Not renting flats to bachelors discrimination: Institution

Not renting flats to bachelors discrimination: Institution

Erdinç Çelikkan – ESKİŞEHİR
Not renting flats to bachelors discrimination: Institution

Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (TİHEK) has fined an apartment manager 1,000 Turkish Liras ($162) for discrimination after he urged residents of the apartment building not to rent their flats to students living without their families or bachelors.

The decision followed the complaint of a flat owner in the apartment building. The flat owner filed the complaint with the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the western province of Eskişehir, alleging that the apartment manager had ruled during an apartment meeting that homeowners are prohibited from renting their flats to “students living without their families or bachelors.” The Eskişehir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office then conveyed the case to TİHEK for their review.

During arguments to the TİHEK, the apartment manager claimed the complainant was renting his flat to be used as a business of an “uknown nature.” He also said that the policy against bachelors and students living without their families was “never applied.” Another resident has been living alone in the building for over 10 years, he noted.

Meanwhile, the complainant said that since 2014, the apartment management had pressured him not to rent his flat to a student or bachelor, and the pressure was “formalized” with the decision by the manager at the apartment meeting.

 According to official registration figures, around 60,000 university students live in Eskişehir, so the apartment’s ruling made it more difficult for them to find housing, the complainant argued.

In a written defense, the apartment manager said that many students who previously lived in the apartment building had failed to pay apartment maintenance fees and made “too much noise,” leading to complaints from other residents.

He stated that the apartment meeting decision was non-binding and only expressed a “wish, desire or suggestion.” 

TİHEK based its ruling on an article in the European Convention of Human Rights that prohibits discrimination based on someone’s background or history. 

“It has been decided by a majority voting that the discrimination law which is reassured [by law] has been violated by the [apartment] administrator,” the ruling stated.