Jamaica: Landlords illegally refusing to rent to persons with children


The Rent Restriction Act of 1983 makes it illegal for landlords to discriminate against potential tenants on the basis that they have children, but scores of landlords are banning the babies and getting away with it. Under Section 4A Subsection 1 of the Rent Restriction Act, “A person shall not, as a condition for the grant, renewal or continuance of a tenancy of any controlled premises consisting of a dwelling house, require that no children shall reside with the tenant in that dwelling house.”

This offence carries a fine not exceeding $1,000 for a first conviction or a term not exceeding 12 months imprisonment. But that has not saved 28-year-old Anna-Kay Williams, who told The Sunday Gleanerthat she been almost homeless since July 2018, as the owners of the properties she has been trying to rent are turning her down because she has four children ranging from age three to 15.According to Williams, in her last encounter she saw an advertisement in the paper which just said ‘Room for rent in Greater Portmore, St Catherine’, with the landlord asking for $25,000 per month plus a deposit.(Jamaica Gleaner)…[+]