Your question

I am disabled.  I have applied to rent a property but and have been told that I am unsuitable. Is this lawful?

Your answer

Probably not but it depends.  If your application is being rejected because you are disabled, then this will be unlawful discrimination.  

The Equality Act 2010 sets out a number of ‘protected characteristics’ one of which is disability.  Buying and renting property is one of the circumstances where it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic.

If you are being unlawfully discriminated against you may be able to claim compensation.

However, to succeed in a claim you will need to prove that you were being rejected for the property because of your disability.  So if the landlord or letting agent had actually meant that they thought you were unsuitable because they did not think you could afford the rent –  this would not be unlawful.  

If you think you have been discriminated against unlawfully, you can get advice from a tenants organisation such as Shelter or from the Equalities Commission.  You will find further sources of help in our Further Advice Services article.  But read our article below on discrimination first.

Member Free guide

A Quick Guide to Discrimination

Looking at discrimination, when it will be unlawful, and also considering the adjustments that need to be made for disabled people.

8-12 minutes to read

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