I-SPHERE Seminar – Jed Meers

Date: May 14, 2024
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Online

Finding a home online: Platform interfaces and discrimination in the private rented sector

Dr Jed Meers is a Senior Lecturer at York Law School, University of York  where is co-Director of the Administrative Fairness Lab.

Watch again as Jed explores discrimination on online rental platforms. Accessing the private rented sector is now an almost exclusively online activity. In the UK 96% of renters found their property from one of the four leading online rental platforms: Rightmove, SpareRoom, Zoopla or Gumtree. How the interfaces of these platforms are designed can impact on access to the private rented sector and facilitate (or minimise) discrimination against users. Using examples of platform design and an analysis of listings on a leading rental platform before-and-after changes to its interface, the paper reveals that even minor design alterations can significantly influence market accessibility for recipients of housing benefit. The seminar offers insights into combating discrimination in the digital rental market and went onto discuss directions for further research on online rental platforms.