In a horrific online house advert scheme
BBC South East have recently exposed dodgy housing adverts online that are essentially offering young homeless people rooms in exchange for sex.
Some of the adverts, which are apparently legal, advertise free accommodation in return for a ‘mutual arrangement.’ Another reads: ‘Friends with benefits – Nice room available. Are you female and looking for a free room? No rent, no bills, no deposit. Genuine offer.’
Other examples, found by The Telegraph, include:
‘A room-share arrangement offered rent-free (in an expensive part of Central London) with myself, in exchange for a fully consensual, mutually enjoyable “friends with benefits” adult agreement with a mature (61 years) gentleman landlord (myself) and also for help with a few domestic duties.’
‘I have both a spare room or room share available free of charge for an open minded naughty sexy girl starting immediately.’
A lot of these women feel that these ‘sex-for-rent’ schemes are their only option for avoiding sleeping on the street but have talked about their experiences, describing feeling trapped and at risk of violent abuse on top of sexual abuse.
Considering stories like this British teenager who was kept as a sex slave in London for years so easily shocked the nation, it’s harrowing to know how widespread similar practises are.
These adverts clearly need to become illegal as they are massively exploitative and Hove MP Peter Kyle is campaigning to make them so, but, homeless charity Centrepoint has also suggested the website hosts to monitor and remove them, to which Peter Kyle replied, ‘If they don’t stand up to this and then accept their responsibility, I will be pushing for legislation to do it for them.’
This year was meant to see anti-homelessness become a priority across new laws being introduced in the UK so we hope that more legitimate accommodation will continue to be secured for homeless people.