Equality Bill discriminates on age, says MHK

By by Adrian Darbyshire adrian.darbyshire@iomtoday.co.im Twitter:@iomAdrian by Adrian Darbyshire adrian.darbyshire@iomtoday.co.im Twitter: @iomAdrian in Politics

A LibVan MHK claims the new Equality Bill will allow landlords to discriminate against would-be tenants just because of their age.

Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper tabled an amendment to prevent what he called ’blanket discrimination’ being included in the Bill but it was defeated in the House of Keys by 19 votes to four.

Afterwards he tweeted: ’The House of Keys just voted to allow discrimination based on age when renting property as part of the Equality Bill.

’This means it will be legal for a landlord to treat you unfairly because of age.’

Proposing his amendment, Mr Hooper told MHKs: ’The clause, as currently drafted, would allow a landlord or an agent managing a property to discriminate against a person solely because of their age. Simply put, I do not think that is appropriate.


’I cannot really find a single argument in favour of allowing this blanket discrimination to be included in the Bill.’

He explained his concerns were twofold - a landlord could refuse to let a property to an older person and they could decide to refuse to let to a younger person.

’So, as currently drafted, this Bill would allow a landlord or an agent to state: "I refuse to rent my properties to anybody under the age of 25". I cannot see any justifiable reason for that.’

But Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas MHK urged members to reject the amendment.

He told them: ’There might have been some merit - and there might one day be some merit - in what Mr Hooper is talking about, but I want to speak strongly against accepting that amendment today.’

Mr Thomas said the issue was not raised in the consultation responses and that it would be wrong to make an amendment ’on the hoof’ which might have very serious implications.

He said such an amendment could be included in a forthcoming Tenancy Bill or Housing Bill.

’If it is an issue in the island - an issue that was not actually raised in the consultation that had responses to it - it will come up again and it can be dealt with properly in another place after proper consultation,’ he said.

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Conch · 188 days ago · Report

The only reason young tenants get a bad press is because the minority bad spoil it for the majority good. Landlords are to blame as they will let to anyone who comes up with the cash . Landlords shouldn't judge based on age. There is an itinerant population on the island of flat dwellers who come and go . Our young should be able to live in affordable, quality, accommodation where they can settle and work here and pay taxes and stay on the isle of man. That's the only way to build communities

Chris Thomas · 188 days ago · Report

Age is a 'protected characteristic' in our equality bill; but no concerns about age-related housing discrimination were raised previously, and the scrutiny committee across wrote: “Part 4 prohibits discrimination, harassment and victimisation in relation to the disposal, management and occupation of premises.... We have received little written evidence on the exclusion of protection against age discrimination in this context.” Treating people of different ages differently is necessary.

RichEader · 188 days ago · Report

Any modern-day discrimination bill has a provision forbidding age discrimination of any kind, but apparently not in the IOM. As regards housing, any responsible landlord is going to make a background check and require a suitable deposit before renting to someone regardless of age. But there are other aspects of age discrimination in our society that haven't been mentioned. Were you aware, for instance, that anyone of state pension age who is still working has no job protection rights?

Conch · 189 days ago · Report

Apparently the iom govt attitude seems to be when over the age of 50 you've got one foot in the grave.... you can be unfit and washed up at 30.. not much aspirations there then for those whose kids have flown the nest and wish to pursue a new career!

Conch · 189 days ago · Report

oh what a stereotypical comment that is. Under 20's are as much entitled to decent living standards as anyone else and they're not all irresponsible, don't tar them all with same brush. It is ok to discriminate positively when advertising a job that requires an applicant to be either male or female due to nature of job. They shouldn't assume that all young people are louts, same as you can get older louts. Age has got nothing to do with it actually

Omobono · 189 days ago · Report

This Young man should get some more life experience before he rabbits on about equality ,who in their right mind wants to give a tennancy agreement to anyone under 20 , I have seen decent properties wrecked. By irresponsible drunken young people ,who continually misbehave and make life intolerable for other tenants sharing the building , landlords right to decide who he wants as a tennant , particularly when they come with no deposit no references and often no job or on the social ,

Gav · 189 days ago · Report

Greedy Rotten Bigots. And that is my opinion of those that voted for this bullying.Age discrimination is a problem.A young person cannot rent a flat or a house anywhere. Read the adverts.Excluded. They are not wanted, but they are NEEDED by the economy.Nasty self-serving s--t hole,IOM.

ET · 189 days ago · Report

It certainly is an issue Mr Thomas. As is the CM's declared focus on attracting 20 to 40 year old's to bolster the economy. How unequal can it get for those out there 41 to 65? Another potential strategic fiasco?

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