Jinesh Varia is renting a three-bedroom luxury home with a beautiful backyard in Bothell, WA, a suburb of Seattle. If you’re a meat eater, Varia is offering $2,200 per month rent—but if you’re a vegetarian, that monthly rent goes down to $2,000.
“I really believe that, just like the no-smoking policy that all the landlords have today, that we can promote this as a way to spread awareness of vegetarian and veganism,” Varia tells CBS K5 News. The landlord cites spiritual, environmental, and ethical reasons for his financial decision.
Another reason a vegetarian lifestyle is so important to Varia: he and his family don’t eat meat, and they’re also members of the group Vegetarians of Washington.
Varia hopes to start a vegan and vegetarian discount trend in the Seattle area.
If you’re sitting there asking yourself: “What type of housing discrimination is illegal when it comes to property rentals?,” just know that the federal Fair Housing Act and the Fair Housing Amendment Acts and many state and local laws prohibit a landlord from selecting tenants based on the following criteria:
- Race or color
- National origin
- Disability or handicap, including physical and mental impairment
- Sex, including sexual harassment
- Familial status (includes protection for people with children under age 18 or pregnant women)
We don’t see eating preferences on that list. Ultimately, if you want Varia’s home, you have to choose between cheap rent or a burger.