Cian O'Callaghan TD

Tomorrow, a Social Democrats’ Bill, “Ban On Sex For Rent 2022”, will be debated by the Dáil.

The government must fast-track legislation which makes demanding sex in lieu of rent a specific criminal offence, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

“As the rental crisis deepens, there have been reports of a minority of landlords demanding sex from prospective tenants in lieu of rent. Last week, it was revealed that Ukrainian refugees were being deliberately targeted by grossly exploitative landlords.

“This shows the depraved depths of the housing crisis, where some despicable landlords expect sexual favours in return for putting a roof over people’s heads. The fact that refugees fleeing war could be subjected to such disgusting demands shows the urgent need to legislate in this area.

“Tomorrow, a Social Democrats’ Bill, Ban On Sex For Rent 2022, will be debated by the Dáil. I was pleased that Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirmed in the Dáil today that it is a piece of good legislation and the government intends to support it.

“However, the government must do more – and fast-track this Bill through the Dáil. There is a gap in the law, when it comes to sex being demanded in lieu of rent, that urgently needs to be filled. This Bill can do this.

“The Ban On Sex For Rent Bill 2022 creates an offence of requiring or accepting sex as a condition of accommodation and also creates a second offence, for anyone including publishers, of facilitating the requirement or acceptance of sex as a condition of accommodation. These offences carry penalties of up to seven years in prison or a €50,000 fine.

“This Bill is not a panacea – it is one aspect of the required State response to protect renters. Protections for tenants can also be bolstered by a nationwide ban on rent increases; a deposit protection scheme; an end to no-fault evictions and the establishment of a rent register. Crucially, the supply of affordable housing must also increase as a matter of urgency.”

22 March, 2022


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