This shows the depraved depths of the housing crisis, where grossly exploitative landlords expect sexual favours in return for putting a roof over people’s heads
Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan is today launching legislation which would make demanding sex for rent a criminal offence.
Deputy O’Callaghan said:
“As the rental crisis deepens, there have been reports of a minority of landlords demanding sex from prospective tenants in lieu of rent. This shows the depraved depths of the housing crisis, where grossly exploitative landlords expect sexual favours in return for putting a roof over people’s heads.
“A chronic shortage of rental properties, and sky-high rents for the limited supply that does exist, means that manipulative people are stepping in to take advantage of desperate people.
“The increased number of ads of this nature in the past year is deeply concerning. It is especially worrying that these ads have been placed on platforms used mainly by migrants, who may be more vulnerable to abuse.
“There is currently no criminal sanction for those who take advantage of people in this way – a gap in the law that my legislation will cure. 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.
“Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has stated that he is eager to introduce legislation to stamp out the abuse of vulnerable tenants in this way. My legislation will do that – and could be enacted very swiftly, if the government supports its passage through the Dáil.
“I am now calling on the Minster, and the government, to fast-track this legislation through the Dáil so grossly exploitative landlords face the legal sanction they deserve.”
8 March, 2022