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 against tenants, without having to disclose why they have declined an application.
While discrimination laws forbid some of these questions, it does not stop it and other sneaky methods of questioning and interviews from occurring. Just some examples of these have included:
- Marital Status
- Pets (read our pet policy)
- Number of Occupants
- Bank Statement
- Sexual Orientation
- Health Condition
- Religious / Political Beliefs
- Social Housing / Welfare history
- Apprehended Violence Order disclosure
A tenancy application is designed to determine an applicant's financial capability and renting record only. This is for the purposes of approving a would-be tenant. These kinds of questions above do not provide any information which should aid in that decision, with exception to discriminating against the applicants for their legal lifestyle choices and/or circumstances. This is not acceptable!
It is our view that not only should asking these questions be illegal (and in some cases, they already are) - but landlords and agents should not be allowed to use their own tenancy application forms which vary from a standardised form that ensures tenants cannot be discriminated against.
Tenants should only have to provide enough information to demonstrate their capability to rent and tenants should be allowed to have a family of any size, so long as it fits within the council regulations and strata bylaws for the type of dwelling and size.
Mandatory "No Bias, No Discrimination" National Tenancy Application
Under our policy to nationalise renting laws across Australia (see National Tenancy Body) we will implement a mandatory national tenancy application form and tenancy lease.
These mandatory forms will be limited to asking the following of the applicant's personal information:
- Name of applicant(s)
- Contact information (e.g. telephone, email)
- Current address
- Evidence of rental history
- Evidence of ability to pay rent
- Proof of identity: license ID number or other (e.g. passport or photo ID numbers)
Landlords and agents will not be allowed to limit the number of occupants as this is already determined through council regulation and strata bylaws for all types of residential dwellings and sizes.
Please help us put an end to the discrimination of tenants by joining our fight for tenant rights.