Housing & Age

Housing & Age Discrimination

Discrimination on the ‘age ground’ occurs where there is less favourable treatment of one person compared with another person because they are different ages.

‘Age’ applies to people over 18 years of age, except for the provision of car insurance to licensed drivers under that age.

The general rule is that there can be no discrimination on the ground of age in relation to:

  • disposing of any estate;
  • terminating a tenancy;
  • providing accommodation or, any accommodation related services or amenities; or
  • ceasing to provide accommodation.

The premises or, accommodation must be available to the public generally or a section of the public.

What's covered?

The Equal Status Acts 2000–2018:

  • promote equality;
  • prohibit certain kinds of discrimination (with some exemptions) across a number of specified grounds (Age, Civil Status, Disability, Family Status, Gender, Housing Assistance Payment, Membership of the Traveller Community, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation);
  • prohibit sexual harassment and harassment across a number of specified grounds;
  • prohibit victimisation;
  • require reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities;
  • allow a broad range of positive action measures.

The Equal Status Acts also implement the following two EU Directives – the Race Directive and the Gender Goods and Services Directive.

What's not covered?

There are several significant exemptions in the Equal Status Acts that apply to the provision housing and accommodation.

These exemptions should be read restrictively and should not be allowed to limit unduly the general prohibition on discrimination.

Case Studies

Search database for more case studies

What's next?

Make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is the body that hears discrimination complaints under Ireland’s equality laws. The WRC deals with both employment and service/goods related claims. There is no fee to bring a case to the WRC and complaints can be made online.

Learn more about the WRC process

Contact us

We, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, have a statutory role to fight discrimination and provide information on equality and human rights in Ireland. Please note however that we are not a court and we do not decide on discrimination claims.

Learn more about how to contact us

Contact another organisation

You may find that another organisation could better help you with your issue.

  • Employment rights / Equal treatment in services

    Workplace Relations Commission

  • Social welfare information

    Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

  • Social welfare appeals

    Social Welfare Appeals Office

  • Support for housing rights


  • Private landlord and tenant dispute

    Residential Tenancies Board

  • Homelessness

    Dublin Region Homeless Executive

  • Homelessness and social housing

    Mercy Law Resource Centre

  • Homelessness

    Dublin Simon Community

  • Homelessness

    De Paul

  • Vulnerable adults, older people and healthcare patients

    Sage Advocacy

  • Returning migrants

    Cross Care

  • Older people

    Age Action Ireland

  • Rights of people with disabilities

    National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities

  • Independent living for people with disabilities

    Independent Living Movement

  • Unfair treatment by a public body

    Office of the Ombudsman

  • Rights and welfare of children

    Ombudsman for Children’s Office

  • Children's rights

    Children's Rights Alliance

  • Community law and mediation

    Community Law & Mediation

  • Legal advice

    Free Legal Advice Centres

  • Legal aid

    The Legal Aid Board

  • Citizen's Information Centres

    Citizen's Information

Browse the database of organisations working on human rights and equality issues in Ireland.

Contact Us

You do not need to provide contact information below but if you do so we will treat your personal information confidentially and in accordance with our data protection policies