Can a landlord be selective about families renting their property?
It’s a tricky question but one that needs answering, especially considering the ever-evolving and changing world of property investment. Based on human rights – I’m opening a can of worms here by discussing what is right and wrong – you surely can’t discriminate against a family who is simply trying to make a living.
With the difficulties surrounding job security in the UK’s recession, high interest rates and even just the ability to save for a deposit (hence schemes like Help to Buy), renting is becoming a more feasible option by the minute, with a whopping 1.7 million families raising children in the UK, with a further three million in the sector. Nevertheless, as a family it can be tricky to find the right location, situation and size. What do you do when there’s a student party next door? What about living in the city centre, with bars open until the early hours.
It’s not just the economy that’s changing too. Don’t forget the new legislations in place this year, with the Tenancy Fee Ban and Section 21 Evictions soon a mere memory, a bit like what I had for dinner yesterday.This debate is even making national news with fair points from both sides. While a landlord has the right to refuse based on certain grounds, they must back this up with a valid reason why it would be unsafe for a child to live in their property.
With 35% more homes rented privately through landlords to families than socially, Residential Landlords Association Policy Manager John Stewart claims not all properties are ideal for a family.”That said, not all private rented homes are suitable for children, for example Houses of Multiple Occupation or city centre blocks of flats that may have no nearby space for children to play, ” remarked Stewart.”Landlords should always ensure that properties they rent to families with children are suitable and safe to meet the needs of such tenants.
“While some laws have been discussed and later passed to give tenants greater options, not allowing children into the equation could disappoint a great amount of the lettings industry, opening up discrimination lawsuits against landlords. Hopefully a compromise can be found between those who own a property and tenants who wish to settle with a family, allowing the safe rental of a property for families. Because of the protection in place against tenants being treated unfairly or differently (Equality Act), landlords will have to be careful but fair when renting out their property.