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Legal to ask about children when renting?

(18 Posts)
VintageRainBoots Thu 01-Nov-12 17:41:38

I'm curious about something...

So we're starting our apartment search in Guildford. So far, I've only looked at listings online, though Hubby and I hope to visit some places in person next week.

Several adverts I've come across say something like "perfect for professional couples" and one even said "not suitable for young children." It almost sounds as if they're discouraging renters with children.

In the US, whence we're moving, it's illegal for a landlord to ask about family status, children, or to discriminate against applicants with children. Is there a similar protection in the UK?

CuriosityKilledTheCrap Thu 01-Nov-12 19:59:23

Nope - it's OK to say no pets/chidren or DSS shock

HecatePhosphorus Thu 01-Nov-12 20:07:32

Nope. People can refuse kids and pets if they want to. There's no law against it here.

VintageRainBoots Thu 01-Nov-12 20:32:49

Wow. I'm so surprised.

LIZS Thu 01-Nov-12 20:37:49

Landlords can specify either in the description or ask for all residents to be named on the lease. Indeed it may even be a condition of the freehold if the property itself is leasehold which in turn you landlord passes on. You may be asked for a substantial deposit in case of damage too.

HecatePhosphorus Thu 01-Nov-12 20:38:48

Yup. Things are different here on this. There are landlords that take families. You can approach those that say not and offer additional deposit see if they accept. A lot of it is to do with risk of damage and mess I think

picturesinthefirelight Thu 01-Nov-12 20:41:10

My friend and her boyfriend live in a flat where, we're they ever to have children they would have to leave.

MousyMouse Thu 01-Nov-12 20:41:27

if it says 'not suitable for children' I would suspect that it isn't safe for some reason. like internal glas door without safety glas or an open fireplace(s) as only source of heating...

5madthings Thu 01-Nov-12 20:42:56

yep landlords can pick and choose, we had ds1 when we were at uni, the landlords that rented to students specified NO children, but all the landlords that rented to families specified NO students, we had a nightmare trying to find somewhere as we were students with a child!

MousyMouse Thu 01-Nov-12 20:43:30

fwiw, the previous flat said 'no children' in the ad, but we asked the landlord and he was fine with us moving in with a small child.
his explanation was, that it was standard from the letting agency to prevent over crowding.

stella1w Thu 01-Nov-12 20:44:31

When i was a landlord the agency told me i cd not discriminate against pets or kids tho i cd ask for a bigger deposit,

Graciescotland Thu 01-Nov-12 20:44:44

I moved to Canada and everyone is named on the lease including our two year old and baby who will be born later this month! That's never happened in the UK.

MainlyMaynie Thu 01-Nov-12 20:52:33

We're renting out our house while we're living abroad and our lender won't let people rent to housing benefit recipients. We then got asked by the agents whether we would let to smokers, students, people with pets, people with children. Our insurance won't cover renting to the council, asylum seekers and a couple of other things. It must be really hard for some people to find housing.

Corygal Thu 01-Nov-12 21:04:14

Landlords can choose whoever they like as tenants, and discriminate as much as they feel like, except on grounds of race or disability, which come as 'protected categories' under a different law (that is handily impossible to enforce).

Also, a landlord can get access to your property within 24 hours to check it over at any time.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Thu 01-Nov-12 21:07:54

Landlords can chose who they have as tenants. They can specify no students, no pets, no smokers, etc.
Most contracts say that the people named on the contract and their immediate family can live there. In reality, this might mean that the couple can move in their parents, should they want to, without being in breach of contract.

MousyMouse Thu 01-Nov-12 21:32:30

Also, a landlord can get access to your property within 24 hours to check it over at any time.

actually that is not correct. the ll landlord has to ask for permission to enter in writing at least 24 hours in advance but the tennant can refuse entry if they don't want.

Elegantlywasted Thu 01-Nov-12 21:38:58

yes, doesn't matter what is written into the contract, the landlord can ask for access with notice but the tenant can refuse. A landlord can only enter the property in order to deal with an emergency and as a tenant you'd be pretty daft to try and refuse enter under those cirumstances.

MousyMouse Thu 01-Nov-12 21:43:15

and emergency = proper emergency, as in blue lights not an 'oh they left the heating on during the day' kind of emergency...

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