Landlords can no longer refuse to accept rent supplement

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Focus Ireland say many landlords are acting in a completely illegal way by continuing to advertise they will not consider rent supplement tenants.

The agency has welcomed today's move by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to warn landlords that it is now illegal to discriminate against people on rent supplement.

The new law came into effect on the 1st of January.

Mike Allen from Focus Ireland says it is not the only challenge facing people trying to rent a home:

"The main discrimination which people on rent supplement face, is that the government won't give them sufficient rent supplement to pay the rent... We simply want to get the market rent and the Department of Social Protection is refusing to give people on rent supplement sufficient rent."

Anyone who advertises a property saying that rent allowance is not accepted, or who refuses to rent to someone on rent allowance could be fined up to €15,000.

Irish Human Rights Equality Commissioner Emily Logan explains:

"People in receipt of either rent supplement, housing assistance payment, or other social welfare payments can no longer be discriminated against in relation to the provision of accommodation or related services. 

So people might be aware when they go on to well-known property websites, they will see, in capital letters - rent allowance no longer accepted - so that is now illegal to do."

Journalist Caroline O'Doherty, of The Examiner newspaper told Newstalk Breakfast she has found evidence that landlords are breaking the new rules: 

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