Housing & Religion

Housing & Religion Discrimination

Discrimination on the ‘religion ground’ happens where there is less favourable treatment of one person compared with another person because one has a different religious belief, background or outlook from the other, or one has a religious belief, background or outlook and the other has not.

The general rule is that there can be no discrimination on the ground of religion 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

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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

  • Unfair treatment by a public body

    Office of the Ombudsman

  • Rights and welfare of children

    Ombudsman for Children’s Office

  • Private landlord and tenant dispute

    Residential Tenancies Board

  • Support for housing rights


  • Homelessness

    Dublin Region Homeless Executive

  • Homelessness

    De Paul

  • Homelessness

    Dublin Simon Community

  • Homelessness and social housing

    Mercy Law Resource Centre

  • Atheism

    Atheist Ireland

  • 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

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