Discrimination Act and Leasing your Rental Property
By | 12th Feb 18

Discrimination Act and Leasing your Rental Property

When leasing your rental property there are many things you need to be aware of. One area that is often misunderstood or ignored is discrimination and the Equal Opportunity rights. This is an area that hasn’t received much attention to date with many Property Managers and owners ignoring the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.   So, when does this Act apply to leasing your property and what can you do to ensure you are compliant and avoid a complaint that could result in excessive fines.

Firstly, the Act states that you must not directly or indirectly discriminate against a person on the grounds such as age, employment activity, gender identity, disability, marital status, parental status, physical features, pregnancy, race, political belief and more.

Another important area of the Act relates to assistance pets. Many owners deem their properties not suitable for having any animals due to a number of reasons. We all know that guide dogs must be treated differently to normal pets, but many children and adults are now using assistance pets to treat a number of issues including dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, Autism, Emotional support and physical disabilities.

If a prospective tenant applies for a property and has an assistance animal, Section 53 of the Act states that a person must not be discriminated against : -

(a) By varying the terms on which the accommodation is provided to the other person; or
(b) By denying or limiting access by the other person to any benefit associated with the accommodation; or
(c) By evicting the other person from the accommodation; or
(d) By refusing to extend or renew the provision of accommodation to the other person; or
(e) In the terms on which the provision of accommodation to the other person is extended or renewed; or
(f) By subjecting the other person to any other detriment in connection with the provision of accommodation to that person.

All tenancy applications must be reviewed against many different criteria including rental history and references, employment history, proof of adequate income to fulfil living expenses and personal references. Should a prospective tenant’s application pass the application checking process, then both Property Managers and Landlords need to be aware they do not then discriminate due to other factors.

For more information on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our Property Management Department on 9883 8900. Or to be kept up to date with all things property related, follow Advantage Property Consulting on Facebook or subscribe to our monthly newsletter by clicking here.