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Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 that apply to premises are to be found in ss 16 and 22-24.

In relation to discrimination defences in possession claims click here; and in relation to anti-social behaviour cases click here.

Adjustments to property

The provisions that require service providers to make reasonable adjustments to property so as to prevent discrimination against the disabled came into force on 1 October 2004.

Richmond Court (Swansea) Ltd v Williams [2006] EWCA Civ 1719

A landlord was held not to be in breach of s22(3) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 when he failed to give the tenant permission to have a lift installed that would allow her to get to her flat. None of the reasons given by the landlord for refusing related to the tenant�s disability. There is no positive duty imposed on person managing premises

  • Enabling legislation by Vivien King, DJ Freeman and Peter JG Williams, Eversheds Discusses the effect the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 on landlord and tenant relationships. Physical alterations to the premises may be required (Estates Gazette 20 April 2002, p176).

  • Is this an excess of access? by Peter Hemens, Nelson Bakewell Reminds readers that as from 1 October 2004 the Act will confer a new duty on service providers .. to take such steps as is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case to remove physical features that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to make use of a service; and discusses the impact that the legislation might have on rents at rent review. (Estates Gazette, 17 January 2004, p98).

  • Colouring in the grey areas by Peter JG Williams and Katharine Fenn Explains some of the definitions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and deals with the provisions in the landlord and tenant context. (Estates Gazette, 11 September 2004, p135)

  • Practices can make perfect by Keith Bright Simple changes in management practice may be sufficient to comply with the new regime (Estates Gazette, 11 September 2004, p136)

  • Will I be responsible for the construction? by Malcom Hull More help on the DDA for landlords and tenants (Estates Gazette, 11 September 2004, p137)

  • A free rein to make changes by Keith Biddulph Discusses the effect of the Act on commercial leases, in particular the term implied by s16(2) of the right of the lessee to make alterations required by the Act. (Estates Gazette, 26 March 2005, p216).

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2005

Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (Commencement No 2) Order 2005
The Disability Discrimination (Premises) Regulations 2006.

This Act was passed on 7 April 2005. It contains provisions that affect leases, see section 13, 14 and 16 relating to discrimination in relation to letting of premises, changing small dwellings exceptions, and improvements to dwelling.

The first commencement order brought into force various provisions including s13 (discrimination in relation to letting of premises) so far as it insertsed sections 24K and 24L into the 1995 but only for the purpose of the power to make regulations, orders and rules of court. In force on 30 June 2005.

The following provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 were brought into force on 4 December 2006: section 13 (discrimination in relation to letting of premises); section 14 (power to modify or end small dwellings exemptions); and section 16 (improvements to let dwelling houses). Supporting regulations also came into force on that date.

Equality Act 2006 - religious discrimination

The Equality Act 2006

Equality Act 2006 (Commencement No.2) Order 2007. (No. 1092), reg 2(b) - Provisions below in force on 30 April 2007.

This is the Act that establishes the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) but amongst other things it also makes it unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief. There are specific provisions relating to the use and disposal of premises.

Thus, ss 45 and 47(1) makes it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another on grounds of religion or belief:
  • in the terms on which he offers to dispose of premises to him,
  • by refusing to dispose of premises to him, or
  • in connection with a list of persons requiring premises.
By virtue of ss 45 and 47(2) it is unlawful for a person managing premises to discriminate against an occupier:
  • in the manner in which he provides access to a benefit or facility,
  • by refusing access to a benefit or facility,
  • by evicting him, or
  • by subjecting him to another detriment.
Subsection (3) makes it unlawful for a person to discriminate against another by refusing permission for the disposal of premises to him.

There are exceptions in s48.

Sexual orientation discrimination

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007

The new regulations outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was much discussed in the press in relation to adoption. However, they are wide ranging and also affect property, banning discrimination in relation to the disposal and management of premises. The regulations came into force on 30 April 2007. See paragraphs 5 and 6.

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