There are laws that protect you when you are renting a property or applying to rent. However some people still experience discrimination when they apply for private rental accommodation in Victoria. The Commission conducted a survey about this issue and has produced a report Locked out: Discrimination in Victoria’s private rental market.
The Commission report about these issues, Locked out: Discrimination in Victoria’s private rental market, was released in August 2012 and is available to download in Word (RTF) or PDF format.
Locked out: Discrimination in Victoria’s private rental market highlights the struggles faced by vulnerable Victorians when trying to access the private rental market. It indicates that some people experience discrimination and stereotyping because of race, disability or having children, making it difficult for them to secure a home.
The report reveals the significant personal consequences of repeatedly being knocked back for private rental properties. It finds that most people are unlikely to make a complaint if they experience discrimination because they don’t know they can or they feel powerless to do so.
The report identifies three key actions the Commission will undertake to address discrimination in the private rental market. These include: working with the real estate industry, landlords and Consumer Affairs Victoria to raise awareness of Victoria’s anti-discrimination laws; working with the industry to implement the positive duty to prevent discrimination from occurring; and distributing materials to raise awareness for tenants about their rights.
As well as having rights under residential tenancies laws, you also have rights under Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act 2010. This makes it against the law for a landlord or rental agent to discriminate against you based on your personal characteristics including:
- sexual orientation
- mental health
- marital status
- having children or being pregnant.
A fact sheet on your rights under the Equal Opportunity Act when you are renting is also available to download: Discrimination and renting - Know your rights.