Muslim-only house ad part of wider discrimination in housing market, Tenants’ Union says

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Details of the rental ad on Gumtree specifying that the property is only for muslims.

TENANTS’ advocates say an ad for a rental property in Hobart’s northern suburbs seeking “Muslim only” tenants is another sign of wider discrimination in Hobart’s rental market.

An ad posted on Gumtree is seeking a ”Muslim family” for a two-bedroom house in Glenorchy

The ad, posted on Sunday, says: “2 bedroom fully/partially furnished available till 21st Sept. Rent 295 pw excluding bills. Only for Muslim family.”

In January concerns were raised after rooms were advertised for rent in Hobart for Indians only.

Tenants’ Union of Tasmania solicitor Ben Bartl said while it was unusual to see a rental ad seeking tenants of a certain religion, the ad was another sign of a concerning rise in discrimination in Hobart’s constrained housing market.

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Mr Bartl said the most common forms of discrimination were against people on the basis of their race, whether they had children or whether they were on Centrelink benefits.

“It’s why we are pushing for laws for a standard application form so questions about children or about race or sex are excluded,” he said.

“We know that some real estate agents specify that if prospective tenants are in receipt of Centrelink benefits, they should not bother applying.”

The rental ad on Gumtree seeking only a muslim family.

Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Sarah Bolt said it was against the law to screen tenants on the basis of race or religion.

“Under the Anti-Discrimination Act it is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of race, religious belief or affiliation or religious activity in the area of accommodation,” she said.

“In the event that a complaint is received in relation to the advertisement, the complaint would be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Whereupon the complaint will be either rejected or accepted for investigation.

“Equal Opportunity Tasmania would encourage anybody who believes they have been discriminated against to lodge a complaint or contact the office for further information about the complaint handling processes under the Act.”

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