As June kicks off, you may notice that rainbows cropping in your local community and online. All around the world people are showing their support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, plus (LGBT+) community for Pride Month 2023.
Heyworth Gordon is proud to champion this cause and help to celebrate the progress that’s been made for the LGBT+ movement.
From our small soapbox, we’d like to take a moment to say, loudly and clearly, that Everyone Deserves to Have a Home – LGBT+ discrimination in the housing market should be relegated to the history books!
We’d like to take a moment to communicate the highlights from the Equality Act 2010 in order to spread awareness and tolerance.
Prohibition on discrimination by Landlords and Agents
Under the Equality Act 2010, a person who is letting out or managing accommodation must not unlawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their protected characteristic:
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Reassignment
- Religion or Belief
- Pregnancy or Maternity
The Equality Act also imposes obligations on those concerned with the provision of services to the public or to a section of the public, whether in the private, public, or voluntary sectors. 
Different Forms of Discrimination
This occurs when a Landlord treats a Tenant (or applicant) less favourably because of a protected characteristic. For example, a Landlord refusing to let a property to a gay couple after learning of their sexual orientation.
Direct discrimination is only capable of being justified in extremely limited circumstances.
Direct discrimination by perception or by association
This happens when a person is treated less favourably because they are thought to have a protected characteristic or because they keep the company of someone that has a protected characteristic.
For example, if a Tenant was denied a lease agreement because a transgender friend attended the property viewing in order to give a valued second opinion – this would constitute discrimination by association.
This means people cannot treat someone in a way that violates their dignity, or creates a hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It’s important to note that harassment does not need to be verbal, it can occur digitally as well.
For example, if a Landlord had a property WhatsApp or Message group with Tenants (a lesbian couple) where the Landlord puts objectifying or sexually charged comments, causing the couple upset, then this would constitute harassment.
People are not allowed to treat someone unfairly if action has been taken (or is actively being taken) under the Equality Act. This also includes those who are supporting people that are standing up and taking action.
For example, a Tenant makes a complaint against their Landlord and then is served eviction paperwork as a consequence.
If you think you might have been treated unfairly the we would like to encourage you to contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service
Phone: 0808 800 0082 Textphone: 0808 800 0084
9am to 7pm Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays