A landlord in London has been accused of race discrimination after banning Gambian student from renting her property because she claims that “African cooking makes the house smell”.
The 24-year-old, studying performing arts at the University of the Arts London said he “could not believe it” when his viewing was abruptly cancelled because of his ethnicity.
He said: “I was completely shocked at the landlord’s response and I still am today.
Mr Mboob said that once Ms Vimbsone realised where he was from, she retracted her statement declaring that: “It’s only for European people”.
“Growing up in England, I’ve experienced all types of racism, but this was the first time that I’ve experienced something this absurd”. he said.
“What makes it even more shocking is the fact she said ‘will be brilliant if you can make the time to come and view’, but soon changed her mind once she realised I was black.
“I wasn’t expecting her to even ask me about my background as I didn’t think it was relevant and she even had the nerve to say it wasn’t racist.
Mr Mboob added how the ordeal has left him feeling self-conscious when cooking African food in case other people have the same perception.
“She even tried to play it down by saying how she has Nigerian friends and that all their houses smell like what they cook,” he concluded.
“I’ve just moved in with new housemates and I’ve developed serious anxiety about cooking around them in case they hate the smell too.”
Ms Vimbsone declined to comment when approached by newsmen.
UK law prohibits refusal to rent property due to a person’s race as it breaches section 12 of the Equality Act 2010.
Under the Race Relations Act, it is unlawful for a landlord to discriminate against a tenant on racial grounds.
The Act defines racial grounds as including race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins.