1. In the work place
Equality and diversity are important principals to Purple Frog and the should be part of everything we do both within the workplace and how we interact with our stakeholders.
2. In the work place
2.1 It is the Company's policy to provide equal opportunities in employment irrespective of race, ethnic or national origin, sex, mental or physical disabilities, age, marital status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, religion or belief.
2.2 This Policy applies to all Employees and to all applicants for employment.
2.3 The company is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities and to ensure that the human resources, talent and skills of all Employees are maximised.
2.4 The Company's policy is to treat all Employees with respect and dignity, and to ensure that Employees are not victimised or subjected to sexual or racial harassment, or discrimination on the grounds outlined above.
2.5 The Company seeks to fulfil this commitment to equal opportunities through the application of Policies and Procedures, which are consistent and equitable, and recognise the expertise and ability of each individual.
2.6 All allegations of discrimination will be thoroughly and promptly investigated. Where allegations are substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal will be taken against any person responsible.
3. Other stakeholders
3.1 We are obliged by law, regulations and our own moral code to not discriminate against landlords, tenants, guarantors, suppliers, or anyone else we interact whilst carying out our business based on race, ethnic or national origin, sex, mental or physical disabilities, age, marital status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, religion or belief.
It can however be hard to distiguish between legal discrimination and illegal discrimination whilst we are required by our code of conduct to discriminate between tenants, guarantors, landlords and others based on some characteristics which are close to some of those above.
3.2 Examples of legal discrimination:
- We let properties which local council’s specify can only by let to students and whilst there are no age restrictions for becoming a student, most are young, and by extension, this council regulation could be perceived to be discrimination based on age but it is a regulation we have to abide by.
- Article 4 regulations set by local councils dictate the type of occupant which can occupy various properties we let. For example, some properties we let, can not be let to a group of three students but can be let to a family. This does seem discriminatory BUT, it’s a legal requirement.
- Right to Rent legislation imposes heavy fines and prison sentences on those landlords and agents who allow people who do not have a right to rent in the UK to occupy a property the own or manage. Those potential tenants prohibited from renting properties are those from outside the EEC countries who don’t have a visa or other permission to rent in the UK.
- As agent for our clients we are obliged to reduce the risk of tenants not paying rent; as such, we have to make various checks, including credit checking of guarantors. Because we are unable to credit-check guarantors who are based outside of the UK, and international legal systems make it very difficult for us to legally pursue guarantors based in foreign countries we have to ask international students for additional security, which may include a higher deposit, or having them pay their rent upfront.
These policies may seem discriminatory, we are however required to follow them as part of the code of conduct we follow.
- As much as it sometimes seems unfair, we are required to discriminate against those tenants who we don’t think will be able to pay their rent, or who have bad credit scores, or who have bad or mediocre references from previous landlords; we are however required to act on these markers in the best interests of our clients.
3.3 Examples of illegal discrimination
- Rejecting a tenant based on a dissability, or refusing to make reasonable adjustments to a property to accommodate a tenant with a dissability. An example of this is providing additional visual alarms in a property to assist a person with hearing difficulties.
- Rejecting a group of male tenants because the landlord prefers female tenants.
- Advertising that a property is available to let to women or men only. N.B. It IS legal to advertise a property and include in the details that three of the four tenants are currently female. If a male wishes to rent the property then he can not be rejected based on his sex.
- Refusing to provide copies of contracts and paperwork in a form which a blind person can access.
3.4 Further reading:
4. What to do if you experience discrimination
If you feel that you are the victim of or witness to direct or indirect discrimination then you need to report it to the relevant branch manager (click here for more details); if the report is about a branch manager then please email Patrick@purplefrogproperty.com, or write to Patrick Garratt, Purple Frog Group, 47 Calthorpe Road, Birmingham, B15 1TH.