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Daft agrees to develop processes to remove ads that exclude rent allowance tenants

The company came to an agreement with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission on foot of a 2016 complaint.

Image: Daft.ie

THE COMPANY BEHIND property website Daft.ie has agreed to develop processes to identify and remove property advertisements that are discriminatory.

The agreement with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) follows a 2019 decision from the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which ruled in favour of IHREC.

The IHREC’s complaint related to adverts that included terms directed at prospective tenants such as  ’rent allowance not accepted’; ‘suit family or professionals only’; ‘would suit young professionals’ and ‘references required’.

The WRC ordered Daft to “refrain from publishing, displaying or permitting to be published or displayed on its website” discriminatory adverts.

It also ordered the company to “develop a methodology to identify, monitor and block discriminatory advertising on its website” based on a list of terms of trigger words and phrases provided previously to them by the IHREC and to be kept updated.

These trigger phrases include:

  • ‘Rent allowance not accepted’
  • ‘Suits professionals only’
  • ‘No rent, rental supplement or allowance accepted, no housing assistance accepted, tenants will be means tested’
  • ‘Please provide current work status’, or ‘work reference required’
  • ‘Would [not] suit young, mature, senior, elderly, person in their golden years’
  • ‘Would [not] suit family, children, single person, couple, bachelor, married’

Today the IHREC said Daft Media Limited has agreed to expand and develop practical methods to identify, investigate, review and take down discriminatory advertising on the Daft.ie website, and has also committed to reviewing and, where necessary, improving the system on a continuous basis.

Sinéad Gibney, chief commissioner of IHREC welcomed Daft’s “engagement in this matter and the resolution of this long-standing litigation”.

We took the initial proceedings in 2016 as the Commission had identified a number of adverts that discriminated on the housing (HAP), age and family status grounds of the Equal Status Acts.

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“The procedures that Daft will operate must help to ensure that discriminatory advertising does not appear on the website of one of Ireland’s leading property advertisers.”

A spokesperson for Daft said they were not in a position to comment at this time.

Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group.

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