New ‘sex for rent’ law aimed at predatory landlords

New ‘sex for rent’ law aimed at predatory landlords

0:04 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago 17

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A consultation that could lead to a new law to crack down on landlords demanding ‘sex for rent’ has been unveiled.

The Home Office is now starting a consultation on its plans – and asking whether current laws are effective enough.

The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, says the law would bring to justice predatory landlords who are exploiting vulnerable people for sex in return for discounted or free rent.

Now, the government wants to hear from victims of the practice, along with charities and police.

‘Exploited in ‘sex for rent’ arrangements’

Ms Braverman said: “It’s wholly unacceptable that vulnerable people, and particularly young women, are being exploited in ‘sex for rent’ arrangements.

“This is an abuse of power which puts people in desperate situations and has no place in our country.”

She added: “The launch of this public call for evidence brings us closer to ending this deeply harmful trend and better protecting victims.

“And it is another example of how this government will not stop in our efforts to bring more sexual and domestic abusers to justice.”

‘Sex for rent’ is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act

The offer of ‘sex for rent’ is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act and a landlord can be prosecuted for any attempt to engage in sex for rent.

The Home Office says it wants to understand better the scale of the issue.

Its call for evidence will consider whether the current laws go far enough – or if new legislation is needed to tackle the ‘abhorrent’ issue to protect vulnerable people from harm.

Research from the homeless charity Shelter highlights that nearly 1 in 50 women in England have been propositioned by a landlord in the last five years.

The consultation phase will run for 10 weeks in a bid to hear the views of anyone who has been directly involved in a ‘sex for rent’ arrangement – and where they were compelled, coerced or deceived into it.

‘200,000 women could be victims of ‘Sex for Rent’

Dan Wilson Craw, the deputy director of Generation Rent, said: “This call for evidence is vital. Research conducted by Generation Rent and Mumsnet estimates that over 200,000 women could be victims of ‘Sex for Rent’ in the United Kingdom.

“Four per cent of all respondents indicated that they had been offered free or discounted rent in return for sexual favours, with this rising to a shocking 1 in 10 respondents with a household income below £20,000.”

He added: “We know the vast majority of landlords abide by the law: seeking permission to enter and respecting their tenants’ privacy.

“However, given the unparalleled access landlords have to tenants’ personal spaces and lives, and the scale of the issue, this consultation is necessary in ensuring that everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, has access to a safe and secure home, free from harassment and exploitation.”


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Comments

Reluctant Landlord

9:26 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

I doubt very much this is on the scale that legislation is required,. There is no concrete evidence so far only 'estimates'...imagine the evidence needed to prove anything anyway and do you really think the Police are going to get involved here?

More hot air with no substance....

Beaver

10:45 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

I haven't ever asked anyone for sex instead of rent and I've housed single mums before.

However, I don't agree with this statement:

“....given the unparalleled access landlords have to tenants’ personal spaces and lives...”

As a landlord you don't have unparalleled access to tenants' personal spaces and lives. Your rights are actually very limited.

anthony altman

11:00 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Is not about sex for rent it is about stirring up hatred and violence
These are the headlines the gangs want to see
''It has been reported that the number of landlords attacked with clubs and iron bars in the street by protestors has risen to 163 this week alone 42 were pronounced dead at the scene and the remainder have life threatening injuries
How long do you think before this becomes reality

Beaver

12:14 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by anthony altman at 24/04/2023 - 11:00
I'm not sure about sex for rent being about stirring up hatred and violence. The quote from the person from Generation Rent says:

“We know the vast majority of landlords abide by the law: seeking permission to enter and respecting their tenants’ privacy."

And that's the point. You don't have unparalleled access to lives and privacy. As a landlord there are laws restricting your access. You've got less access to your tenants than their neighbours have.

SCP

12:20 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

"Dan Wilson Craw, the deputy director of Generation Rent, said: “ Research conducted by Generation Rent and Mumsnet estimates that over 200,000 women could be victims of ‘Sex for Rent’ in the United Kingdom."

My own Research indicates over 5 million women could be victims....

northern landlord

12:27 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

It’s another step in the vilification of landlords by Shelter. Not only are we all rich, mean and grasping, forcing people to live in hovels at extortionate rents and evicting on a whim now we are sexual predators as well. I am sure it does happen but like DSR I also doubt very much this is on the scale that legislation is required. There is plenty of legislation to protect individuals from sexual exploitation but the problem is getting people to come forward. There is also the burden of proof which is where many cases fall down. Recent cases have shown that people can present themselves as victims and make accusations that are subsequently disproven but mud sticks and the reputations of the accused are trashed. Such an accusation would I think stop an eviction dead in its tracks. We do have a single mum tenant and we have a perfectly amiable relationship but ever mindful I only visit by confirmed prior arrangement and always take my wife along.

Reluctant Landlord

12:58 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

I wonder where Gen Rent and Shelter would stand if a LL decided that they felt safest having a body cam on when attending organised and agreed tenant checks?

I've been threatened with violence and told that my property would be burnt to the ground.

'Evidence' works both ways....

Beaver

15:34 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 24/04/2023 - 12:58
I know. It's not something I've thought about much before, even when I was housing single mums; the question just never came up!

If somebody is proposing a new law it does raise a number of other questions. What happens for example if you don't ask for sex in lieu of payment but a tenant offers it to you? Or a tenant claims that you asked? Tenants have lots of protections and you definitely do not have 'unparalleled access to their lives' as their landlord. In fact, as a landlord you have very few protections compared to your tenants.

Reluctant Landlord

15:42 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 24/04/2023 - 15:34Trouble is,,,if you were offered and formally wrote back to confirm no, it could be twisted to make it look like you asked originally...
minefield.
I'd be tempted (if asked) to say no, do the rest of the check, then set the phone to record (in pocket not obvious) and go back and say.... before I leave, can you just confirm what you said to me earlier as it took me a back a bit. Can you be clear about what you mean exactly?....then at least you have confirmation that they approached you in the first place??

Beaver

15:47 PM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 24/04/2023 - 15:42
I don't know, I've never thought about it. It's not clear to me though why a new law is required.

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