An undercover investigation conducted by the BBC Inside Out team revealed that a number of London based letting agents were discriminating against people of colour at the request of the landlords who owned the properties.
With west London being the reported area with the worst cases of housing discrimination, 10 letting agents were investigated on their practices when it came to offering housing to black tenants compared to white tenants.
A lettings manager from A to Z Property Services, based in Dollis Hill revealed in a secret recording:
99% of my landlords don’t want Afro-Caribbeans or any troublesome people.
See how Afro-Caribbeans are lumped together in the same category as “troublesome people”?
When someone [African-Caribbean] comes in, we won’t advise them of this property. Even if it does get [asked about] we make up an excuse, to be honest with you.
During BBC’s filming, a number of properties were inquired about by white and black potential tenants, with results showing that whilst the black tenants were being told that the property was off the market, the white customer would be invited for a viewing of the exact same property.
Claiming that it was pointless taking on a property if the landlord didn’t like the client’s ethnicity, the A to Z Property Services agent claimed that they were not discriminating:
We have plenty of Afro-Caribbean clients – I can show you our files. We’ve got nothing to hide. We don’t discriminate against anybody.
The BBC’s investigation on this can be seen in full on Inside Out London, BBC One at 7.30pm and this is something I will definitely be tuned into.