Title: Different treatment of rental home seekers by real estate agencies in Belgium
Authors: Van den Broeck, Katleen ×
Heylen, Kristof #
Issue Date: Jul-2014
Conference: ENHR edition:2014 location:Edinburgh date:1-4 July
Abstract: In this article we aim to discover whether all types of rental home seekers are treated similarly when contacting a real estate agency in order to find housing on the private market in Belgium.
Our investigation method consists of two parts. In the first part we conduct situation tests where both members of a matched pair try to get an appointment to visit a vacant home. If both succeed in getting an appointment, the visit effectively takes place. We focus on four profiles: applicants with Turkish or Moroccan background, single mothers with a one-year-old child, blind applicants and home seekers with low income. In the second part a fictional homeowner who wants to rent out his apartment, contacts a real estate agency with the question if they are willing to avoid some candidates, one group called “foreigners” by the owner and another called “unemployed people”.
Our results suggest that home seekers are treated differently. Some real estate agencies are willing to avoid renters with certain characteristics by not granting them a visit. But even if an visit originally was agreed, different treatment can occur before, during or after the actual visit. Particularly low-income renters face problems in making a chance to end up on the list of candidates offered to the owner.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa-p
Appears in Collections:Research Group Social and Economic Policy and Social Integration
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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