A Labour MP is proposing legislation which would mean that landlords who offer accommodation in exchange for sexual favours could be easier to prosecute.
Peter Kyle is proposing an amendment to the Police Bill now under consideration in Parliament to target rogue landlords and advertising platforms that allow their requests to be publicised.
At present, landlords offering such arrangements can only be prosecuted under Section 52 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This law requires the victim to legally define as a prostitute to secure a conviction, which MPs argue deters victims from coming forward.
Kyle’s amendment, revealed in the Daily Mail - which has been campaigning against rogue landlords - would mean that any landlord requiring or accepting sexual relations as a condition of accommodation would be liable to up to seven years in jail.
Websites hosting 'sex for rent' advertisements would be liable for fines of up to £50,000 per post.
The Mail reports that Tory safeguarding minister Victoria Atkins says: “We will continue to work closely with the police to ensure they have the tools they need to tackle this issue.”
However Kyle - who is Labour’s shadow schools spokesman - says : “Labour have acted. We've drafted powerful new offences to crack down on these vicious landlords, and on the websites that host them. Now it's up to the government to help us pass these amendments.”
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a large piece of legislation currently making its way through parliament.
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