According to the guidelines listed by Equal Opportunity, Tasmania, it is illegal to post advertisements for accommodation that “promote, express or depict discrimination or other unlawful behaviors.
According to the latest Rental Affordability Index, Tasmania is the most unaffordable capital city for renters in Australia where every day hundreds of people view online rental advertisements in Hobart.
But besides the affordability issue lies Hobart’s rental crisis springing up from the disparity between soaring rent, joblessness and stagnating wages. Moreover, the worse scenario is the acute shortage of properties available on rent.
In these conditions, for those who can’t afford, shared accommodation is what left to get a roof on budget.
students like Munah are still finding it extremely hard to get a room on rent beside the various rental ads are galore on Gumtree, Facebook and other online portals.
Munah told SBS Punjabi “It’s been over two months since me and my friend have been looking out for a room on rent, but whenever we check on Gumtree, everything says “for Indians only” or for “pure vegetarians” and because we are none, we are straight away out of the picture.”
the newly-arrived student from Malaysia added “You tell me, where should we go? I’m living in a one-room unit with six other girls, it’s totally crammed,”
Many internet portals including social media are filled with such ads where property owners have listed out their preferred ethnicity, sex and even marital status of their prospective tenants.
“It is unlawful to post advertisements for accommodation that “promote, express or depict discrimination or other unlawful behaviors” according to Equal Opportunity Tasmania.
Legal action must be taken against such advertiser and the owner of the property or publication in which a discriminatory advert is published. They both will be held liable for “contravening the Anti-Discrimination Act’
Ms. Ritchie told Tasmania Talks. “You can imagine the offense that might be taken if someone put an advertisement in the public arena saying ‘look, I’ve got a room for rent but I’ll only rent to an African-American or a Caucasian person”
she added. “If you’re not Indian there’s no point in you applying, and that’s the offensive part” The matter has been reported to reported Equal Opportunity Tasmania by Ms. Ritchie.