Tenants right across Australia know all too well the kind of discrimination that can be experienced when applying for rental accommodation and signing tenancy leases. The tactic, often employed by landlords and agents, is to divert from the standardised tenancy agreement and ask questions that could be used to discriminate…READ MORE
Landlords and real estate agencies are in some cases allowed to ask questions as part of the tenancy application process which can be used to discriminate a tenant, based upon their legal life-style choices.
Whilst a savvy landlord or real estate agency would not likely disclose these discriminatory reasons for application refusal (for fear of litigation), it would be unwise to assume this does not occur behind closed doors.
The point is this:
If questions on the tenancy application form should hold no bearing on the financial decision making process of approving a tenants application, why should they be asked at all?
For example, landlords and real estate agencies would argue that knowing how many children an applicant has, the marital status of the applicant and/or pets being members of the family - form part of the decision-making and approval process.
The fact is, it should not be left to the discretion of landlords and real estate agencies to decline or choose a more preferable applicant based on the applicant's legal life-style choice. Applications for tenancy should be judged on the financial capacity, credit worthiness and rental history of the applicant, rather than their legal life-style choices.
If an applicant would otherwise have been approved, these kinds of legal life-style choices should have no impact on the outcome of the tenancy application.
Tenant Rights will address clearly discriminatory based questions in tenancy applications by including provisions in the National Residential Tenancies Act (see National Tenancy Body), which disallows any legal life-style based questions that should not impact an otherwise successful tenancy application.
Posts in "Anti Discrimination"
This policy has been developed with input from RSPCA Australia. Tenant Rights wrote recently on "Why tenants MUST have the right to keep family pets" where key issues around renting with pets were highlighted. Tenant Rights spoke about the impact negative attitudes toward pets in rentals has for families, who…READ MORE
First of all, let's call this so called debate in Parliament for what it actually is. It is an abuse of our Constitution, justice and democracy. Present and past Senators have openly allowed religious law, morality and ritual to dominate Parliamentary debate and influence law. Religious laws, which oppose marriage…READ MORE
With 1 in 4 Australian women and 1 in 12 Australian men reporting domestic or sexual violence in research conducted in 2012, it's time to have a look at the impact that tenant rights issues, housing affordability and discrimination has on victims of domestic violence. Without access to fee-free government advice &…READ MORE
Shockingly - it's estimated 19,879 family pets per year are surrendered to the RSPCA because landlords say NO. That's the cruel reality behind renting with family pets in Australia. 99,399 family pets (dogs and cats) were surrendered to the RSPCA last year. In Victoria alone, 1 in 5 surrendered pets…READ MORE