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Making sure you treat everyone equally and fairly

Updated: 23 Jan 2017
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You cannot discriminate on the basis of gender, disability or race
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It is illegal to discriminate, either directly or indirectly, on the basis of gender, disability or race. This includes discrimination in relation to colour, nationality, national or ethnic group. As a landlord you must not discriminate or harass your tenant either intentionally or unintentionally.
There are specific legal obligations under the Race Relations (NI) Order 2003 not to discriminate on the grounds of race. Under the Disability Discrimination (NI) Order 2006 it is unlawful if you are letting a property to discriminate against a disabled person. A landlord also has a duty to make reasonable alterations for disabled people.
The Equality Commission has responsibility for enforcing the Race Relations (NI) Order 2003, and has a wide range of powers to ensure compliance with the legislation, including powers of enquiry and investigation into the conduct of landlords – private and public – who it suspects are discriminating on racial grounds.

Examples of discrimination

  • A landlord withholds information about available accommodation of the type being sought by a particular racial group, but assists another racial group
  • A landlord refuses to let a property to or accept as a lodger someone from a particular racial group
  • A landlord refuses to let a property to a disabled person
  • A landlord evicts or harasses a tenant for a reason connected with his/her disability
For more information on the Race Relations Order contact the Equality Commission.