Gay couple refused south London house viewing and purchase

The sellers defended their decision to deny the viewing and purchase based on their religious beliefs.

1/25/2022 10:00:00 PM

A gay couple describes their shock at being refused a viewing and the chance to buy a house in south London because of their sexuality.

The sellers defended their decision to deny the viewing and purchase based on their religious beliefs.

Luke Whitehouse and Lachlan Mantell fell in love with the £650,000 three-bedroom homeA gay couple have described their shock at being refused a viewing and the chance to buy a house in south London because of their sexuality.Lachlan Mantell and Luke Whitehouse were sent a message from the owners of the property they were interested in that said they were "unwilling" to let them view or buy it.

The homeowners defended their decision based on their religious beliefs.Online estate agency Purplebricks has withdrawn the house from their website.Mr Whitehouse, 34, and Mr Mantell, 37, have been together for eight years and planned to view the three-bedroom, £650,000 house last Saturday.

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Image caption, Luke Whitehouse and Lachlan Mantell fell in love with the £650,000 three-bedroom home A gay couple have described their shock at being refused a viewing and the chance to buy a house in south London because of their sexuality. Lachlan Mantell and Luke Whitehouse were sent a message from the owners of the property they were interested in that said they were "unwilling" to let them view or buy it. The homeowners defended their decision based on their religious beliefs. Online estate agency Purplebricks has withdrawn the house from their website. Mr Whitehouse, 34, and Mr Mantell, 37, have been together for eight years and planned to view the three-bedroom, £650,000 house last Saturday. But, before they could do so they got a message from the sellers via Purplebricks. It read: "Dear Lachlan and Luke, thank you for sharing your circumstances with us. "We're sorry if we seem intrusive, but we just want to make clear that we would be unwilling for two men in a partnership to view or buy our house. As it is contrary to the gracious teaching in God's Word, the Holy Bible, e.g. Romans 1:24-28 and Jude (King James Version)." The couple said they were not planning on taking any legal action, but they were keen to get back to searching for a new home. 'Not acceptable' Mr Mantell told BBC London: "To have it as the first time we could put an offer on, and to love it so much, and to have that reaction, took the wind out of our sails. It was so disappointing. "We don't wish the couple any ill will, we just wanted to get a message out that this kind of thing happens and it is not acceptable." Mr Whitehouse, from Putney and originally from Sedgley, West Midlands, said he initially thought the message was a joke, but then described feeling angry and sad at what they were facing. "We've experienced homophobia before but this seemed like it was on a bigger scale," he said. "It was preventing us from progressing in our lives, not just a flippant remark. "It felt like the biggest form of discrimination I've ever experienced." Purplebricks said the sentiments expressed in the homeowners' message were "completely opposed to Purplebricks' views and values". A spokeswoman added: "We have contacted the seller to return their fee and request that they sell their property with a different agent." Follow BBC London on