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Landlord refusing to let to lesbian couple exploits legal loophole

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An Isle of Man landlord has refused to rent his property to two tenants because of their sexual orientation.

Kira Izzard and Laura Cull (pictured) were planning to move into a home next to their three-year-old nephew but were refused on grounds of their sexuality, according to Gay Star News. UK anti-discrimination law does not apply in the Isle of Man and EU law only applies to government services.

Cull told the paper the decision felt like a personal attack: “I was really upset and teary as we had our hearts set on that particular house.”

Goldsmith Williams senior property lawyer John Jones said LGBT couples could have the problem in the UK but overall there was sufficient legislation to prevent it.

He explained: “Many landlords probably feel that as it is their own property they should be free to rent it or not rent it to whoever they please. However, there is legislation in place that prevents a landlord from discriminating on the grounds of race and ethnic background, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability and age. “

While discrimination is illegal in housing transactions such as lettings and house sales, there are some exceptions for a landlord taking in a lodger.

In one case hotel owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull refused to let a gay couple stay in a double room at their Cornish hotel.

In 2011 a judge decided the Bulls’ behaviour represented direct discrimination and awarded the couple £3,600 in damages. The Bulls have now appealed and are awaiting a hearing in the UK’s Supreme Court.


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