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 A year 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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Reluctant Landlord

17:40 PM, 24th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 24/04/2023 - 15:47
agreed. Waffle no substance. Another headline to make all LL's now sound like perverts and sex pests.

Seriously?? - rent paid by sex don't pay the mortgage/elec bill/licences/ EICR/gas cert/EPC cert and improvements.....Id rather the £'s so I can retire not just lie down.....


10:54 AM, 25th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 24/04/2023 - 17:40
I think that's correct. I have daughters so I tend to feel negative about sexually predatory behaviour, although in reality whilst I'm straight I also understand that sexually predatory behaviour could equally apply to men. These proposals only apply to women; young gay men are also vulnerable.

At the same time though I'm not judgemental. If a young man or young woman voluntarily came to an arrangement with someone else that involved sex for anything that benefited them and the arrangement was voluntary and not coercive, I wouldn't judge them for it, whatever it was.

But the way this proposed law is going I'm going to have to wear a bodycam to do a landlord's inspection. I don't actually mind that as it means I will be able to gather evidence on bad tenants and it will be easier to evict them. The technology is there; I just need a law that tells me I can do it.

Reluctant Landlord

11:15 AM, 26th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 25/04/2023 - 10:54
as far as I am aware (someone will put me right no doubt if i'm not) IF you tell the tenant this is what you are doing in advance (write to them in advance even better) that the visit is going to be recorded for personal security purposes then I think the law is on your side. I had a burglar alarm system out in at my own home with cameras and the installer said as long as I had stickers around stating that cameras were in use overt to the where the cameras are located then this is the only 'legal' forwarning required.

If you do covert recording then dodgy grounds for all sorts of comeback I guess....


11:30 AM, 26th April 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by DSR at 26/04/2023 - 11:15
So the technology already exists to do this. You can get a pair of glasses for example with a camera mounted between the two lenses; security guards sometimes wear them when they are working alone.

So, if as a landlord I need to do a landlord's inspection and I'm doing that inspection on my own. I give the tenant twenty four hours notice of the inspection and simultaneously tell the tenant that I will be recording the inspection, for my protection and for theirs. I go in with a pair of glasses with a camera and sound recording and I record both them and the state of the property so that I have a record of the state of the property and he or she has a record that sex was not offered and I did not ask for it.

That's all OK is it? And tenants' representative groups are going to be happy with that from a privacy point of view?


15:38 PM, 29th April 2023, About A year ago

Yet another government consultation.

It would be great if they put this much effort into publishing
- the new EPC/MEES requirements
- the updated HHSRS
- the new Decent Homes Standards

We do not need more legislation when:
"The offer of ‘sex for rent’ is [already] illegal under the Sexual Offences Act and a landlord can be prosecuted for any attempt to engage in sex for rent."

Like the dysfunctional licencing regime, more regulation, such as the Deregulation Act, simply made it easier for local authorities to select the low hanging fruit and fine landlords for small breaches of licencing schemes.

What we need is more enforcement against the criminal minority of "rogue" landlords and agents.
These operators who flout their obligations are more likely to countenance such sex predator behaviour, not responsible, professional landlords.

iHowz landlord association note this week's announcement by the NRLA that licencing should be standardised with more resources to root out the rogues.

iHowz ask the government to focus on the property portal, which all parties agree should be brought in as soon as possible.

Combining public access to rental property compliance certification and independent surveyor inspection would remove the need for local authority licencing, leaving them free to identify and pursue the rogues.

Personally, I am surprised that Suella Braverman and her team have time for pursuing landlords, given that they must be preocupied with their new holiday accommodation venture, offering cruises and trips to Rwanda (with no ATOL accreditation) for those seeking a home in the UK.
After all, landlords have been doing passport control since 2016, long before BREXIT got done (Right to Rent was introduced under the Immigration Act 2014).

anthony altman

22:02 PM, 30th April 2023, About A year ago

The government knows this is not something that happens often
This is just to stir up violence and hatred towards landlords families that provide homes for other families
Result for them


10:53 AM, 2nd May 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Rod at 29/04/2023 - 15:38
I don't know the law on this but if what you say:

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

is right then I agree with this. I think it's wrong to be coerced into sex for any kind of remuneration and the fact that it's rent rather than drugs or some other form of payment doesn't make any difference.

At the same time though not every relationship is the typical husband-and-wife-plus-two-kids-and-a-dog setup: I suspect there are people out there who come to private arrangements which are non-coercive and that suit them and their lives. I'm not inclined to judge those arrangements.

I think this proposal has the potential to do a lot of collateral damage.

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