SpareRoom advert for female flatmate comes with very specific religion request

An advert from someone looking to flog their spare room has raised a few eyebrows with a bizarre request.

A listing on the site SpareRoom is trying to flog a room inside a flat in Stratford, East London.

However it wasn't the room itself, or even the flat that caused confusion, rather it was the religious-based demands of the potential room mate that did.

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The post reads: “This room is available immediately.

“I am trying to avoid different religions so probably if you are Catholic or Christian would suit best.

“I don’t have anything against other religions but it’s best when we just respect each other and not live with each other.

“I would prefer a female who is a working professional or student.

“I would like a sociable, friendly household but also plenty of space to do your own thing.”

The post – which contains none of the grammar we added – goes on to state that the person should be interested in music, cooking, gym, films, running, yoga, cinema, theatre, fitness, dancing, swimming, nature, writing and eating out.

So not much then.

According to My London, the post actually falls foul of the 2010 Equalities Act where “religion and belief” are protected characteristics.

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The act states: “It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of: age, gender reassignment, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or on maternity leave, disability, race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.”

A spokesman for SpareRooms said that they have looked into the post and apologised for it.

They added: “It wasn’t explained very well and we’ll speak to that member of staff to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“Religion is absolutely a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 but, under the Act, certain exemptions apply.

“When advertising a room in a property you live in, you’re allowed to state a preference for someone who shares your faith.

“This preference could be for numerous reasons (e.g. preferring to live with someone who doesn’t drink alcohol), but we’d always encourage the user to include these reasons to avoid misunderstandings (we’ve asked the advertiser to do this).

“If we spot an ad that doesn’t explain satisfactorily, we’d contact the user for clarification.”

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