London landlords and estate agents renting to ‘white, female tenants’ only

London landlords and estate agents renting to ‘white, female tenants’ only

Some London landlords and estate agents are allegedly renting properties strictly to “white/female tenants”, an online social media post has suggested. In a Reddit post from last night, an individual claimed that their friend, who works in an estate agents in an undisclosed area of London, works with multiple discriminatory landlords who won’t accept certain tenants because of their race, ethnicity and gender.

The Reddit user wrote: “My friend works for an Estate Agent in London & they have many landlords/landladys who don’t want anyone of colour or any males to rent out the rooms in their property.” They added that the reason landlords only want white people living in their properties is because “they don’t like the attitude” of people who are of a different race or ethnicity, and that females are preferred over potential male tenants because they are “friendly and safer” and are less likely to have “payment issues”.

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Others commented underneath the post, claiming that they have also been discriminated against

It was then revealed how some tenants would be excluded from the prospective renting process: “The way the agents would refuse is by asking who the property is for, if the potential tenant does not meet the ‘requirement,’ (i.e. female/white) they will ‘get a call back’ (they won’t).”

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person who is letting out or managing accommodation must not unlawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their protected characteristic. This includes: disability, race, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity status, gender, gender reassignment and sexual orientation, meaning some estate agents and landlords are breaking the law.

The post has since been flooded with dozens of comments from other users who have either been in a similar situation, or know of a friend who has. One person said: “This just reminds me of when I needed to rent somewhere in Preston with another graduate. We’re both female and brown, I’m British and she was not. We went for a viewing at a very plush two bedroom flat, and the hostility we were met with from the white estate agents was insane. They spent most of the time being quite intimidating and rudely telling us why we wouldn’t be suitable.”

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While another person wrote: “Totally illegal and the estate agent is just as culpable and behaving in unethical practice.” Another said: “It has been happening for ages. Tough if not impossible to prove or do anything about sadly.” However, others tried to justify the unlawful practice, stating that “a landlord has a right to pick and choose” whom they wish to rent their property to.

You can read the original Reddit post here.

Have you experienced discrimination from a potential landlord or estate agents while looking for a property to rent in London? Let Ruby know by writing to her at [email protected]

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