A ‘vegan landlord’ has sparked debate after banning potential tenants from cooking meat or fish in their building.
Earlier this month, the landlord listed two apartments in his townhouse in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for rent.
One-bedroom apartments were put on the rental market for $4,500 and $5,750 per month respectively, the New York Times reports.
The apartment listing, which has since been removed, described how the ‘wonderful vegan landlord’ asked his new tenants to adhere to the ‘no meat/fish’ rule in their building.
Although the owner said they were open to carnivores living on their property, they asked that they refrain from cooking meat or fish.
The vegan owner has rented out two apartments in his townhouse in Fort Greene, Brooklyn [stock photo]
At an open house over the weekend, broker Andrea Kelly explained to a potential resident the reasoning behind the unusual clause.
She explained, “It’s not vegetarian-only, but the owner lives in the building and doesn’t want the smell of cooking meat coming upstairs.”
After facing backlash from potential tenants, the listing was removed from Douglas Elliman’s website and then republished without any mention of the cooking rule.
However, the owner’s ex-husband – who is also a vegan – insisted it was ‘not discrimination’.
They said, ‘You have to integrate into the building.’
Since the couple bought the property in 2007, they have never rented the apartments to meat eaters.
New York Human Rights Law states that landlords are not allowed to exclude potential tenants based on their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, occupation, or marital status.
However, it is legal for landlords to refuse to rent their property to meat eaters – many city residents also prohibit smoking.
In 2018, a Manchester landlord was accused of ‘discrimination’ after he banned vegans from asking to live in his spare room. The full list of ads with the line ***IF YOU ARE VEGAN, PLEASE PLEASE*** in all caps
At the open house, Tessa Ruben and her partner Darian Ghassemi said they would consider making an offer on the flat as they regularly order takeout.
But on reflection, Tessa said: ‘What makes me more nervous than the rule itself is knowing there’s someone upstairs making sure you follow it.’
In 2018, a Manchester landlord was accused of ‘discrimination’ after he banned vegans from asking to live in his spare room.
The resident owner, listed as ‘Alex’ on the SpareRoom ad which went live on Monday, warned viewers in all caps ‘if you’re vegan, don’t bother’ before going on to list other requirements.
His duplex flat, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, boasted a spacious living room, bathroom and two bedrooms for £700 a month.
A spokesperson for the Vegan Society said at the time: ‘While we can understand the owner intended the advert to be humorous, we don’t quite understand why he would object to living with a vegan. .
“It should be noted that if he rented a whole house, the discrimination would not be appropriate, but there is an exemption in certain situations, for example if you are a resident owner.
“It’s a well-known fact that many vegans are good cooks who watch what goes into their meals.
“Vegans are often happy to cook for their housemates too, which we think might cause Alex to reconsider his decision to ban them from his home.