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Discrimination in housing - victimisation

If you’re treated badly because you complain about discrimination or you help someone who has been discriminated against, this is called victimisation. Victimisation is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

If you’ve been treated badly because you complained, you may be able to do something about it.

Read this page to find out more about victimisation in housing.

What is victimisation?

The law which says you mustn’t be discriminated against is called the Equality Act 2010. Discrimination which is against the Equality Act is unlawful. This means you can take action in the civil courts.

Victimisation is when someone treats you badly because you complain about discrimination or help someone who has been the victim of discrimination. Because the Equality Act recognises you may be worried about complaining, you have extra legal protection when you complain about discrimination.

When does the law protect you?

You’re protected against victimisation only if you do one of the following things:  

  • make a claim or complaint of discrimination under the Equality Act
  • give evidence or information to help someone else who has made a complaint or claim under the Act
  • do any other thing which is related to the Act
  • say that someone has done something unlawful under the Act.

The Equality Act calls these things protected acts.

Example

You help your neighbour by being a witness in a race discrimination claim against your shared landlord. As a result, the landlord threatens to evict you.  This could be unlawful victimisation. You can take action under the Equality Act.

When are you not protected?

You’re not protected against victimisation if you act in bad faith by making false accusations or by giving false information.

Example

You give false information in a neighbour's discrimination claim against your shared landlord. If the landlord were to give you notice because of this, you couldn't complain about being victimised as you've acted in bad faith.

Next steps

Other useful information

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

If you have experienced discrimination, you can get help from the EASS discrimination helpline.

Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

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