A rental advertisement states ‘no benefit claimants’, 'permanent employment contract required', 'we don’t rent to foreigners'. A landlord doesn’t want to rent to a young person because he is worried about the maintenance of his property. A landlord refuses a blind tenant because of their guide dog. Another one breaks the rental contract because he discovers the tenant is homosexual.
Access to decent housing is a fundamental right. Yet discrimination on the housing market still happens a lot. It is experienced particularly by prospective tenants who do not have an employment contract or who are of non-Belgian origin.
What does Unia do?
Discrimination is against the law, and this means at any stage in the sale or rental of a property. Unia combats discrimination on the housing market based on all discrimination grounds in which we are authorised to intervene. We also mediate with the sector, the government and members of civil society
Information for tenants, owners and professionals from the housing sector
First and foremost, combating discrimination requires information and awareness raising. Jointly with the Brussels Capital Region, Unia has created a brochure presenting the basic principles of the law, along with a number of tips. Read the brochure in French or Dutch.
Victim or witness
Find content on Housing
Recent articles Housing
‘Preferably no tenants on welfare or unemployment benefits’
In the housing market, landlords sometimes refuse to rent to people without regular employment, for example on welfare or unemployment benefits. When they do so, they are discriminating on the basis of wealth. Fortunately, anyone who experiences this form of discrimination is protected by the antidiscrimination legislation.
Unia’s survey on the acceptance of homosexuals/bisexuals: a positive evolution in mind-set even though there is still progress to be made
Upon Unia's request, iVOX conducted a survey among 1,000 people on the social perception of homosexuality/bisexuality and attitudes towards LGB (lesbians, gays and bisexuals) people. Despite an advanced legislative framework and positively evolving social acceptance, the survey revealed continuing blockages among certain groups or in sectors such as teaching and employment.
Recent publications Housing
Evaluation of federal anti-discrimination legislation (2017)
Article 52 of the Anti-Discrimination Law states that the application and effectiveness of the anti-discrimination laws must be assessed by the Legislative Chambers. Unia has prepared an assessment report on the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Anti-Racism Law based on its own practical experience, national jurisprudence and its general expertise in the fight against discrimination.
Annual report 2015. Living together put to the test.
The year 2015 left a deep mark on our society. Violent conflicts and tensions on a global scale have had a direct impact on us. As we finalise this annual report, Belgium is suffering the repercussions of the bomb attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station in Brussels.