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Generation Rent resuscitates sex-for-rent threat

Generation Rent has returned to the threat of rent-for-sex as it claims 200,000 female tenants could be offered discounted rent in return for sexual favours. 

A survey by Generation Rent and Mumsnet says four per cent of private renters who responded to their survey reported that they had been offered discounted or free rent by a landlord or letting agent. The survey received a total of 1,045 responses.

One respondent said: “I was a young girl of 17 with a baby renting to get away from an abusive family at the time when I was approached by one of the two landlords who owned the property I was staying at. He intimidated me continuously, making me feel extremely ugly, horrible, that I was a cheap girl that needed him and his help. When I turned him down, he got so nasty.” 

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The two organisations claims that as well as explicit ‘Sex for Rent’ propositions, respondents also reported that more general predatory behaviour was often displayed by landlords and letting agents during periods of economic instability.

Another respondent said: “Both times the landlord has used my poverty (being a student then being a young person fleeing abuse) to ask for sex/make lewd comments, knowing I depend on a reference from him to move elsewhere.”

‘Sex for Rent’ was affirmed as a sexual offence in 2017 by the Ministry of Justice. However, only one person has ever been convicted in a ‘Sex for Rent’ case. 

In February this year the government committed to launching a public consultation in the summer of 2022 which will investigate the need for a dedicated ‘Sex for Rent’ law, but no consultation has yet taken place.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, says: “Too many private renters, especially the most vulnerable private renters, continue to be exploited and abused by predators who have no place in the private rented sector.

"That's why it’s so disappointing the promised public consultation did not take place this summer. Finally, now the Online Safety Bill is back in the Commons, the government must make sure it makes the legislative change to tackle this issue online. It would be devastating if these commitments are not honoured.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues, low-income private renters are only being put into more desperate and vulnerable situations.”

“It is urgent that the Government acts to bring in a dedicated ‘Sex for Rent’ law, legislated so that platforms can no longer host this content. It should also support private renters by raising Local Housing Allowance to median rents, removing the benefit cap, and increasing local authorities’ funding so that they can distribute Discretionary Housing Payments to struggling private renters.” 

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.

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    Maybe if a large number of us were not selling the pressure on supply would not be there…. Now remind me again why we are selling up 🤔

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    A very small percentage of a very small sample of people who choose to fill in a survey.
    No indication of timelines so at least some of the alleged propositions would be very historic. Attitudes to sex were very different in the 1980s. Some would be misinterpretation. Some would be the girl feeling humiliated when the landlord turned down her offer. Taxi drivers used to routinely get offered a BJ for a ride home so presumably those same girls would offer a bit more for a roof over their heads? Of course it occasionally happens and it's wrong but what is a consultation supposed to do about it?

    Increasing LHA would obviously help make millions of tenants more secure in their homes. Ending the constant attacks on landlords would help even more. Scrap most of the Rental Reforms proposals. Remove Section 24 so we only get taxed on true profit not turn over. Incentivise us to stay in the industry providing long term homes and bring in zero CGT if we have owned a property for over 20 years, just like in other countries.

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    It makes these ladies prostitutes, no thank you I'll take the hard cash

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    No Vivienne it most certainly does not make you a pro as you are in a relationship, but a lady paying her rent with sexual favours most certainly is a pro

     
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    In essence unmarried mothers living with someone who is responsible for the property is just.that.

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    I hadn’t thought of it like that but yes it is basically the same thing

     
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    I have lived with my partner for 20 years, and he owns the property in which we live. Just because we are not married does not make me a p********!! (This site is not allowing me to print the word)It makes me a housewife, if I am not working.

     
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    If you live with your partner then you are in a relationship, but ladies paying their rent with sexual favours would come under the heading of sex for sale, I would have thought that was clear enough Vivienne

     
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    Personally if both parties agree with no pressure on either one I don’t see a problem.

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    The problem is there is pressure on one party, the female who could be homeless. I deal with young women and girls who would fall into this given certain circumstances. It is illegal and always should be.

     
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    I would be very careful in a consensual sex situation. You would be leaving yourself wide open to claims of sexual exploitation should anything go wrong with the relationship!

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    Agreed there , a sexual relationship mixed with work / business is a recipe for disaster

     
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    Generation Rent calling for a new law, when it is already against the law is comical and indicative of the lack of logic employed by activist charitybusinesses.

    I know we never get fairness, but if we’re asking for new laws against things that are already illegal, can we have a specific new law against people offering sexual services in return for low rents - who may in turn then claim to have been exploited for taking part in the activity that they themselves offered? Or is this another area where only landlords are expected to be responsible for their actions.

  • George Dawes

    What about men or transgender , how very sexist this lot are

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    Goodness me that sounds like expensive sex. I know its a messy old job but I suppose it has to be done.

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    There are 2.9 million Single Parents families but I am sure they virtually all have a partner (so are they all in this category) living with them or an ex -husband became a Partner following a Divorce to work the system because its made for them. They are going to avail of Housing Benefits, Child Benefits that married couples don’t get if earn over £50k and all earn more than that if working, School Uniforms, Books, School meals, Nursery help and the benefit for themselves of course.
    Take a look at Marriage figures those days if there is any.
    So we now have a broken Society created by the out of control system. I dare any Politician to mention this is it any wonder they couldn’t keep up the housing allowance, then expect the landlords to subsidise their Rents.

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    I agree with Simon 100% and any landlord worth his salt would keep well clear of any involvement like this with their Tenants.
    Good landlord practice but legally might differ either Its consensual or not.

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