More landlords are willing to offer ‘sex for rent’

The housing crisis in London and other major cities in the UK is so bad to the point that ‘to let’ columns feature words like ‘intimacy’ and ‘benefits.’ Some of these terms and phrases may be missed by a potential tenant, but others are not nearly as subtle, e.g., “free accommodation in exchange for an erotic arrangement.”

Turns out more landlords are willing to offer free rooms in exchange for sexual favors as more young people struggle to find affordable accommodation within the country without having to spend exorbitant sums. Some ‘sex for rent’ landlords have even been caught on camera demanding sex from prospective female tenants in exchange for free bills and Wi-Fi among other ‘benefits!

The problem is especially rampant in university towns where ‘rogue’ landlords target female students in an apparent breach of the Sexual Offences Act. The ads offer free beds or bed sharing with “intimacy,” “benefits” or “fwb” (friends with benefits) expected from the tenant in return. While many appear in London, such adverts appear all over the country especially on sites like Craigslist.

One such advert on the site reads: “Free accommodation for an attractive female (Central London).” “Maisonette share, very low cost, with Dominant strict gentleman S London.”

Another reads: “Room available for a homeless woman (North London/Essex).”

One landlord who claims to be a 35 year old ‘professional’ was “posting the ad to see if any lady would be interested in free accommodation in exchange for an erotic arrangement.” And who is his ideal tenant? “An attractive girl. Sex is, of course, what I’m proposing … but look … we have to like each other and have some chemistry.” Well, just a polite way of telling a prospective tenant that sex will be on the table.

Caught on camera

As mentioned, some of the rogue landlords have been caught on camera making their sexual demands from a potential tenant who was, in reality, an undercover BBC reporter. The two men from Bristol had offered to waive rent bills and even cater for the expenses in exchange for sleeping with a girl who seemed half their age as often as once a week.

In the video, one of the landlords can be heard saying: ‘The room, the rent, all the bills, everything paid for. And I’ll even give you an allowance every week so that you feel that you’re looked after,’ he said before adding: ‘The benefit is that you sleep with me once a week.

Another landlord in his 60s offered the undercover reporter free rent, gas, electric and WiFi if she moved into his flat. Pushed if she had to sleep with him, the elderly fellow didn’t mince words: ‘I’m getting embarrassed now. Do what you want, and if you want to make love, make love.

Give it a week or two if you’re not ready straightaway. But at the end of the day, yes [sex is required].

A female tenant in Bristol revealed how she was asked to take part in a group sex to get a free roof over her head: ‘Everyone I spoke to just seemed a bit dangerous. One guy expected me to sleep with him, but also having group sex with a lot of his friends,’ she lamented.  ‘It’s not worth it, doing it for a bit of money.’

Offering rent in exchange for sex is illegal, but that hasn’t stopped horny and seemingly sex starved landlords from placing the ads on sites like Craigslist anyway.  A 35-year-old landlord even asked for a picture from the prospective tenant. His advert reads like a profile straight out of a sex dating site:

Hi! I’m a 35-year-old male, fairly good looking. I have my own house with a spare room available,’ reads the advert. ‘I am looking for a female lodger, possibly rent free, depending on services offered. Please reply with a pic and a bit about yourself, thanks.

I have a high sex drive, and am very adventurous and have no limits. Therefore (and this has worked over the last year) I am thinking of a couple of evenings a week where you surrender to me.

Sometimes I will not want anything but will to play with you. Sometimes we will play online together. Sometimes we will role play. One thing I can guarantee is you will be satisfied, and it won’t be boring.

You must like sex, and be adventurous as well. On the other nights of the week, we would be like any other people sharing a house.

‘Please let me know what you think and let me know your limits and experience as well.

Broken system

The landlords are targeting homeless women and seek to take advantage housing situation that has forced many young people to pay exorbitant prices to find accommodation. Many campaigners for fair housing attribute this crisis to a dysfunctional housing market.

Some people are desperate for housing. Others have the power to exploit that,” says Kate Webb, the head of policy at Shelter, a homeless charity. She continued:  “This isn’t just in bad taste or ‘creepy.’ It is a dangerous attempt to establish deeply exploitative relationships off the back of homelessness.”

To that end, some women have been thrown out of their apartments after they refused to jump between the sheets with landlords.

One woman claimed to have received a text from a landlord after a viewing informing her that she could have the flat for free if she performed some “very explicit sexual acts with him.” This is despite her being a lesbian who was only looking for a place to stay with her girlfriend.

Such an arrangement is, of course, illegal. The Sexual Offences Act defines consensual sex as a situation when an individual “agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.” Agreeing to have sex in exchange for a place to sleep is not necessarily agreeing by choice and landlords engaging in the practice might be considered sex offenders.

Final remarks

Would you be willing to have sex with your landlord in exchange for free rent?  That’s the tough decision homeless youths in the UK are being forced to make. I hope that a lasting solution will be found soon by the relevant authorities to avert a full-blown housing crisis.

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