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.”