There is no need for tenancy legislation to contain anti discrimination provisions. It is better to leave this area to the Discrimination Acts and Human Rights Office. There are relevant state and territory legislation for example, the Discrimination Act (ACT) prohibits discrimination in the provision of accommodation on the grounds of:


For example, the refusal of accommodation on the basis of marital status (unlawful discrimination) and because of the unwanted presence of pets may constitute unlawful discrimination even if the reason connected with marital status is not the dominant or substantial reason for the refusal.


The Discrimination Act also makes unlawful indirect discrimination (s8 Discrimination Act). A requirement (rule, policy, practice or procedure) that is the same for everyone, but which has the effect or is likely to have the effect of disadvantaging a person(s) because of an 'identified attribute' (s7(1) that is, sex, marital status etc) can amount to unlawful discrimination. Such a requirement is likely to amount to unlawful discrimination unless the requirement is “reasonable in the circumstances of the case”.


Commonwealth laws on discrimination apply to the states and territories. The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth), Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) make discrimination on grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origin, sex, marital status, pregnancy, or disability unlawful.