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Question about discrimination and renting

By PickedANickname - 30 October 2009 44

I have a friend who is in a wheelchair and is on disability and the spouse works as a nurse.  They also have a small child. They are seeking to rent somewhere that is near a primary school so my friend can “wheel” her child to school.  The spouse makes just enough to disqualify them for housing but they do get some disability support and FTB.

The disability happened in the last 9 months so originally when they rented, the place was within an ok walking distance but well, now it is what it is.

They have been applying for new places but without much luck.  The market is really tight. Usually they are the last ones to the inspections or have to wait to view because the chair is difficult in crowded situations.

The last rental they didn’t get because the owner only wanted a married couple with a double income.

So my question is, can a landlord discriminate a future tenant that way?  Is the real estate agent crazy for passing along that reason to my friend?

It just doesn’t feel ethical.

What’s Your opinion?


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44 Responses to
Question about discrimination and renting
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Ceej1973 8:00 am 07 May 10

Pandy said :

I want to discriminate against smokers in my rental homes! What stops me?

Sorry to drag this one up again, but Stanhope is getting tough on smokers so why can’t I?

While I am at it, “No Pets”. Why cannot I not specify that?

This theme has been brought up more recently Pandy. Personally, I would change Agents. When we looked for Tenants last year, we had the choice of “yes/no” with applicants who had pets.

Ian 8:00 am 07 May 10

As far as I’m aware you can discriminate against smokers to your heart’s content, and rightfully so.

Unless they can argue that smoking is a disability, a political or religious conviction, a profession or industrial activity. So if I’m a Rastafarian marijuana tester you’re stuck with me?

Pandy 12:15 am 07 May 10

I want to discriminate against smokers in my rental homes! What stops me?

Sorry to drag this one up again, but Stanhope is getting tough on smokers so why can’t I?

While I am at it, “No Pets”. Why cannot I not specify that?

prhhcd 1:09 pm 11 Nov 09

Hmm interesting post. As a landlord myself I will tell you honestly what I look for. Don’t have a go at me here – it might just help all of you looking for a place. (in order of importance)
1. the “feeling” I get from the person. Gut instinct nothing else
2. INCOME!!!!!
3. Length of relationship – if a couple
4. Willingness to comply with my “wants” ie. time to move in etc.
I personally prefer people with small pets. I figure you can tell a lot about people if you see their pet (so I always ask that they bring them along).

And before anyone says anything about discrimination….. In the last few years I’ve had the following tenants:
Gay couple (m) with cat
Straight couple with cat
Older (65+)couple about to move into retirement village in Canberra (short tenancy)
Apprentice chef
bi emo couple with 1 snake, 2 dragons and a cat
married couple with kids
chinese student
uni students (postgrad and undergrad)
blind woman with bird
etc..

The one big thing I can’t stand is ppl who offer me more than what I am asking for in rent! No, it will not help you, because I could (and rightly so) get in trouble for that. I had someone offer me $490p/w on a $350 p/w unit….
GRR!

In your situation pickedanickname, I agree with several others. Send spouse along on their own. I can’t see the wheelchair being an issue – honestly, but just in case.
Unfortunately my house has massive amounts of stairs so I can’t help out.
🙁

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