Mother lodges complaint on behalf of son after rental revoked

July 2022

Julia’s* son, Jake*, has a moderate intellectual disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Epilepsy. Jake receives 24 hour one-on-one in-home care. 

Julia applied for a rental property to house Jake. Julia’s application was successful, and she began making arrangements for Jake to move in. A short time later, Julia was notified by the real estate agency that the owner of the property had revoked the offer.

Julia lodged a complaint of disability discrimination with ADNSW on behalf of her son.

Julia said that the real estate agency and the owner of the property discriminated against Jake because the offer was revoked when the owner of the property found out that the rental was to house Jake. 

The real estate agency said that they were obliged to act on the owner of the property’s instructions. The owner of the property said that the offer was revoked because they didn't know that Julia was not going to live in the property and there was concern that the property was not suitable for Jake considering his disabilities.

ADNSW attempted to resolve the matter before an investigation but the real estate agency had already rented out the property to other tenants.

The complaint was resolved at a conciliation conference when the real estate agency agreed to provide training to all its staff and the owner of the property and update their application form to include a section on applying for accommodation on behalf of a person who cannot make the application themselves because of disability.

The owner of the property and the real estate agency also agreed to jointly pay Julia and Jake a settlement sum as compensation for the costs and distress in having to find another suitable property at short notice.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.


Last updated:

10 Aug 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.

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