legal liability of only allowing a certain age group in HMO

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    legal liability of only allowing a certain age group in HMO

    Hi

    Is there a liabilty of age discrimination in a HMO? I have tenants who want people their own age and want to turn away older, perfectly
    fine applicants, 10 years or so older. You see this all the time on room advertising sites.

    Is this a legal risk to discriminate?

    thanks

    #2
    You presumably are the Landlord so you decide who to let to.

    It sounds unquestionably like age discrimination, unlawful.

    I do discriminate over tenants - in favour of those who appear able to pay and with a track record of looking after properties.
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      How do sites like spare room operate so blatantly whey seem to encourage unlawful discrimination?

      Comment


        #4
        You'd have to ask them:

        Exactly what sort of unlawful discrimination are you referring to - gender, religion, skin colour, age, gypsy.... ??
        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

        Comment


          #5
          It is normal for people in a similar age range to ASK if you could see your way to replace tenants with similar age ranges.
          Personal choice of room mates is not illegal.
          Asking is not illegal.
          An 18 year old is legally allowed to not want to live with an 80year old. ( or what ever age you think is incompatible )

          I am allowed ( if I ever HAD to live in an HMO ) to choose an HMO that has similar age ranges, same sex tenants, and will refuse to commit to a house that does not meet my preferences.

          Comment


            #6
            From a two second google.

            Quote"The Equality Act has an exemption for age discrimination, allowing it when it can be ‘objectively justified’. That means the employer or service provider must show why they have a good reason for discriminating on the basis of age." Unquote

            For purposes of fire risk assessments, shared houses where tenants mix and act as a group are treated differently from pure bedsit accomodation where tenants keep themselves to themselves. A possible objectively justified reason for selecting similarly aged tenants I would say.

            Even the fact a similar aged group may be more stable and remain as longer term tenants could be obectively justified reason I would say.

            Comment


              #7
              I understand there is an exemption for long-term property which is why "retirement flats" can exclude persons under a certain age, no children etc.. But for short term ASTs without a resident landlord? Nah (or a prize to anyone finding the law saying it's OK)
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                andybenw,

                The equality act has a lot of exemptions, but it depends on the circumstances. Age seems to be a protected characteristic, and we're talking about people in their 20s not wanting a 35 year old for example anyway if you wanted to argue the extreme case.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Tenants can ask for the moon if they want, this is about actual discrimination, and legal liabilities to you.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by regain View Post
                    Tenants can ask for the moon if they want, this is about actual discrimination, and legal liabilities to you.
                    But it is impossible to supply the moon, but not impossible to state in an add, "currently occupied by students aged 18 to 22", thereby letting applicants discriminate.

                    You are running a business, and your object is to ensure you get full occupation to cover your costs.
                    If by ignoring your "simple" tenants request, you run the risk of people leaving, them telling others not to consider your property because you don't care what reprobates, or "Old" people you put in there.

                    If you get future applications, it's easy to state in an add, "currently occupied by students aged 18 to 22" and choose from your hopefully Many applications a low age range.
                    You can legally say, we had 10 applications, only want 3, so sorry, we have had to decline 7 of them, ( you old 30 year olds ) and you were one of them.

                    Your brief is to ensure your tenants are happy, ( warm / dry etc ), + you have full occupancy, if you do not want happy tenants, ignore their request.

                    No one is going to get the police to see your applications, and take you to court.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think that there is an age discrimination exemption for all types of letting, I remember not believing this when I read it, but checked with the Equalities Commission and they confirmed it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have just read s198
                        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/198
                        198 Abolition of husband's duty to maintain wife

                        The rule of common law that a husband must maintain his wife is abolished.
                        One of the worst cases of gender discrimination is gone!
                        I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Discrimination in "small premises" is covered in para 3 of Schedule 5 of Equality Act
                          http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/schedule/5
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
                            I think that there is an age discrimination exemption for all types of letting, I remember not believing this when I read it, but checked with the Equalities Commission and they confirmed it.
                            can you remember what this was, there is conditional discrimination allowed in some circumstances, but its not blanket.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Age discrimination applies in the workplace and in specific other areas, it doesn't apply to many other areas that other characteristics would apply.
                              There's no actual statement that the regulations don't apply in property letting, it's just that the legislation that added age to the protected characteristics was quite specific about where it applied and property letting wasn't specified.
                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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