New Clause 8 - Prohibition of discrimination relating to children

Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 28 November 2023.

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“(1) A relevant person must not, in relation to a dwelling that is to be let on a relevant tenancy—

(a) on the basis that a child would live with or visit a person at the dwelling if the dwelling were the person’s home, prevent the person from—

(i) enquiring whether the dwelling is available for let,

(ii) accessing information about the dwelling,

(iii) viewing the dwelling in order to consider whether to seek to rent it, or

(iv) entering into a tenancy of the dwelling, or

(b) apply a provision, criterion or practice in order to make people who would have a child live with or visit them at the dwelling, if it were their home, less likely to enter into a tenancy of the dwelling than people who would not.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if—

(a) the relevant person can show that the conduct is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, or

(b) the relevant person can show that the prospective landlord of the dwelling, or a person who would be a superior landlord in relation to the dwelling, is insured under a contract of insurance—

(i) to which section (Terms in insurance contracts relating to children or benefits status) does not apply, and

(ii) which contains a term which makes provision (however expressed) requiring the insured to prohibit a tenant under a relevant tenancy from having a child live with or visit them at the dwelling or to restrict the circumstances in which such a tenant may have a child live with or visit them at the dwelling,

and the conduct is a means of preventing the insured from breaching that term.

(3) Conduct does not breach the prohibition in subsection (1) if it consists only of—

(a) one or more of the following things done by a person who does nothing in relation to the dwelling that is not mentioned in this paragraph—

(i) publishing advertisements or disseminating information;

(ii) providing a means by which a prospective landlord can communicate directly with a prospective tenant;

(iii) providing a means by which a prospective tenant can communicate directly with a prospective landlord, or

(b) things of a description, or things done by a person of a description, specified for the purposes of this section in regulations made by the Secretary of State.”—

This new clause bans landlords and those who act on their behalf or purport to do so from adopting certain discriminatory practices which make it harder for people who have children (or have children visit them) to obtain a relevant tenancy, as defined in NC17. This and other new clauses relating to discriminatory practices in relation to the grant of tenancies are expected to form a new Chapter 2A of Part 1 of the Bill. Other new clauses make similar provision for Wales.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.