A Landlords Guide

I have searched every where for a landlords guide to the Equality Act 2010 and surprisingly there is nothing available so I will give it a go here. In particular, the most common duty under the Act for landlords will be in relation to adapting premises for disabled persons.

Background

The Equality Act 2010 primarily took effect on 1 October 2010 and it consolidates and replaces acts and regulations relating to discrimination for protected characteristics.

Protect Characteristics

The protected characteristics are:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation.

[s.4 Equality Act 2010]

Direct Discrimination

A person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others.

If the protected characteristic is age, A does not discriminate against B if A can show A’s treatment of B to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

If the protected characteristic is disability, and B is not a disabled person, A does not discriminate against B only because A treats or would treat disabled persons more favourably than A treats B.

If the protected characteristic is race, less favourable treatment includes segregating B from others.

[s.13 Equality Act 2010]

Discrimination arising from disability

A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if—

A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability, and A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

This does not apply if A shows that A did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that B had the disability.

[s.15 Equality Act 2010]

Adjustments

For the purposes of this article I will split the duty to make adjustments into three categories, namely:

  • Adjustments to the services a landlord (or agent) offers including adjustments to lettings literature and tenancy agreements

  • Structural alterations to office premises in connection with letting

  • Structural adjustments to the tenancy property itself including physical adjustments such as ramps or stair lifts for example

Adjustments to the service including literature and tenancy agreements

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