An estate agency told a Bristol dad he could not rent any of their one-bedroom flats because of his daughter, he claims.
The 36-year-old father, who did not wish to be named, enquired to CJ Hole about the availability of a Bishopston property in February.
He was moving out of a family home because of his marriage breaking down, but planned to have his three-year-old daughter over to stay at his new flat sometimes.
The dad, who is a teacher, says he explained this to a CJ Hole estate agent when trying to book a viewing at a £750-per-month flat over the phone.
He said: “I was informed there would be no point my enquiring about any one-bed flat with the agency as I wouldn’t meet the requirements.
“Just to be clear, this statement had nothing to do with my salary or any other factors.
“Apparently, they’d expect someone in my position to be after a two-bed flat, which is clearly out of my price range.
“It was the first time I had encountered anything like that. I was quite taken aback. I have spoken to other agencies since and been told this shouldn’t be an issue.”
Though the dad has managed to rent a flat through Gumtree, he has decided to speak out about his experience in a bid to help “stamp out” CJ Hole’s alleged practice.
CJ Hole has 16 branches, nine of which are in Bristol.
The dad said: “I can’t believe all the landlords on CJ Hole’s list would want this rule. It seems like this is a CJ Hole decision.
“I wondered if it was a way of agents justifying their role and making themselves more attractive to landlords.
“They create this notion of ‘the best kind’ of tenants, which isn’t helpful, especially when there is a housing shortage.
“I am a teacher. I lead a quiet life. I was pretty shocked at what I was told.”
A CJ Hole spokeswoman said it does not have a record of the conversation the dad claims he had.
She added: “CJ Hole does not operate a policy as described. However, since receiving the comments we have further briefed our teams to ensure that we continue to operate in such a way that every prospective tenant’s individual circumstances are considered and subsequently presented to our landlords.”