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Vegan New York landlord refuses to rent apartments to tenants that cook meat or fish
Featured Image Credit: Robert K. Chin / Alamy Stock Photo / Lensmen Photographic Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

Vegan New York landlord refuses to rent apartments to tenants that cook meat or fish

The Brooklyn apartment comes with a smell test

Finding an apartment can always be a somewhat sticky situation - what with sky-high rent prices, dodgy fittings and the fiasco of dealing some pretty unusual landlord requests.

Two Brooklyn apartments, as stunning as they were spacious complete with outdoor spaces, period details and retro wooden flooring, were listed earlier this month and, on paper, it all sounded pretty great.

However, upon further inspection, prospective tenants soon found out the vegan New Yorker landlord didn't want to rent the apartments to tenants that cook meat or fish.

The vegan New Yorker didn't want to rent the apartments to tenants that cook meat or fish.
Lensmen Photographic Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

"The wonderful vegan landlord," the broker wrote, had just one house rule to renters looking to move in: "No meat/fish in the building."

Broker Andrea Kelly from Douglas Elliman Real Estate explained that meat-eaters weren't banned - it was just cooking meat and fish in the buildings that was off-limits.

She said: "It’s not vegetarian-only, but the owner lives in the building and doesn’t want the smell of cooking meat drifting upstairs."

In short, sushi and a pepperoni pizza takeout: A-OK. Frying off some fillets, searing off some salmon and roasting a turkey: 100 per cent no.

However, it seems like the ban wasn't a total deal-breaker as a by-appointment-only open house on Sunday (18 June) saw a 'steady stream' of tenants looking to nab the two Fort Greene one-bedroom apartments the New York Times reports.

It seems the hefty price was too off-putting either, with both abodes currently priced at $4,500 and $5,750.

While landlord, Michal Arieh Lerer, and Andrea alongside her fellow employers at Douglas Elliman didn't give a comment at the time - Lerer's ex-husband, Motti, who co-owns the building and is also vegan opened up about the rule.

He revealed that, since they bought the house back in 2007, he and Michal had both refused to rent the spaces to to carnivores who cook.

"It’s not about discrimination," Motti explained. "You have to fit into the building."

The apartments are currently priced at $4,500 and $5,750.
Robert K. Chin / Alamy Stock Photo

So, can landlords legally consider a prospective tenant's dietary requirements when considering an application?

Well, under the city's Human Rights Law, landlords renting out spaces in the Big Apple are not allowed to consider 14 specific characteristics when it comes to deciding whether to rent an apartment to someone.

Such characteristics include age, race, family status, job, source of income and sexual orientation.

Having a hankering for some grilled steak is not on the list.

The listing that mentioned the no-meat cooking rule, posted on, has since been removed from the site.

However, Douglas Elliman went on to list the apartments on its own site without the inclusion of the meat policy.

Some people were clearly shocked by the rule - almost as shocked as when we all found out the odd reason why parmesan isn't vegetarian - with one local, Corey, the superintendent of a nearby building, telling the The Post: "You can’t tell people what to eat and what not to eat."

He declared: "That ‘ain’t right. I wouldn’t be able to rent there."

Scott Fu, a 29-year-old bike mechanic who lives nearby, added: "That’s a new one! Can you legally do that, outlaw smells?

"If you can, I’d outlaw whatever the hell my neighbor’s cooking constantly because it stinks."

UNILAD has reached out to Douglas Elliman Real Estate for comment.

Topics: US News, New York, Food and Drink, Vegan, Life