Q&As

What can a private landlord do to try to reduce the risk of a tenant seeking to defend possession proceedings on the basis of the Equality Act 2010? If there is some suggestion of the tenant being under a disability (physical or mental) which they might seek to argue is the reason for their rent arrears for example, should the landlord be preparing a statement setting out the reasons why their decision to seek possession is not based on discrimination at the outset?

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Published on LexisPSL on 27/03/2019

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What can a private landlord do to try to reduce the risk of a tenant seeking to defend possession proceedings on the basis of the Equality Act 2010? If there is some suggestion of the tenant being under a disability (physical or mental) which they might seek to argue is the reason for their rent arrears for example, should the landlord be preparing a statement setting out the reasons why their decision to seek possession is not based on discrimination at the outset?

The Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) provides a very structured framework for non-discrimination and related duties. The starting point is the ‘protected characteristic’; forms of prohibited conduct/duties follow. It also outlines the various fields in which EqA 2010 takes effect. The main one for the purposes of property is ‘premises’ (EqA 2010, Pt 4). The obligations relate to disposals, management and the duty to make reasonable adjustments.

Under EqA 2010, s 4, the 'protected characteristics' are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The main one for the purposes of property is disability.

Under EqA 2010, s 15, a person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if:

  1. A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B's disability, and

  2. <•<
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