Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: It's best to be upfront in flats

2 comments

A Trade Me listing for a room in a Wellington flat came under fire this week and even attracted the attention of the Human Rights Commission.

The ad said: "We don't want to live with a couple, a heterosexual person, or someone who is loud at night, or drinks/does drugs/party[s] a lot."

I personally don't see where the issue lies.

It is logical and useful to include this sort of information in a flatmate wanted ad.
Amy Wiggins

Whether people admit it or not, sexual orientation is certainly something most people would take into consideration when vetting potential flatmates.

Amy Wiggins.
Amy Wiggins.

From experience I know how time consuming and difficult trawling through listings for rooms can be.

Anything that helps narrow down the field is helpful.

That sort of thing is exactly what I need to know. As a married, heterosexual woman, there is no point me applying.

Neither those living in the house or those applying want to waste their time meeting potential flatmates who could be ruled out with a single question.

The Human Rights Commission confirmed it was legal under the Human Rights Act to turn potential flatmates away on the basis of sexual orientation.

That seems like common sense to me.

Living in the same house as someone is very different to working with them in a professional setting.

Read more: Drivers flout road rules at city's intersections

It's important you get on with your flatmates and have common attitudes and beliefs so it's best to be upfront about who you are and what you are looking for in a flatmate.

You need to be comfortable and able to relax when at home.

We are too concerned with being politically correct these days.

It is logical and useful to include this sort of information in a flatmate wanted ad.

The flatmates who posted the listing have now defended their wording saying, "You are not being discriminated against by us, we just don't want to live with you."

Fair enough.

The attitude has to go both ways though. If it is okay to state you do not want a heterosexual flatmate, it has to be okay for others to state they do not want a homosexual flatmate.

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