Romani Woman Wins Discrimination Case Against Finnish Landlor

Turku, 11/03/2014 - The National Discrimination Tribunal of Finland sided with the Romani woman in her complaint against the Finnish landlord whom refused to rent out an apartment due to her Roman background.

The Finnish Romanis are a group of the Romani people whose main languages are Finnish and Finnish Romani. They are mostly Christian. There are over 10,000 Romani people living in Finland.
The Ombudsman for Minorities, who were contacted by the Romani woman, requested the National Discrimination Tribunal to look at the situation whether the prohibition of discrimination laid down in section 6 of the Non-Discrimination Act (21/2004) had been breached.
The landlord advertised his flat to the public for rent while the woman was still living in the apartment. The National Discrimination Tribunal considered that the purpose of renting out the apartment was to meet investment returns; hence, the offering of such an apartment for rent to the public is covered by the scope of application of section 2 paragraph 2(4) of the same Act – not related to discrimination.

However, the Tribunal considered that due to the woman’s Roma background, the landlord had refused to rent out to the woman the apartment that she had offered for rent. Therefore, this was a case of direct discrimination prohibited under section 6 of the Non-Discrimination Act, says the Tribunal.
“The landlord’s conduct had been based on the negative attitude of the Board of Directors and the Manager of the housing company towards renting out the landlord’s apartment to a person of Roma background. The Board of Directors had, however, made no official decision on the matter,” says spokesperson from the Tribunal.
The Tribunal prohibited the landlord from continuing and repeating ethnic discrimination in breach of section 6 of the Non-Discrimination Act.