Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Rent act does not protect LGBT community

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2019 | 12:10 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Housing is a major challenge for the LGBT community, with many persons having issues finding living spaces. This challenge is due to a lack of protection from discrimination in the legislation on housing. The Rent Restriction Act, which was passed in 1944, was crafted to protect tenants from landlords acting unreasonably and oppressively. However, based on the legislation, this is not afforded to members of the LGBT community.

Currently, under the Rent Restriction Act, landlords have the capacity to evict tenants, where the tenant or persons residing with them is guilty of conduct that is deemed to be a nuisance or annoyance to adjoining occupiers, or the tenant is using the premises for an immoral purpose. The landlord may seek protection under the act by stating that LGBT tenants are conducting themselves in ways that annoy other tenants, or that homosexuality is immoral, and the tenants are using the house to engage in homosexual acts.

The vagueness of the language used in the Rent Restriction Act creates a space in which discrimination in housing can occur. This means that anti-discrimination legislation is needed to ensure that the rights of LGBT citizens are protected.

Renae Green