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Housing Rights

Housing Discrimination Solicitors

Jayesh Kunwardia
Partner
Daniel Fitzpatrick
Partner
Farzana Chowdhury
Partner
Sophie Bell
Partner

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors hold a legal aid contract to advise those who have been discriminated against in housing matters.

Discrimination means treating a person less favourably because of who they are.

Our experienced team of specialist solicitors will help you to fight for justice and achieve the outcome you deserve. We work closely with charities as well as with individuals and their families affected  by discrimination.

Are you protected by the law?

The Equality Act 2010 protects you against discrimination by many different organisations and individuals. This includes landlords and other housing providers, public bodies like government departments and local authorities, businesses and organisations providing goods or services such as estate agents and building contractors.

It is against the law if you’re discriminated because of:

  • Age
  • Gender reassignment
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The above are called protected characteristics. It’s also against the law for anyone to discriminate against you because:

  • They think you have a protected characteristic and you don’t 
  • You’re associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend
  • You’ve  complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim of discrimination

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors also use the Human Rights Act 1998 to challenge discrimination not covered by the Equality Act. This involves a breach of your rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

"THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR HELPING ME THROUGH THIS CRUCIAL TIME IN MY LIFE. I AM VERY THANKFUL FOR YOUR DEDICATED AND SINCERE ADVICE TO MY CASE."

What counts as discrimination?

Discrimination can take a number of forms:

Direct discrimination

This is treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than another person without that protected characteristic.

Indirect discrimination

This is putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but it puts someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.

Harassment

This is unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic.

Victimisation

This is treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment

Contact our specialist team on
or request a call back.

Examples & common scenarios of discrimination in relation to housing

Our team is extremely experienced in bringing claims (and counterclaims) and making sure that you’re treated fairly. This can be seen by our previous challenges. Some examples of the cases we have successfully handled include:

Disability challenges

  • A request for a reasonable adjustment on behalf of a partially sighted client to have all written correspondence in large font.
  • Defending possession and injunction claims against tenants on grounds of alleged anti-social behaviour, where the behaviour was caused by the tenants’ disability.
  • A challenge to an allocations policy that discriminated against disabled people who required an adapted property.

Gender challenges

  • A challenge to a local housing authority for placing a transgender female in an all-male accommodation with shared showering facilities.

Welfare challenges

  • A request for a reasonable adjustment on behalf of a tenant being evicted for rent debt, as our client couldn’t manage her finances due to a mental health condition. We requested  her debt be paid directly from her Income Support.
  • A challenge against the Department of Work and Pensions of the unreasonable delay in processing our client’s Personal Independence Payments (PIP), and so saving them from the benefit cap that was causing them rent debt.
  • A challenge against a local housing authority for their failure to make a decision on a tenant’s Housing Benefit claim.

Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

Depending on your case it’s possible to achieve:

A reasonable adjustment

For example, we’ve represented a tenant who was deaf and her son who was blind. We sought for there to be two different types of doorbells fitted– one audio and one visual to make it easier for them to live in the property.

The adjustment must be reasonable. You couldn’t  ask your landlord to start making structural changes to a property, for example widening doorways for a wheelchair, but it would be reasonable to ask for a non-fixed ramp to a front door to allow wheelchair access.

Changes to a policy or practice that will stop the problem happening again, or happening to someone else

For example, we could obtain changes to a local authority’s housing allocation scheme to make it fairer, not only for you but for other people who face the same challenges that you do.

"I AM GRATEFUL TO YOU THAT YOU TOOK ALL THE STRESS AND RESTORED EVERYTHING FOR ME."

An apology

Many of our clients simply want the discrimination to be acknowledged and to receive an apology.

For the discrimination to stop

This is going to be a priority if the discrimination is ongoing.

Compensation

Compensation could be available if you’ve been distressed,  upset or have lost money as a result of the discrimination.

Housing discrimination compensation

In a claim for discrimination related to housing you could get compensation for:

  • Any money you have lost because of the discrimination, known as ‘financial losses’.

Examples are: the cost of temporary accommodation, storage costs, removal costs, lost wages if you had to take time off work, the cost of replacing any damaged items, etc. You must keep receipts or invoices for any extra expenses, as you will need these as evidence.

  • The emotional impact of the discrimination, such as hurt or distress, known as ‘injury to feelings’.
  • A personal injury, such as depression or a physical injury, caused by the discrimination.
  • Any exceptionally bad behaviour from the other side, which has aggravated the impact the discrimination has had on you. This is known as ‘aggravated damages’.

You’ll need to show that you’ve tried to minimise your financial losses, known as ‘mitigating your losses’. You could do this by showing, for example, you found alternative accommodation or went to stay with friends or family.

 

Contact our specialist team on
or request a call back.
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    Challenging Housing Decisions