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Growing political anger over Sex For Rent landlords

Both Labour and the Scottish National Party have spoken out over online platforms carrying advertisements from landlords seeking sexual favours in lieu of rent.

The issue is not confined to Scotland but politicians and campaigners north of the border have been particularly outspoken on the issue for some months.

Pauline McNeill, Scottish Labour’s housing and equalities spokesperson, says action should be taken against landlords taking advantage of the Coronavirus crisis.


She comments: “The Scottish Government must guarantee that, as we come out of the pandemic, robust measures are in place to help those who are struggling financially and ensure we don’t see a return to rough living, homelessness and exploitation.”

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart, of the SNP,  responds: “The law is clear that no one can be forced or coerced into sexual activity. This would include where someone is exploited through an exchange of sex for accommodation. Anyone at risk of coercion should seek advice and contact the police immediately.

“The Scottish Government does not have the power to force the removal of advertisements. However, we have previously written to Craigslist, Gumtree and Vivastreet regarding adverts like these. Gumtree committed to removing adverts of this type wherever reported.”

The Daily Record newspaper says Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson has also demanded action from both the UK and Scottish governments. “Regulate these platforms to stamp it out and get serious about the housing emergency by building the social homes needed” she says.

Meanwhile Sean Clerkin, of the Scottish Tenants Association, has told the newspaper: “A new law is needed to stop this exploitation.” 


Earlier this month Labour’s UK shadow justice minister,  Peter Kyle, demanded action against online platforms allowing such advertisements and the landlords identified in a sting by the Daily Mail at new Year. 

The Mail contacted over 20 UK male landlords advertising on the US-owned listings website Craigslist: its reporters were posing as a 21-year-old student who was repeatedly offered free accommodation in exchange for sexual acts.

The sexual overtures were made by an HMRC staff member and a former member of RAF Support Command amongst others.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

  • George Dawes

    That’s rigsby stuffed then

    Algarve  Investor

    Miss Jones!!! But, in all seriousness, this is a shocking state of affairs that needs to be clamped down upon by government, who as the commenter below has said have allowed this practice to thrive.

    Good to see papers actually campaigning on important issues like this, rather than the usual highly partisan stuff.

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    • 20 January 2021 08:09 AM

    Nice one!

  • icon

    I would rather have the money than sex with a scrubber that's been around the block a good few times.


    'Sex with a scrubber'? Charming! It's probably more likely to be a single tenant - maybe a student - who simply can't pay her way any more and is really just desperate to stay in the property. Please don't stereotype. This is a serious issue.



    Are you criticising Andrew for being selective?

  • Fery  Lavassani

    For years with the help of the government tenants were screwing the landlords. Now it seems the table is turning. What next?


    Oh dear! I think you've left David W speechless as there has not been a sanctimonious reproach from him.

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    These people need to be dealt with severely for taking advantage of vulnerable clients and basically coercing them into a form of prostitution. And the government need to acknowledge its part in allowing the conditions to thrive where this becomes possible, because we all know that you only need to create an opportunity and someone is bound to take advantage of the situation.

    Algarve  Investor

    Well said.


    Thank you Peter. At last someone is addressing the issue with the seriousness it deserves. It is not something to just make jokes about. It just indicates the desperate financial situation some of our tenants can be in.

    • 20 January 2021 11:05 AM

    Buyer beware....????
    Students need to learn. A hard wat to learn, but better for their future.

    • 20 January 2021 11:13 AM

    Stop being a white knight beta mangina David Wirth

  • James B

    I’m sure this stuff goes on yes like vast amounts of other crimes in the U.K. .. but it only hits the headlines as landlord bashing has become a U.K. pastime ..

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    • 20 January 2021 11:10 AM

    THEIR BODY THEIR CHOICE......ohhh wait hold on....the feminazi will be going mad on this one.

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    Surely the simple advice is to live within your means and avoid these sites?

    I despise those landlords who prey on vulnerable tenants but it would appear the problem is rare unless through properties advertised on such dodgy websites.


    I don't know of this kind of thing in my area, it would be sheer madness to have a relationship with a tenant, be like a teacher having a relationship with a school girl, and that has gone on locally.

  • icon

    One tenant offered me sex in exchange for the rent.
    I didn't fancy him. I don't swing that way.
    Luckily he left soon after. Telling me he had found a sugar daddy to live with.
    Life eh, you couldn't make it up.


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