Are landlords allowed to block foreigners from renting?

Foxhound5366

Executive Member
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Oct 23, 2014
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6,522
#1
So my wife is a foreign citizen: she's got a permanent residence permit, and recently applied for her South African ID number.

In eight years living in South Africa we've never had any problem from anybody - banks or other landlords - about her nationality, because all her documents are in order.

Now we applied for an apartment and get this back from the rental agents:
I regret to inform you that [agents name] was unable to approve your rental application at [complex name] due to certain limits on letting to foreign applicants.

We wish you the best for the future.
Naturally I kick back on this, because WTF, and I get this more detailed explanation:

This is not about discrimination or Xenophobia, in no means I wanted to offend you, and apologize in advance.

I work according to the owner's specifications:
Clients that are married COP - Both applicant has to be employed and in the possession of a valid, issued South African ID, 6month bank statements reflecting the salary and 3month salary advices.

Also as per the application, please note that it is the sole discretion of the owner in regards to approval.
Soooo ... is that true? Are landlords really entitled to say "I don't want any foreigners living in MY property"? It just smacks of unfair discrimination that is also directly affecting my ability (as a South African citizen) to rent an apartment. Hell, my wife is just a couple months away from receiving her ID number (we even supplied her proof of submission from Home Affairs), so this entire thing is just incredibly narrow-minded.

I get that landlords want to protect their properties from untrustworthy tenants, hence all the credit checks and requirements for references etc, but just blocking all foreigners outright (and sommer any South Africans married to foreigners) can't be right.
 

ArtyLoop

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Dec 18, 2017
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#2
First of all this is the second time I am hearing about this.

Close family member did a stint at a rental agency... left because of this nonsense of unfair discrimination. It's not cool.
 
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#3
You see that pop up time and again in the news when it comes to race. Maybe the owner had bad experiences with previous foreign tenants.

I work according to the owner's specifications:
Clients that are married COP -
That however is a new one.
 

ArtyLoop

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#4
I've told a landlord to f--- off about the married in COP bit... no regrets, he allowed someone to rent who was married like that and got his just deserve- not one fitting was spared when they moved out.
 

UrBaN963

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#5
To be fair the owner could reject anybody, there’s no requirement that an admission must be accepted even if you were both South African citizens.

It is unusual to see it enforced in this way though. Perhaps their previous tenant was an issue and they’re now extra careful.
 

Foxhound5366

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#6
You see that pop up time and again in the news when it comes to race. Maybe the owner had bad experiences with previous foreign tenants.

That however is a new one.
Zactly, best part is I was going to be 100% liable for the rental payments, my wife is unemployed currently because she's studying full-time through Unisa. Even if my wife did the only conceivable thing they might be afraid of - just ran away overseas - I'd still continue paying for the full lease. And if I didn't, they'd keep my rental deposit like normal. Where is the risk to them???
 

DukeofHouse

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2007
Messages
592
#7
<snip>
Soooo ... is that true? Are landlords really entitled to say "I don't want any foreigners living in MY property"? </snip>
Yes. But you could just as well replace the word "foreigner" with "pets", "under 25 year old's", "self-employed", <insert restriction here>...

It sucks, but as the property is ultimately owned by the landlord, they can decide who gets to live there.
 

Foxhound5366

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#8
To be fair the owner could reject anybody, there’s no requirement that an admission must be accepted even if you were both South African citizens.

It is unusual to see it enforced in this way though. Perhaps their previous tenant was an issue and they’re now extra careful.
So because one person once did something bad, now we're going to block ALL foreigners? That's like saying we once had a South African criminal jumping over the fence, no more South African tenants!
 

ArtyLoop

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#9
So because one person once did something bad, now we're going to block ALL foreigners? That's like saying we once had a South African criminal jumping over the fence, no more South African tenants!
My point was exactly that... you cannot paint everyone with the same brush based on one nasty experience
 

Foxhound5366

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#10
Yes. But you could just as well replace the word "foreigner" with "pets", "under 25 year old's", "self-employed", <insert restriction here>...

It sucks, but as the property is ultimately owned by the landlord, they can decide who gets to live there.
Well actually, in our dear South African constitution, there is this:

(3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

(4) No person may unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

(5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection (3) is unfair unless it is established that the discrimination is fair.
I'd be very interested to get a legal opinion on whether this could be classified as 'fair' discrimination that warrants breaching the Constitution.
 

UrBaN963

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#11
So because one person once did something bad, now we're going to block ALL foreigners? That's like saying we once had a South African criminal jumping over the fence, no more South African tenants!
Did I say that? Sheesh.

It’s a hypothetical. They could also have rejected because they don’t like goulash, or it’s Monday, or they always reject the first two applications, or they didn’t like your name, or they decided not to lease, it it’s cloudy.
 

Sugarman

Making Sugar
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Feb 24, 2016
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23,531
#12
I am guessing this is one of the point that counted against you, as per your own original post

Clients that are married COP - Both applicant has to be employed and in the possession of a valid
Then later this post:
my wife is unemployed currently because she's studying full-time through Unisa


Can the above mentioned not be the issue here?
 

biena

Executive Member
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Dec 6, 2006
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5,768
#13
Speculating here
You following her then having to chase you across borders for outstanding money (easier for you to leave having a spouse with foreign citizenship). Both employed much less chance of both vanishing. AFAIK your deposit may not be used for rent.

Should do as in Dubai, lease amount payable upfront ! Yep not kidding.
 

AlmightyBender

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Aug 24, 2012
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3,393
#14
Zactly, best part is I was going to be 100% liable for the rental payments, my wife is unemployed currently because she's studying full-time through Unisa. Even if my wife did the only conceivable thing they might be afraid of - just ran away overseas - I'd still continue paying for the full lease. And if I didn't, they'd keep my rental deposit like normal. Where is the risk to them???
I think you need to accept that the logic or reasoning of some people is just never going to a make sense. Imagine if you actually got the place... you'd have to deal with a landlord like this! Imagine all the future ridiculous stuff that they will come up with in future.
Consider them disclosing their idiocy upfront as a gift and move on.
 

gamer16

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Nov 3, 2013
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4,820
#15
They don't have to say no foreigners, once they notice you are foreign and they have an issue with this they can just lie and say the property is no longer up for rent, same as they do with people of certain ethnicity.
 

ArtyLoop

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Dec 18, 2017
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5,347
#16
I think you need to accept that the logic or reasoning of some people is just never going to a make sense. Imagine if you actually got the place... you'd have to deal with a landlord like this! Imagine all the future ridiculous stuff that they will come up with in future.
Consider them disclosing their idiocy upfront as a gift and move on.
This ^^^
 
Joined
May 9, 2012
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7,492
#17
No they are not allowed to discriminate against non-nationals and it was really stupid of the agent to put that in writing, you could cause a fuss if you wanted to, definitely not worth it though, just look elsewhere.
 

Foxhound5366

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Oct 23, 2014
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#18
No they are not allowed to discriminate against non-nationals and it was really stupid of the agent to put that in writing, you could cause a fuss if you wanted to, definitely not worth it though, just look elsewhere.
Well that's the thing, I DO want to cause a fuss. Where's a good place?

I agree about the disclosing idiocy upfront part, but this isn't right.
 

Pitbull

Verboten
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Apr 8, 2006
Messages
60,618
#19
So my wife is a foreign citizen: she's got a permanent residence permit, and recently applied for her South African ID number.

In eight years living in South Africa we've never had any problem from anybody - banks or other landlords - about her nationality, because all her documents are in order.

Now we applied for an apartment and get this back from the rental agents:


Naturally I kick back on this, because WTF, and I get this more detailed explanation:



Soooo ... is that true? Are landlords really entitled to say "I don't want any foreigners living in MY property"? It just smacks of unfair discrimination that is also directly affecting my ability (as a South African citizen) to rent an apartment. Hell, my wife is just a couple months away from receiving her ID number (we even supplied her proof of submission from Home Affairs), so this entire thing is just incredibly narrow-minded.

I get that landlords want to protect their properties from untrustworthy tenants, hence all the credit checks and requirements for references etc, but just blocking all foreigners outright (and sommer any South Africans married to foreigners) can't be right.
I get the Both on COP and SA ID numbers.

Incase they don't pay they both get farked on ITC.

Just find another place tbh. I can only imagine what a Landlord this will turn out to be...
 

LCBXX

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
10,098
#20
Just say she's a black trans foreigner and threaten that you will go to the press and black twitter with the issue #MeToo . Enjoy the discounted rent.
 
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