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Before summer arrives, I plan to rent out the room in my basement again, but I want to keep my home 100% vegetarian. I know that I can discriminate based on sex, if I share an entrance with my renter, but can I discriminate based on diet?

I know diet isn't a protected class, but religion is and some people eat animal products as part of their religious celebrations.

I'd prefer a vegetarian or vegan to rent the room, but the person doesn't have to be, as long as they respect my no meat on the premises rule.

I made some calls, but can't seem to get a straight answer. What do you think?
Legal or not? I live in Colorado.
 

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You can accept or decline whoever you want. But online advertisements typically can't include such preferences.
 

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For an online ad, you just have to tip toe around it more is all. Don't straight up say "you must be vegetarian or vegan." Instead say, "I keep a meat free household and like it that way. If you think you would like living in that type of environment, I have a lovely room for rent."

Wording is everything.
 

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That's interesting. Where I live, it's totally OK to put preferences in ads. If you want a non-smoker, a student, a vegetarian, whatever - it's okay to say.

For example, you could list the ad as "vegetarian tenant wanted" or call it a "vegetarian friendly" household. That will hopefully attract the right people?

I found a place to live this way. It was 4 vegans looking to fill the 5th room in their house. They specifically stated that preference is given to vegan/vegetarian applicants, but anyone willing to share a meat-free home could apply. Their mother was a real estate agent and she's the one who placed the ad so I figure it would be OK to say something similar?? (I live in Canada though).

Good luck, I'm sure you'll find someone nice
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Graigslist states: "Stating a discriminatory preference in a housing post is illegal", but then I see it done all over the place on Craigslist.
 

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You will have no problem with posting an ad with preferences on Craigslist.

Try to say what you want, but not what you DON'T want, y'know?

For example "ideal for vegetarians" is okay, but "No meat-eaters, please" is... less OK.
 

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~
 

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I think lifestyle preferences are fine to be choosy, you just can't discriminate by colour, age, disability, etc. I think someone else already mentioned that you may have to be careful with your wording, but you can always filter your applications anyway.
 

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I'm sure you can say something like "looking for roommate in vegetarian household" and it'd be fine. On the getting-less-than-rare occasions I see ads for veg*n roommates, they pretty much say just that and I don't believe they've come across any problems for stating so.
 

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Vegans are not a protected class (yet) but neither are nonvegans. You can choose to only rent to veg*ns if you want.

However, it might simply be easier to state the living arrangements rather than make it about the renter's identity. For example, explain the rule to keep the household veg - no meat in the house. This is the same way that a household can be "no smoking" without requiring that all people who live there are nonsmokers.
 

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There are all kinds of different things you can or cannot do depending on what you share with the renter. Bathroom? Kitchen? you can discriminate on sex, because of some religious something or another that men don't want women touching their food or where they piss or something. When we put up an ad on craigslist looking for roommates, we just used 'buzzwords' to get the roommates we wanted. we spent way more time describing ourselves than what we were looking for. It seems to have worked well, because these are the best roommates we ever had, and we only had a few applicants that we had to decide between, and the only people who applied were totally serious about fitting in well. our ad looked something like this:

"we are a NPR, cycling, veg*n couple with a female pitbull. avowed mac enthusiasts, paid the city more for the larger recycling bin, most of our income goes to our garden and chickens, 420 friendly and affiliated as Slytherin & Gryffindor, SEC denomination. Unavailable for anything Sundays or Saturdays, September - Feb. We have parties once in awhile, rent out our basement to bands, and sometimes have weekly dinner parties. we are looking for two single person roommates to rent a Jack - and - Jill room/bathroom on the second floor. You will be sharing a bathroom with whoever the other roommate is. You pay utilities plus 300/mo. Washer Dryer on the same floor. Responsible pets welcome. [photos of house.][photos of yard.] Near [trainstation] and [busroute] and [university]."

Our roommates didn't turn out to be veg*n, but don't mind listening to my objections/whatever, and there haven't been any problems. We actually talked to a lawyer before posting too, because we didn't know if including our race or our income was illegal. (it is.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlas. View Post

our ad looked something like this:

"we are a NPR, cycling, veg*n couple with a female pitbull. avowed mac enthusiasts, paid the city more for the larger recycling bin, most of our income goes to our garden and chickens, 420 friendly and affiliated as Slytherin & Gryffindor, SEC denomination. Unavailable for anything Sundays or Saturdays, September - Feb. We have parties once in awhile, rent out our basement to bands, and sometimes have weekly dinner parties. we are looking for two single person roommates to rent a Jack - and - Jill room/bathroom on the second floor. You will be sharing a bathroom with whoever the other roommate is. You pay utilities plus 300/mo. Washer Dryer on the same floor. Responsible pets welcome. [photos of house.][photos of yard.] Near [trainstation] and [busroute] and [university]."

Our roommates didn't turn out to be veg*n, but don't mind listening to my objections/whatever, and there haven't been any problems. We actually talked to a lawyer before posting too, because we didn't know if including our race or our income was illegal. (it is.)
I love your ad. I wish more people would make ads as well thought out. Last time I helped someone find a room to rent there was a lot of calling random adds and weeding through. Ads like this would have helped so much and saved alot of time. Really explains what kind of household it is and by exstention what kind of person would fit in.

Audrey
 

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I was under the impression you can choose whoever the hell you want, that you could refuse anyone if their not 5'8 and a half with blonde hair, and missing a toe, for example lol. If it's you renting out your space i would think it's up to you and whatever you want.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlixJ18 View Post

I was under the impression you can choose whoever the hell you want, that you could refuse anyone if their not 5'8 and a half with blonde hair, and missing a toe, for example lol. If it's you renting out your space i would think it's up to you and whatever you want.
Yeah... no, doesn't work that way. If I wanted to smoke in my office building, that I own, legally I couldn't. Same thing with renting out property that one owns. Do-gooders (not necessarily used derogatorily) have made certain behaviors and practices illegal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audretoburrito View Post

I love your ad. I wish more people would make ads as well thought out. Last time I helped someone find a room to rent there was a lot of calling random adds and weeding through. Ads like this would have helped so much and saved alot of time. Really explains what kind of household it is and by exstention what kind of person would fit in.

Audrey
+1. It's perfect. Hell I want to move in! It's so detailed, descriptive, informative, honest, and humorous.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forster View Post

Yeah... no, doesn't work that way. If I wanted to smoke in my office building, that I own, legally I couldn't. Same thing with renting out property that one owns. Do-gooders (not necessarily used derogatorily) have made certain behaviors and practices illegal.
I meant more, not you can do anything you want with your property, but that you don't have to live with a person that you do not like.
 
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