The Equality Act is applied to publicly available services relating to the sale and rental of apartments
Accommodation and choice of tenant
The Equality Act is applied to rental advertisements
The Equality Act is applied to publicly available services relating to the sale and rental of apartments. Therefore e.g. letting agencies offer a publicly available service which falls under the scope of the Equality Act.
Estate agents and letting agents often accept assignments which include conditions set by the landlord which the future tenant must meet. Such conditions are often related to the tenant's way of life, tidiness, reliability or gender, for example.
A letting agent will not be discharged from their liability for prohibited discrimination based on gender by simply referring to the fact that the discrimination was based on conditions set by the landlord.
Letting or selling an apartment in a person's own use is often excluded from the scope of the Equality Act in the same way as e.g. a subtenancy or subletting an apartment.
Offering accommodation services professionally and as a commercial activity does, however, fall under the scope of the Equality Act, and it also applies to offering an investment property for rental to the public.
(TAS 270/2007; TAS 165/2008; TAS 39/2015)
Choosing a tenant for shared accommodation
Provision of accommodation exclusively or mainly to representatives of one gender is allowed if it is justified in order to achieve a legitimate objective and this objective is sought to be achieved by appropriate and necessary means. The reason for the different treatment of women and men in the letting of accommodation may, for example, be based on considerations of modesty in a flat share arrangement.
Letting agents may, for example, look for a female tenant for a free room in a shared flat if the flat only has one bathroom, and the other tenants in the shared flat are women.