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Discrimination – Housing Assistance Ground

The case of Mary Louise McAndrew v Carmel Kelly Bourke ADJ-0002889 demonstrates that landlords cannot discriminate against tenants in respect of the “Housing Assistance Ground” or those in receipt of the HAP or Housing Assistance Payment which is prohibited conduct pursuant to Section 3(b) of the Equal Status Act 2000 (as amended).

In this case the Adjudicator ordered the landlord to pay the Complainant €2,500 as compensation for the effects of the prohibited conduct.

Of interest the Adjudicator also ordered that the “landlord with the support of her legal advisor write a present-day apology to the complainant for the events of February 19, 2020. This would amount to a full and final action in the move towards a mutual closure in the case”.

The Adjudicator concluded that in the event that the landlord “plans to relaunch the house to the rental market that she should manage the process through an unbiased application form to assist in the transparency around the tenancy and to empower all concerned”

Employment Law Case Tip

On the 1st January 2016, the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 introduced “housing assistance” as a new discriminatory ground. This means that a landlord cannot discriminate in the provision of accommodation or related service and amenities against people in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance payments or other social welfare payments is prohibited.

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