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Disability Discrimination

This is my take on Disability Discrimination in renting.

Most of us would agree that discrimination to disabled persons is highly unethical and should be avoided whenever possible. However In the past this has been an arduous task when attempting to rent property due to standard requirement of many landlords of "No DSS" or "Employed Only" and so forth. This clearly unduly effects disabled persons, as in the majority of cases, it is the disabled persons disability that is the reason that they are subject to these requirements. Parliament has now recognised this type of issue and has created a new discrimination class in the Equalities Act 2010 to resolve these very discriminatory practices.

This new class is identified as "Discrimination arising from disability"

The relevant part of the act is Chapter 2, section 15:

(a) A treats B unfavorably because of something arising in consequence of B's disability

So, for example, if a restaurant has a sign saying "No Dogs Allowed", while this will prohibit most persons with dogs, it would be unlawful to prohibit blind persons as they have a dog in consequence of their disability.

This clause is very general in its applicability, so for example, if a person is unable to work due to their disability, then any restriction to a disabled person in providing a service to that person that is based on such an "employed only" clause, would usually be unlawful.

Indeed, The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/

In an email communication from EHRC to this author, 17/11/2010, EHRC Reference Number: 1-8340350, Ms M Johal, 

Helpline Specialist Advisor stated:


“…where you can show that you are in receipt of benefits due to your disability and are not being offered housing because of receipt of those benefits, then discrimination arising from disability could be argued…”

A more detailed document on this is:

Equalites Act 2010- Renting To The Disabled.pdf

 

 

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