Tenants seeking a place to rent claim widespread discrimination

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 13 Jan 2019

Common occurrence: The research showed that 62 or six in 10 of those surveyed have come across rental advertisements with specific racial requirements.

PETALING JAYA: Tenants seeking to rent rooms or homes feel that Malaysian landlords continue to place too much emphasis on race.

According to a research, one in five Malaysians or 21% of 1,204 Malaysians surveyed, claimed to have experienced discrimination based on their ethnicity when seeking a place to rent.

A study by YouGov Omnibus showed that about 46% of Indians polled claimed to have faced discrimination.

This is higher than local Chinese (20%) and Malays (18%), who have faced ethnic discrimination when surveyed.

The findings is based on a survey involving 1,204 Malaysians, aged 18 and above.

It also found that a third (34%) of those surveyed are currently staying in rented properties, while seven in 10 (69%) had rented ­property at some point in their lives.

The research showed that 62% or six in 10 of those surveyed have come across rental advertisements with specific racial requirements, such as only a certain race, or a select few, being eligible to rent such premises.

A third of those surveyed also admitted they knew others who had also faced ethnic discrimination. It showed that six out of 10 Malaysian Indians who took part in the survey were being discriminated.

Two in five or 37% of those surveyed found that stating a racial preference in property advertisements is considered racism, with 58% of the local Indians surveyed agreeing to this.

However, 32% of those surveyed as a whole believe that landlords, who had racial preferences, only made good business sense, a view mostly held by Malaysian Chinese (39%).

About 60% of those polled felt that landlords should have “absolute discretion” when it comes to renting out their properties.

Asia Pacific’s YouGov Omnibus chief Jake Gammon said Malaysians were divided when it comes to the issue of ethnicity, with regard to the rental of premises.

“While a notable number have experienced racial discrimination in the rental market and many believe that race requirements in rental property ads constitute ­racism, a large proportion also believe that landlords renting out to preferred races made good business sense.

“Despite certain ethnic minorities feeling more strongly about the issue than others, the majority believe landlords should be left to their own devices,” said Gammon.

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