESB bill + unpaid rent to the tune of 3,000euro. So if the law has to be changed, that’s ok provided the Landlord is paid directly from Social Welfare.

  8. Maureen Dillon-Bowers at 3:12 pm

    I have to agree with most of the comments, the rent I charge is below the cost of my mortgage so no greed there. .I do accept rent allowance but the issue here is its too easy for landlords to get burnt with it. The councils need to pay the landlords directly with the payments, not give the tenant the option of getting it. All too often the tenant gets it and won’t pass it on and then gets into rent arrears, eventually move out and start all over again in another property and the council don’t bat en eyelid and just approve it again.

  9. Viv at 3:04 pm

    Wow something else to make sure landlords lose out again, great

  10. AS15169 (@AS15169) at 2:32 pm

    As a professional, and since it’s my property, I run the background checks and based on that I decide who moves in and who doesn’t. Won’t give *any* reasons to anyone who doesn’t get to sign my contract. What do they think they have solved by this legislation?

  11. Philip Taylor at 1:51 pm

    Have a look through your own website, where there are hundreds of ads stating just that. You’re effectively helping landlords to break the law. If there’s going to be enforcement of this much-needed legislation, your own and other similar sites will certainly need to be part of it.

    • AS15169 (@AS15169) at 5:22 pm

      Much needed legislation? They could start not charging +50℅ tax on rental income, because then rents could decrease. e.g. There is no way an Accidental Landlord who is PAYE gets anything out of LMR (low moral renters). In any case, it will not work as per my other comment, plus give it another name and your not breaking the law. It’s a technicality, nothing more. It cannot be enforced just like an employer cannot be forced to employ someone they don’t want.

  12. Colm at 1:35 pm

    Just what we need to kick start the rental market. Another policy designed to make it harder for Landlords to protect their investment and make a little money to pay back some of the mortgage.

    The reason landlords say “No Rent Allowance” is because as a group rent allowance tenants are more likely to show no respect for the property, damage it, fall behind on rent and be harder to evict when they just stop paying rent. They are also far more demanding of the landlord. I will admit it is not all of them. It is a minority but a sizable minority. If this was an insurance market they as a group would be considered higher risk and the insurance companies would either charge them a higher rent or just refuse to offer them insurance up front. Landlords must be offered the same protection for their business.

    If it keeps going this way in a few years there wont be a rental market. Landlords provide a valuable service to society yet increasingly they are being treated like some sort of capitalist vampire bleeding the poor tenants dry. Well maybe that was the case 20 years ago. Now the tables have turned and it is the landlords who are being forced out of the market. It is now all but impossible to get a tenant out no matter how much they owe and how much damage they do to a Landlord’s property. And now the government want to make it all but to impossible to stop a tenant moving into the landlord’s property. They might as well just nationalize the rental market and seize the landlord’s properties because they have done pretty much everything short of that. But then they might have to take on the mortgages and no one wants that.

    More, Much Much More, needs to be done to protect Landlord’s rights!

    • CharlesM at 2:09 pm

      I completely agree. Another vilification of landlords by the FG/Lab alliance who take more in tax than my mortgage and prevent me from paying off the 2007 “investment” I will rent to whom I please..

      • Jac at 2:57 pm

        this is not just FG/Lab issue – infact the other parties will be worse. look at SF, AAA, FF and the other socialist party’s programmes you’ll actually feel that landlords are the outcast who brought the leprosy that is killing everybody in this country.

      • Jac at 3:16 pm

        Personally, I won’t discriminate against anybody. i have rented before (not assisted) and I know how it feels when you are turned down. However, the attitude of a lot of those on income support is just appalling from my recent experience. They want landlord to provide everything for them including feeding them if possible. on top of that they will wreck all the equipment in the house and call you in the middle of the night that washing machine is leaking. if you don’t jump you’ll be threatened with all sort of things. on top of this rent does not cover your mortgage and you still have to pay tax on the income you have not earned.
        If this balance is not corrected, how does people expect landlords to continue carrying these burdens.
        The only way out in the short run is for landlords to accept the highest bidder and those who are less likely to wreck their properties. Law or no law there will always be justification – landlord are not county council or social welfare department.
        Co to think of it, county council houses are not furnished for their tenant and private landlords are expected to furnish house to a standard that some couldn’t afford for their own private residence. where is the fairness in the system?
        Should the equality tribunal not address this discrimination in housing standard/law too before criticising private landlords who are taking risk to help the society?

  13. Lisa Harding at 1:06 pm

    Although this is a welcome step, I can guarantee it won’t stop stop discrimination. As a self-employed person in the private rental market I was discriminated against time and time again, as estate agents would consistently choose those in a ‘proper’ job (as one such charmer informed me). This, in spite of the fact that I have never once defaulted on a rent payment in over ten years of renting. The problem is the freedom ( read greed) the ‘free’ market engenders and the fact that so many people are desperate for accommodation. Each time there is a viewing for a property to rent in Dublin, there is usually a queue of people all needing somewhere to live. The standard of properties to let in Dublin is still appalling and completely unregulated and tenants have no choice but to accept the escalating prices, alongside very poor furnishings and fittings. I speak for many when I say that tenants are too scared to speak out and ask for anything to be done, lest the landlord give notice: citing the reason as a member of the family moving in, or sale. This has happened to me four times in a row. More needs to be done to protect tenant’s rights.

    • CharlesM at 2:18 pm

      Let’s expand your view of Greed: Have a look at a real landlords months income:
      Rent Income €1,100.00
      Mgt & Fees -€98.00
      Mortgage €411
      Income Tax €477 (to our glorious Gov)
      Net: €114 to pay for capital, maintenance, wear & tear..

      Yep!! Definitely greed all right, but look towards FG/Lab not shmucks like me..
      I can never pay this debt back and I am in negative equity by €125,000.

    • AS15169 (@AS15169) at 1:45 pm

      Lisa, it seems you had a lot of bad luck. Why this happens to you, and four times, I cannot possibly assess, but it’s *not* the norm. I know you will come up with other examples you know of, but that’s irrelevant. I for instance never kicked out a tenant, and I believe this is due to my exhaustive screening prior giving those a lease that fit my sense of security best. This is just pure logic and business elementary.
      So I truly believe that how landlords are depicted and therefore perceived these days needs to change radically. I keep my properties in tip top condition and as a private business, I can absolutely not see how a public governing body tells me how I conduct my business. Employers for instance fire employees on gross misconduct every day, and they don’t employ unsuitable people in the first place *despite* them having a constitutional right to (theoretically) work. I am getting tired of these LL accusations and the more I hear the less I am willing to work something out should there ever be a defaulter. Rest assured, landlords will only come up with a stronger lobby in response – no mistake here.

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