A German landlord has been fined for refusing to rent a property to a same-sex couple.

The unnamed landlord had been charged with discrimination and was order to pay €1,700 in compensation to the couple by the regional court in Cologne.

The man owned a villa in the city, which he regularly rented to newly-weds to earn a bit more cash. On discovering the couple were gay, he refused to allow them to stay.

The court held that his refusal to rent the property on the grounds of sexual orientation violated German law and was illegal.

It added it could not find a substantive reason as to why he had discriminated the couple.

The man argued that to rent to the couple would have conflicted with his “sense of morality and decency”. However, the court said that there was no reason he should be more offended by a gay couple using the villa than a straight one.

Although the German Government has repeated refused to introduce marriage equality in the country, the law does still offer some strong protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It is illegal for an LGBT person to be refused access to good and services based on their identity and employers cannot fire someone because of it either.

Germany currently recognises civil unions, but doesn’t grant equal rights on things such as adoption.