Housing and the Equality Act 2010
How the Equality Act 2010 protects your housing rights
Local Authority Housing
It is unlawful for public authorities to discriminate when providing public services. This covers the work of local authorities, including their provision of housing services.
Registered social landlords (RSLs) are also bound by the Equality Act 2010.
This means that:
- Lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people must have equal access to housing
- Housing providers must take action to help a LGB or T tenant who is experiencing homophobic or transphobic abuse or harassment from other tenants
- Staff should treat LGB and T users as courteously and professionally as they do other users, whatever their own personal views
- Planners of services will need to take steps to ensure that LGB and T people have fair access to the services which they need
Renting and selling property
The law prohibits discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity when "disposing of premises", for example when selling or renting property. T
This could cover:
- Refusing to sell or rent the premises to someone because they are LGB or T
- Offering a different price or terms to someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
- Discriminating against people on a list of those requiring housing; for example by giving priority to people of a certain sexual orientation or gender identity, or deliberately overlooking them
- It is also unlawful for the manager of a property, such as a landlord, to discriminate against a tenant or someone associated with them on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This could cover all aspects of a landlord's responsibilities, such as upkeep of the facilities or eviction
What to do if you have experienced discrimination
If you think that you have been discriminated against by a housing provider and that it is because you are LGB or T, then this could possibly be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 depending on the individual circumstances.
Try to resolve the matter with the organisation or your local authority directly. Contact them in person or write a formal letter of complaint. You could also talk to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau about your individual housing situation and find out what you can do.
If this makes no difference you could try getting some legal advice- see our What's in my Area database for LGB and T friendly solicitors.
You could also contact Stonewall Scotland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 474 8019 for further information. Please note that we cannot provide legal advice or take on individual cases, but we may be able to signpost you to an organisation who can help.