Olly Barter, a writer and copywriter, posted on Twitter a reply he had received to his inquiry about a flat with the caption: “More flat-hunting hell. This is why I mentioned I’m gay in my enquiries. Dodged a bullet.”
The response read: “Hi Olly, apologies for the late reply. It looks like one flatmate would prefer a straight individual.
“It is terrible, but it is something this person would not negotiate...really sorry, good luck with your search.”
Later, in a response to another Twitter user, Olly explained: “I’m shocked but I’d rather ‘out’ myself and that happen than face a potentially dangerous situation later.”
Speaking to The Scotsman, Olly said: “I think the biggest surprise from this whole situation [after the initial text], has been the outpouring of support and solidarity from people.
“It’s great to see that while most people haven’t experienced a similar situation, they are shocked that it can occur, even in this day and age.”
And Olly revealed that since posting the text message on Twitter, he has been inundated with offers and suggestions of houseshares in the area.
He added: “I didn’t expect to get any leads on finding a room in South West London; however a few people have been extremely helpful in suggesting places they know of. As a result of this I’ve managed to arrange a viewing in Clapham, which is one of the areas I’ve been searching in.
”It’s great to know that there are people out there, heterosexual and LGBT alike, who refuse to accept bigotry in any form.
The incident comes less than six months after a gay couple were refused the right to rent a room in a south London property because they weren’t a ‘regular couple’.
A text from the landlord said: “Hi guys, sorry but we are looking for a regular couple. Thanks for understanding.”
George Poole and Matthew Greenaway’s experience was brought to light by Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford, who posted the messages on his Twitter account.
At the time, Poole told BuzzFeed news that it had ‘not been completely detrimental’ to the couple’s search for a flat, but it had ‘had a slight bearing on why we have nowhere to live yet’.
Under the 2010 Equality Act, it is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant because of their sexuality.
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