Never have I ever thought that I would be commenting on property leases and sex in the same sentence. I am sure that a number of my colleagues would not wish to make any comment, even now.
You will have seen in the press the stories about landlords who offer “free” accommodation in return for sexual favours. The argument of the landlords to justify this action is, often, that as long as the tenant knows and accepts the arrangement, there is nothing wrong with it – sadly, this is how low we have sunk in the morality stakes. Even worse, is that the law is not there to stop it.
At the moment the only action that can be taken against such landlords is a charge under the Sexual Offences Act of incitement for prostitution which carries a maximum prison sentence of 7 years. I expect this is not enforced as it is not directly applicable to the situation and relies on the victim tenant coming forward to complain. Landlords are exploiting those who are desperate for accommodation and often vulnerable. Craigslist, and other websites which advertise these ‘tenancies’, should be vetted and such advertising banned.
Action is required. This practice is morally indefensible in a civilised society and should be prevented in law. If the current law is not fit for purpose then the law should be changed to deal with this abhorrent problem. At the moment there seems to be a prevailing complacency about the whole issue.