Paeroa property owner's discriminatory Trade Me tenancy ad mocked online

Stock image of a rental property illustration with key, inset screenshot of Trade Me listing
Photo credit: Getty Images, r/newzealand / Reddit

A Trade Me advertisement for a rental property in Paeroa is causing quite a stir online due to the very specific - and discriminatory - non-negotiables outlined by the owner. 

The listing was for an insulated three-bedroom home in the Waikato town, suitable for a maximum of four tenants. 

The beginning of the listing was innocuous enough with the owner noting they wanted a tenant who would "fit into the neighbourhood" due to the older residents in the surrounding area. 

But it was the second paragraph that caught the attention of prospective tenants, prompting a viewer to share a screenshot of the listing to the r/newzealand forum on Reddit. 

"In summary: if you own a pitbull, smoke P, don't work, get out of bed at 11:30am, drive a noisy V8, can't pay rent, want far now [whānau] to live in the garage, abuse the neighbours, slap the missus up at midnight and generally act anti-socially - don't contact me."

Sharing the screenshot to the subreddit on Thursday, the user captioned it, "No 'far now' allowed in this garage" alongside the facepalm emoji - prompting over 350 votes and more than 200 comments, many of which mercilessly mocked the owner's demands.

"Personally I don't think this is too strict. I only smoke pot, and I have a V6," one deadpanned, with a second pointing out: "You can't slap the missus up at midnight, but any other time of the day is fine."

"Whether I get out of bed at 11:30 or not has got nothing to do with my landlord," another weighed in, with a fourth adding: "Probably should've just left the 'summary' off the listing and [it] would have been fine."

A screenshot of the listing, shared to Reddit
Photo credit: r/newzealand / Reddit

Others noted that the property advertisement was discriminatory, which is unlawful under tenancy law when it breaches the Human Rights Act. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, it's against the law to choose tenants based on employment status (e.g., if unemployed), as well as race or colour, nationality, ethnicity, origin or citizenship, and gender.

For example, a landlord can't turn down a potential tenant because they "don't work", as stipulated by the property owner in the listing. 

However, several Redditors sympathised with the owner, noting that they might have had bad experiences with tenants in the past.

At the time of writing, it appears the listing has been removed from Trade Me.