You must not be discriminated against in access to housing regardless of whether it is provided by the state, a municipality or a private provider.

Discrimination in access to state and municipal housing in Latvia is prohibited on any grounds.

important Providers of private housing are bound by the prohibition of discrimination only if they are service providers and if consumer protection law applies to them. For example, where someone rents out houses or apartments as a business.

Discrimination in providing access to housing may include cases where a service provider refuses to rent out a house or apartment, makes degrading or insulting remarks or offers you different terms in the contract, such as a higher price just because you belong to a group of people with certain characteristics. 

example Discrimination may occur where a landlord refuses to rent an apartment to a person just because he/she is black or belongs to a sexual minority, such as homosexuals.

However, different treatment in the choice of tenants is allowed if housing is provided privately and not as a part of business.

example It will not be considered discrimination where an elderly lady feels more comfortable and wants to rent out a room in her apartment to a female student.

Latvian law explicitly prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex or gender, race or ethnic origin and disability in providing access to housing. In certain cases housing may be provided to a specific type of client by applying the exception of genuine requirement.

What human rights violation may there be?

The prohibition of discrimination will be violated if you are denied housing or offered individual, more disadvantageous terms in a contract only because you possess certain characteristics which are recognized as prohibited grounds, such as age, religion or race.

How to complain

If you believe that you may have been discriminated against by a private housing business, you may file a complaint to the Consumer Rights Protection Centre or to the court of general jurisdiction.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against by a state or municipal authority in charge of housing, you may also submit a complaint to a higher institution, and afterwards, to the administrative court.

Read more about how to complain.


Last updated 07/04/2018