Equality and Inclusion in the Rental Market

Equality and Inclusion in the Rental Market

In the face of challenges related to discrimination and social exclusion, the institutional rental housing market has a significant role to play in promoting equality and accessibility. Examples such as Resi4Rent show that a modern approach to renting can not only meet living needs, but also create welcoming and inclusive communities that eliminate barriers and prejudices.

Human rights are considered inalienable, universal and are available to everyone regardless of nationality, gender or sexual orientation. They were established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948. More than 75 years after its adoption, various forms of discrimination and inequality are still common, and many people, due to their orientation, nationality, beliefs, age or level of ability, may experience difficulties in the labour market, access to health care or services, including renting housing.

According to the UN Global Compact Network Poland report “On the way to DEI”, the lack of acceptance of LGBTQ+ people is particularly frequent in Poland. As many as 84% ​​of them fear for their safety due to discrimination, of which 20.2% have experienced physical aggression so far, and 54.6% – emotional aggression. Among the experiences that negatively affect the functioning of rainbow people are, among others, rejection by family or friends, bullying at schools, rejection by religious communities and other social groups, homophobic comments in everyday situations or harassment from neighbors(1).

However, prejudice and discrimination can equally apply to any difference from the so-called norm accepted by the majority of society. In surveys conducted among tenants of Resi4Rent, the largest institutional rental platform in Poland, over 25% of tenants indicated that before moving into Resi4Rent they had experienced prejudice in their relationship with the landlord or roommates. Around 24% of situations concerned discrimination on the part of the owner of the rented premises.

Nearly 35% of respondents participated in so-called castings for tenants conducted by private individuals renting apartments, and the reasons that made it difficult or impossible to rent an apartment on the private market included: sexual orientation, religious differences and a different lifestyle (25%), exclusion based on race and nationality (17%) and lack of tolerance for the traditional family model (15%). As many as 41% of respondents encountered difficulties in renting an apartment on the private rental market due to having a pet, although this can hardly be considered as belonging to a minority group – according to data from the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF), in 2022 almost half of Poles had a dog in their household (49%), and 40% of Polish households had cats (2).

Subscription apartments as a bridge connecting cultures

According to ZUS data, the number of foreigners registered in Poland at the end of 2023 was over 1.1 million people. Over the course of 12 months, almost 65,000 of them were added to the ZUS system, which means an increase of over 6%. It may be surprising that it was not Ukrainians who came first in terms of growth. They were overtaken by representatives of Belarus – the number of people from that country increased by 21.3 thousand people in 2023. In third place were citizens of India, of whom over 4.5 thousand arrived in 2023, and in fourth place was Colombia, from which 3.5 thousand people came to Poland. Less than 3.5 thousand people came from Nepal. The Philippines came sixth with 2,870 immigrants registered with ZUS in 2023, the seventh and eighth places went to two Turkic nations – Uzbeks (2,026) and Turks (1,784)(3). In turn, the Central Statistical Office data for the end of November 2023 indicate a 6.6% share of foreigners in the total number of people working in Poland. They come from over 150 countries(4).

The tenants of Resi4Rent estates include representatives of about 90 different nationalities, which makes this community exceptionally culturally diverse. Apart from Poles, the largest share of tenants of all estates are citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and India. There is also no shortage of clients from more distant directions such as China, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Zimbabwe and Iran. Such multiculturalism requires openness, understanding and orientation towards building an integrated and harmonious community. Resi4Rent undertakes numerous initiatives to support the integration and adaptation of new residents. They have the opportunity to participate in various events and initiatives that facilitate building a community, intercultural understanding, openness and tolerance. The results of surveys conducted among tenants also emphasize the importance of support for people encountering language and cultural barriers. 9% of respondents point out that before moving to Resi4Rent they encountered language barriers on the rental market, which indicates the need for additional activities supporting adaptation in a new environment. Resi4Rent offers customer support in Polish, English and Ukrainian as well as cultural integration, which helps not only to alleviate communication barriers but also to build intercultural understanding, openness and tolerance.

Openness to diversity

Thanks to standardized procedures, professional management and transparency of rules, the institutional rental market can significantly support people experiencing discrimination, exclusion or difficulties related to cultural differences. Rental managed by professional companies that ensure high standards and transparency of the rental process eliminates prejudices on the market. Agreements are unified and contain clear rules regarding the obligations of both the tenant and the landlord, which minimizes the risk of misunderstandings and abuses, and also gives tenants certainty about the rental conditions and legal aspects of the agreement. Renting or accommodation in the form of subscription apartments is a stable and safe alternative to traditional rental, and also plays an important role in creating an environment open to diversity and free from prejudices. Resi4Rent tenants also share this opinion – as many as 91% of them answered “Yes” to the question: “Do you agree that subscription apartments are a service available to everyone?”

– By eliminating the practice of casting for tenants and offering everyone equal opportunities to rent, regardless of personal characteristics or beliefs, we apply the principle of accessibility and equal treatment of all tenants. We create a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ people, foreigners, single mothers, couples in informal relationships, pet owners and other people exposed to discrimination or difficulties in accessing rental apartments. We care about the support of diverse social and cultural groups. Through events and opportunities for neighborhood meetings, we actively include all tenants in the life of the Resi4Rent community, and our goal is to make everyone feel at home regardless of their lifestyle or origin. This year, we are also implementing activities recommended by the Campaign Against Homophobia for business, including the official representation of the company participated in the Equality Parade in Warsaw, we organized a screening of a film on the LGBTQ+ theme, and in Resi4Rent estates you can find rainbow stickers “Feel free. “You are at home,” says Sławomir Imianowski, CEO of Resi4Rent.

– Professionally provided by an open and committed team, services promote inclusiveness and equality. Additionally, serving clients in several languages ​​allows us to better understand and meet their needs, regardless of their place of origin. I believe that the culture of our brand helps create better standards on the market. It also allows young people leaving their family nest or professionals emigrating for work to settle in a new situation faster – he sums up.


(1) https://ungc.org.pl/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Raport-22W-drodze-do-DEI22.pdf

(2) https://europeanpetfood.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/FEDIAF_Annual-Report_2023.pdf

(3) https://www.zus.pl/documents/10182/2422424/Podsumowanie+sytuacji+finansowej+FUS+w+2023+r.pdf/7a843135-fbd3-dd2b-3599-977112d7d65d?t=1713177233959

(4) https://stat.gov.pl/statystyki-eksperymentalne/kapital-ludzki/cudzoziemcy-wykonujacy-prace-w-polsce-w-listopadzie-2023-roku,15,12.html

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