So I just got message which read something like:
Vacancy; 3 bedroom flat, No.X Shaki crescent, Surulere, Lagos. Rent #500,000. Yoruba Muslim only.
It reminded me of the salon owner in England who was arrested for putting out a notice that her beauty salon would no longer cater to people of the Islam faith. Please bear in mind that this post is not about religion or Islam but discrimination based on tribe and faith.
In the middle of throwing a rant I stopped for a while to think; should a land owner be entitled to decide whom he wants to lease out his property to, or should there be a law against this as it is discriminatory?
In Lagos it's not at all unusual to see landlords refuse to rent out to Igbos. I shared months ago about my friend who just moved back from England and began to house-hunt. He soon found one he fell in love with and even though it was pricey he was willing to pay immediately. Unfortunately the agent soon informed him that the landlord said he wasn't renting out to Igbos. For my friend who's biracial and has lived most of his life in Europe, it sounded outlandish to him and he insisted on a meeting with the landlord. He thought he could convince the man that he's a responsible individual who could be trusted, and if his tribe was the problem; he's only half igbo! (LOL). On meeting the lad, the landlord took in his fair skin and grey eyes and empathetically said "You resemble oyibo but your last name is igbo, your father is an igbo man". He refused to rent to my friend and that was that.
It wasn't the first I'd heard of it but this text I just received has got me thinking that these landlords be taking the piss!
But what do you think about it; Is it a person's prerogative to decide not to rent out to persons of certain tribes and religions; is it well within their rights and entitlement being the owner of the property, or should such discrimination be enshrined in our (tenancy) statutes as sanctionable offenses?