The letting agency APYork has been accused of racism and sexism following advertisements placed on their website.
From January, the company’s website featured houses with “no all male groups” specified in red under their descriptions, which have since been removed. Further data was exclusively given to Nouse from the records of the ex-agency YRLA.
The document, which lists properties to be let until the end of this academic year, shows notes stating “no Chinese”, “no all male groups”, and “no Chinese or similar” next to numerous properties.
YUSU Welfare Officer, Ben Humphreys, described the information as “shocking”, stating that “it reveals YRLA to have been racist, Xenophobic and raises serious questions”.
He disclosed that the Pro Vice-Chancellor for students and the Registrar of the University have been aware of the problem for some time, and that YUSU “look for immediate action to remove them [APYork] from campus”.
In response, David Garner, the University’s Press Officer, confirmed that the information had been passed to the Registrar who is “consulting solicitors about what action to take”, describing it as “clearly unacceptable”.
When confronted with the information, MacMahon commented that “it might be a preference stated by a landlord,” and that “in the past we have taken that into account”.
He went on to say that his company “tr[ies] to educate” the landlords, and that the advertisement online “shouldn’t say that”.
He added: “It would have been a mistake, it won’t be there now.”
“[The report] is shocking… it reveals YRLA to have been racist, Xenophobic and raises serious questions.” Ben Humphrys,
YUSU Welfare Officer
One of his previous partners from YRLA, Adam Bennett of Adam Bennett Lettings, stated that his new company does not follow similar practices to MacMahon.
“I don’t have a problem with Chinese people but I do have a problem with people who do,” he stated.
He continued to say that whilst problems can occur when international students are unable to provide UK guarantors, the University frequently acts as a guarantor for foreign students and that there is “no excuse for dealing with racists”.
York’s other major letting agencies have also expressed their outrage at MacMahon’s practices. “We would never do anything like that, we are strictly open to anybody,” stated a spokesperson for IG Property.
Similarly, Niall McTurk, owner of Sinclair Properties, commented that it is “outrageous if people are discriminating”.
McTurk went on to explain that Sinclair has “a very high proportion of houses with all male groups”.
This is the second controversy to emerge in a matter of weeks surrounding the shamed letting agency YRLA.
Nouse reported last term that a bitter legal battle amongst the directors and ex-staff had led to serious student complaints regarding a lack of information from the agency.
As a result, students were left confused and unaware of who to pay rent to and when to pay it.
Bennett told Nouse that YRLA “wasn’t run like a partnership, it was more like a dictatorship”. He went on to describe MacMahon’s leadership and work ethic as being of full of “smoke and mirrors”.
APYork developed as a company when MacMahon split from YRLA last year.