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'Abhorrent Practice' Dáil passes first stage of Ban on Sex for Rent Bill

The bill also proposes a sanction for landlords who advertise accommodation in exchange for sex, as well criminalising the hosting of such notices

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Dublin TD Cian O'Callaghan called for the bill making sex-for-rent a criminal offence to be fast-tracked through the Dail

Dublin TD Cian O'Callaghan called for the bill making sex-for-rent a criminal offence to be fast-tracked through the Dail

Dublin TD Cian O'Callaghan called for the bill making sex-for-rent a criminal offence to be fast-tracked through the Dail

The Dáil has passed the first stage of a Bill that will make it a crime to demand sex in exchange for rent.

Social Democrats housing spokesman Cian O’Callaghan brought forward the Ban on Sex for Rent Bill 2022, which aims to create a legal offence for requesting sex in return for free or reduced rental accommodation.

The bill also proposes a sanction for landlords who advertise accommodation in exchange for sex, as well criminalising the hosting of such notices.

The proposed penalties in the legislation include a fine of €50,000 and imprisonment for up to seven years, which passed on to the second stage without being opposed.

There is currently no specific criminal offence for the practice of landlords requesting sex in exchange for rent.

Deputy O’Callaghan told the Dáil that there was an urgent need for legislation on the “abhorrent” and exploitative practice.

“As the rental crisis deepens, there have been reports of a minority of landlords demanding sex from prospective tenants in lieu of rent,” the Dublin Bay North TD said.

“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 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.

“Renters should not be subjected to such exploitative behaviour that makes them feel unsafe. Women and migrants should not be subjected to these attempts at gross exploitation when all they are seeking is simply somewhere safe to live, and shelter.”

He requested that the government fast-tracked his bill through the Dáil so that “grossly exploitative landlords face the legal sanction they deserve.”

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