Vulnerable tenant tells Ellie Flynn she was 'grateful' her landlord didn't rape her

Vulnerable woman 'grateful' rent-for-sex landlord did not rape her

'The idea of consent kind of gets smashed up'

Jon Sharman
Thursday 22 February 2018 17:38
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A woman who was so desperate for somewhere to live that she stayed with a so-called "rent for sex" landlord, has said she is “grateful” that he did not rape her.

She added that she “found myself apologising for not sleeping with him” after she agreed to to his sexual demands in exchange for a roof over her head.

The woman, who has not been named, is one of a number of people caught up in what appears to be a growing trend in the UK.

In a new documentary, an undercover reporter discovers huge amounts of online adverts for rooms across the UK that come at a sexual, not financial cost.

Ellie Flynn filmed landlords telling her the arrangements are “nothing abnormal, nothing strange”. One said she could stay in his log cabin for a “physical arrangement once a week”, while another demanded she perform a sex act every other day.

A former tenant told her: “I would just feel almost paralysed every time he tried to touch me, but he didn’t force himself on me. So in a sense I am kind of grateful that he didn’t do that.

“The idea of consent kind of gets smashed up because a woman then thinks: ‘This is the exchange that I have to give to this man in order for me to have a roof over my head’.”

Rent-for-sex adverts have appeared on websites like Craigslist for a number of years.

Housing charity Shelter has said the posts were “expressly targeting” homeless women and seeking to exploit the UK’s housing crisis.

It said: “This isn’t just in bad taste or ‘creepy’. It is a dangerous attempt to establish deeply exploitative relationships off the back of homelessness.”

Last year the Justice Secretary, David Lidington, said that rent-for-sex offers may breach the Sexual Offences Act.

“An offence is committed when a person offers accommodation in return for sex, as they are inciting/causing another person to have sex with them in return for ‘payment’”, he told Hove MP Peter Kyle in a letter.

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