Turkey's equality agency issues fine over rejection of tenant for being ‘single’

Turkey’s Human Rights and Equality institution (TİHEK) has imposed a 10,000 lira-fine on a landlord and a real estate agent for denying housing to a potential tenant for being “single.”  

This file photo shows a view from the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Duvar English

An individual in the Black Sea province of Samsun filed an application with Turkey’s Human Rights and Equality institution (TİHEK) after they were not allowed to rent a flat.

For the flat in question, the individual was told by a real estate agent: “If you are a family, we would rent it, otherwise the landlord does not allow it; the landlord wants a family.”

After TİHEK investigated the incident, it asked for the defense of the real estate agent in question who said the landlord wanted a family due to the fear of the tenant “not paying the rent, damaging the house and the building accommodating mostly families.”  

TİHEK also asked for the landlord’s defense and contacted the consulate in Germany due to their residence being in this country. But as the landlord did not respond to the official notification letter, TİHEK gave its ruling without taking their defense. 

“While the addressee real estate agent implemented the discriminatory treatment by taking instructions from the landlord, the landlord did not submit their view to the case file within the legal time limit,” TİHEK said, adding that neither the real estate agent nor landlord was able to prove they did not discriminate against the potential tenant. 

TİHEK thereby imposed an administrative fine of 10,000 liras separately on the real estate agent and landlord.

The ruling can be appealed at the Constitutional Court within 60 days.