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Not allowed to view a property based on race / nationality

(113 Posts)
Oysterbabe Tue 26-Sep-17 10:56:58

A family I know are looking for a property to rent. They are Vietnamese and own a nail bar. They have been told by the agent today that they are not allowed to view a property they are interested in because the landlord does not want to rent it to someone who is Vietnamese. The agent also mentioned that they have had issues with people with nail bars subletting to their family.

Can they do this? It seems incredibly unfair. This is a lovely family who work hard and run a successful business, nothing shady about them at all. It just seems incredibly unfair that they can write them off without knowing anything about them based mostly on their race, I strongly suspect if it was British family who run a nail bar it wouldn't be an issue.

AngelaTwerkel Tue 26-Sep-17 10:58:49

That's awful! Do they have this refusal in writing?

MrsOverTheRoad Tue 26-Sep-17 10:59:10

I think they can report this to the police OP. It's not allowed!

Ifailed Tue 26-Sep-17 11:11:04

This is illegal, see The Equality Act 2010.

LurkingHusband Tue 26-Sep-17 11:12:48

Local paper ?

Oysterbabe Tue 26-Sep-17 11:13:40

They don't have it in writing but the agent very openly said it's because they're from Vietnam. Looking at the citizens advice bureau website it seems it is unlawful discrimination and I'm going to recommend that they call the police.

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 26-Sep-17 11:19:48

Is it because landlords now have to act as immigration officers and are worried that if all paperwork is not perfectly in order or the family have friends or relatives staying that have not got perfect paperwork the landlord will be at the very least face a heavy fine

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 26-Sep-17 11:22:05

I don't think being Vietnamese is the issue. It wouldn't matter where the family are from if they need visas to be here.

specialsubject Tue 26-Sep-17 11:23:11

That is indeed discrimination and is illegal. Although there's that big landlord somewhere in East Anglia who openly shouts about not renting to certain groups, and no-one seems to do anything.

On the other side, landlords who have been bitten once do get twice shy for obvious reasons. If a previous tenant filled the place up with sub-letters then it creates an illegal HMO and the landlord gets in trouble, even if no damage.

Assuming they will pass right to rent, have confirmed that they will not sublet and won't run the business from the house, the landlord has no legal right not to take them.

Oysterbabe Tue 26-Sep-17 11:23:34

I do get that they might be concerned about that. But they're letting the property through an agent who is paid to do all the required checks and make sure it's all above board. If they failed the checks then fair enough, but to not even let them view the property?

pinkmagic1 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:23:39

It's disgraceful but sadly doesn't surprise me.

Nuttynoo Tue 26-Sep-17 11:24:10

Being vietnamese isn’t the issue, owning a nail bar that employs people from vietnam is. Estate agents have to be on the look out for possible money launders / human traffickers and most (not all) vietnamese owned nail bars are very dodgy in this regard.

specialsubject Tue 26-Sep-17 11:25:22

...and oliver does have a very valid point. All prospective tenants need to pass right to rent or the LANDLORD gets fined and/or imprisoned.

Grilledaubergines Tue 26-Sep-17 11:26:21

Of course on the face of it it's wrong. But look a little deeper and you'll see why it's not an attractive proposition to rent to them. Doesn't seem quite so outlandish then.

ceecee32 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:27:56

Sadly, nail bars are are known source for human trafficking and money laundering.

MargaretTwatyer Tue 26-Sep-17 11:29:06

Yeah, I think if they complain the LL will say that it's because of the immigration rules and he wasn't satisfied they intended to live there themselves.

It's sad for them that they're being tarred with the same brush, but Vietnamese nail bars are notorious for links with organised crime, human trafficking, modern slavery and rentals being turned into cannabis farms.

alltouchedout Tue 26-Sep-17 11:31:07

I don't think being Vietnamese is the issue

They have been told by the agent today that they are not allowed to view a property they are interested in because the landlord does not want to rent it to someone who is Vietnamese

But no, their being Vietnamese has nothing to do with it hmm

GwenStaceyRocks Tue 26-Sep-17 11:31:38

They could be being racist or it could have lost some details along the way as people rushed to be outraged eg it's an issue about visas; it's a concern about money laundering; their business means their income is unstable and they haven't passed financial checks, etc.

cochineal7 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:33:44

Are they running the nail bar from this rented property? If not, their occupation should not have any influence. To the people who say nail bars are "a source of human trafficking and money laundering", don't try to find excuses. Do you really think the landlords are refusing on some grande human rights issue? Would they rent to the boss who exploits people on zero-hours contracts? Or meat-eaters? Or people working in the chocolate industry (an industry known for child-labour)? Come on.

jay55 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:33:56

Given that Vietnamese slaves are regularly used to run cannabis houses, for once I don't blame the landlord.

We have to supply passport, visa etc to landlords these days and so it's easier for them to discriminate.

Oysterbabe Tue 26-Sep-17 11:37:07

The landlord will be unable to say they didn't pass financial checks or visa checks because they haven't been done, they wouldn't even let them see it.

I appreciate the bad rap these nail bars have but I feel awful for this family who have done nothing wrong. They've lived in this country for years, their kids attend the local naice primary. They are able to supply glowing references from previous landlords but didn't get given a chance.

GwenStaceyRocks Tue 26-Sep-17 11:39:39

cochineal you seem confused - this isn't about LL's making a moral judgement. It's about LLs' legal responsibilities.
Quite simply, a proposed tenant doesn't have a right to rent every property. There are lots of restrictions from visas to finances, from families to DSS, from pets to certain occupations (eg if your career meant you spent a lot of time abroad certain LLs wouldn't accept you as a tenant because they want a minimum occupancy level).

guilty100 Tue 26-Sep-17 11:47:07

This sounds like a case of cut-and-dried discrimination. I'm afraid there is a long and sad history of it when it comes to housing. I think it may be illegal, but proving it may be difficult. sad

5rivers7hills Tue 26-Sep-17 11:48:08

Do you really think the landlords are refusing on some grande human rights issue?

No, but they are worried about a whopping great fine!

MargaretTwatyer Tue 26-Sep-17 12:06:56

Do you really think the landlords are refusing on some grande human rights issue?

If you knew there was a very strong chance somebody was involved with organised crime would you willingly get involved with them?

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