An apartment ad requiring no meat and fish in the building has fed conversations about tenant rights and responsibilities.
The two Brooklyn apartments available for $4,500 and $5,750 a month have only one rule from the ‘wonderful vegan landlord’ - ‘no meat/fish in the building’.
As the landlord also lives in the building, they do not want to smell of cooking meat drifting upstairs – but tenants may consume meat cooked and prepared elsewhere.
Landlord and vegan activist Catherine told Lunchtime Live she only rents the room in her home to vegans.
“If you’re a vegan and you have compassion for animals, you don’t want animal flesh being cooked in your home,” she said.
Beyond cooking meat and fish, Catherine would not rent to anyone who eats meat at all.
“It's same as not wanting someone smoking in my house,” she said. “People don’t want pets they don’t want kids.
“The landlord is entitled to have those rules.”
Catherine said this rule can also educate tenants on the “plights of animals and what they suffer”.
“It's a way of educating people and helping them see the light,” she said.
Fellow vegan Gabriel said he doesn’t think a tenant’s life should be “dictated by a landlord”.
“If I owned a building and effectively each unit was self-contained and wouldn’t interfere with my living space, I would have to a bit more open,” he said.
'It's a no-go area'
Real estate agent Hugh told Lunchtime Live vegan landlords have no real right to ban meat-eaters from their property.
“Those rules of the Residential Tenancies Board are every clear,” he said. “There’s a standardised lease and there are rules and regulations within that document.”
“When we come down to talking about individuals and what they eat in a property, that's just a no-go area in the rental market.
Hugh said Ireland has “the most regulated rental industry and property industry in the world at the moment” - but diet is not included in that legislation.
“When it comes down to it, you can’t stipulate what people eat in their property,” he said.
Catherine disagreed and said she has a right to choose who she lives with.
“I own my house, I worked hard for it, I can choose who lives there,” she said.
“I can interview tenants and select the one I like the most and the one I have most in common with.”
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