Two Deaf persons, who visited the estate agency company that develops across Japan in Hirakata-shi, Osaka in February for housing reference of an apartment, were refused after one another for the reason of "lack of communication by a telephone in an emergency."
One of them called on the rental housing broker on February 12, and conveyed considering move, but they refused, saying, "The client must have a mobile phone to be contacted immediately."
The woman has until now the experience that she moved several times with her family, and was staying in touch by fax instead of the telephone with the rental contractor. She says, "I have never been refused for reasons of disability until now. I was shocked very much this time."
The same rental contractor had another Deaf woman in her 50's and refused her for the same reason early in February, too. She visited other contractor and was able to rent a room. She was said that she can use a friend if she cannot telephone on that occasion, and so she gave the mobile phone number of her friend.
According to the head office in Tokyo of the rental company which refused the Deaf women both, the salesclerk communicated with them by writing.
The press officer of the rental company is apologizing, saying, "We were only anxious about that there was no special equipment to contact the client in an emergency. We don't really mean to refuse their rental request."
The Disabled Persons' Fundamental Law specifies that it allows neither the discrimination for reasons of any disability, nor the act which infringes on the disability rights.
Also an economic organization, the national rental-properties management business association, does not accept that a rental broker refuses moving in for reasons of a disability.
However, actually there is no clear legal basis about a housing recommendation to a person with disability, and judgment is left to each company.