Enquiry about pregnant prospective tenant

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    Enquiry about pregnant prospective tenant

    Hi all

    We have had an enquiry from a couple to rent our two-bed flat. The lady is pregnant. We did put no children on the ad; however we are willing to see them and let them view the flat.

    If however, we decide not to process their application further, can she sue us for discrimination on grounds of pregnancy, even though that would not be the reason for turning them down? If we did decide to let them have the flat, could we charge extra deposit because of the child?

    I have not yet replied to her request for viewing.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by scampicat; 21-10-2019, 18:04 PM. Reason: to change title

    #2
    Yes, if that's the reason...
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/la...iscrimination/

    - but if you choose not to rent to them due to say low income or no track record of looking after a place, not an issue afaik...

    Extra deposit - not more than 5 weeks rent - see...
    https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal..._on_deposits#3

    You could ask for more rent: But safer is that is for anyone, pregnant or not...
    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
      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
      Yes, if that's the reason...
      https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/la...iscrimination/

      - but if you choose not to rent to them due to say low income or no track record of looking after a place, not an issue afaik...

      Extra deposit - not more than 5 weeks rent - see...
      https://england.shelter.org.uk/legal..._on_deposits#3

      You could ask for more rent: But safer is that is for anyone, pregnant or not...
      What if we just chose someone else, just because we have to chose someone? For example, last year we had to chose between seven applicants. We chose to go forward with (i.e check references etc) with the one we just liked best (she seemed suitable as well, but so did a couple of other people). Even if you reference more than one, you still might have to just chose someone arbitrarily. .

      Comment


        #4
        Well babies and children are different things.

        Babies are not prone to writing on walls in felt tip pens for an example.

        And the prospective tenants may leave before that stage comes about.

        Up to you - any female may become pregnant after they have a tenancy, there is nothing you can do about that.
        Someone who is already pregnant would not seem to fit your no children rule because they are expecting to have a child.

        Comment


          #5
          You should be concerned about noise for residents below if it happens to be a first floor flat. Toddlers have a habit of running up and down and can be noisy, if you have laminate flooring.

          You need to consider income as well.

          For me it would not be an issue. Unlikely to charge extra rent. They are more likely to stick around, so you might loose on the wear and tear, but you might save on the void.




          Comment


            #6
            Thank you, all, for the advice. It is a ground floor flat and has carpet . I think we will just tell her that we do not allow children and not offer her a a viewing. I am worried that if we offer them a viewing and then do not take it further we will be accused of discrimination because she is pregnant.

            Comment


              #7
              Just tell her you've decided to let to somebody else. You could say they have a higher income and a fantastic credit reference or whatever. You don't need to say anything about her prospective child, in that way there is no discrimination.

              Comment


                #8
                As post number 7.
                As you say, you have lets say 10 applicants, you cant give the flat to the pregnant woman because she may sue you, because that is discrimination against the other 9.
                You would be purposely discriminating against the ones with no children especially as you said "no children" then you give it to someone with one.

                Again, you just say, you had 10 applicants and you can only choose one, and unfortunately, she is one of the 9 that you cannot accommodate, as you can only accommodate ONE family, not all 10.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thankyou Berlingogirl. We have told her that as the flat is not available for viewing until the 21st November, she can apply nearer the time and her application will be judged by the same criteria as everyone else's. She hopefully will find somewhere else during that time.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by scampicat View Post
                    Thankyou Berlingogirl. We have told her that as the flat is not available for viewing until the 21st November, she can apply nearer the time and her application will be judged by the same criteria as everyone else's. She hopefully will find somewhere else during that time.
                    You're welcome. When you advertise your property do you do a pre-viewing application? If so, what do you ask? I've not done one before but would like to weed out no-hopers but don't seem to be able to get started on the pre-viewing application form.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                      Just tell her you've decided to let to somebody else. You could say they have a higher income and a fantastic credit reference or whatever. You don't need to say anything about her prospective child, in that way there is no discrimination.
                      What, lie?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Why is the prospect looking for alt accom?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have a Polish couple who have been with me nearly six years since lady was pregnant. It has worked out well. Walls are fine, but presumably would have needed painting at this point anyway.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post

                            You're welcome. When you advertise your property do you do a pre-viewing application? If so, what do you ask? I've not done one before but would like to weed out no-hopers but don't seem to be able to get started on the pre-viewing application form.
                            Prior to a viewing I just ask 3 or 4 questions over the phone, that way there are no gdpr implications. I also think any more than that on a first contact would be offputting to good tenants.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post

                              When you advertise your property do you do a pre-viewing application?
                              I automatically send out to all enquirers;
                              "Thank you for your enquiry, please send a brief description of your circumstances (automated message)".

                              50% of respondents will give sufficient information whether to proceed or not.

                              Of the remainder, depending on response, I'll research them further and then send targeted questions to likely prospects.
                              E.g Why are they moving? Where do they work? Any credit problems etc

                              In response to DPT57, I can see all the enquiries to my ads and I honestly don't think any good tenants have been put off by my prior questions. On the contrary, they all respond positively to my taking such an interest. Perhaps it depends on the market.

                              Comment

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