The government is once again being urged to introduce fresh legislation to outlaw the ‘despicable’ practice of sex-for-rent deals.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Wera Hobhouse, the Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, asked what discussion ministers have had with Cabinet colleagues on increasing the number of successful prosecutions of people that offer rent-free accommodation in return for sex.
The MP pointed out that the practice of offering rent-for-sex is illegal but continues to occur.
She wants to see the government consider the creation of a code of conduct or binding legislation to prevent websites from hosting these adverts.
In response, Equalities Minister Edward Argar said that the practice is “despicable” and “preys on vulnerable people” seeking affordable accommodation.
He said that his department has been working to ensure the availability of the offence to prosecute this behaviour.
The Ministry of Justice says this is illegal and even placing an advert is breaking the law and could result in a seven year jail term.
But various adverts still appear online offering accommodation in return for sex.