Equality and anti discrimination legislation applies to housing as well as other services. If you feel your housing provider has discriminated against you, get advice from Housing Rights or the Equality Commission.
You could be a victim of direct discrimination, indirect discrimination or disability related discrimination. Sometimes you may be treated in a way that can be reasonably justified although it may seem unfair.
Discrimination and equality law sets out certain things that service providers have to do to provide access to their services. This can include providing information about their services in other languages or adapting services and accommodation so that they are suitable for people with disabilities.
The Disability Discrimination Order can protect you from being treated unfairly because of a disability. This can protect you if you’ve been refused assistance or asked to leave your accommodation because of action that’s attributable to a mental health problem.
When you communicate with your tenants you need to ensure that you do so in an appropriate and timely manner. If your tenants have literacy issues or do not speak English, you will need to consider how you can effectively communicate with them.
Even if you've hired an agent to manage your rental properties, you must make yourself aware of your legal obligations to your tenants. If a legal dispute arises you will need to show that you conducted yourself according to your legal obligations. If you're paying an agent to do this for you, make sure they have a sound knowledge of the legislation that governs the private rented sector in Northern Ireland.
Your tenancy agreement can give you additional rights, beyond those afforded to you in legislation. When drawing up a tenancy agreement, remember that any terms which are seen to be unfair are unenforceable.