What are you looking for?

1 October 2021 | Podcasts | Article by Danielle Vincent

HJ Talks About Abuse: Landlords extorting their tenants

HJ Talks About Abuse: Landlords extorting their tenantsHJ Talks About Abuse: Landlords extorting their tenantsHJ Talks About Abuse: Landlords extorting their tenants

On this week’s episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast, Alan and Danielle are discussing the issue of ‘sex for rent’ – the ongoing subject which has been in the media lately, of Landlords who extort their tenants for sexual favours.

Millions of people have been financially impacted by Covid-19 over the last 16 months. Many people have lost their jobs and been required to rely on benefits and food banks.

The Government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020 which provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can evict tenants. The provisions in the Act increased the required notice period length landlords must provide to tenants when seeking possession of a residential property, and have been extended through additional legislation. This meant that between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, with the exception of the most serious cases, landlords needed to give their tenants six months’ notice before starting possession proceedings.

From 1 June 2021, notice periods must be at least four months in most cases, including where the tenant has less than four months’ rent arrears. From 1 August 2021, the notice period for cases where there are less than four months of unpaid rent, will further reduce to two months’ notice.

Sadly, new reports have now suggested there has been a steep rise in some landlords attempting to exploit vulnerable tenants whether that be sexual acts or requesting sexual images in the alternative to paying rent.

A survey suggests in the United States complaints have gone up 13% of inappropriate sexual requests by landlords.

Previously, statistics noted:

  • A national survey by Shelter Scotland found that 220,000 women nationally said they’d been asked for sex for their tenancies.
  • A 2018 survey by the housing charity Shelter England found about 250,000 women in the country had been asked for sexual favours in place of rent in the last five years.

There are no statistics at this time to cover what the increase will be of such complaints during the Covid period in the UK. However, it will be clear that those in desperate situations will become the targeted victims.

Like many sexual abuse statistics, this is likely to be a largely hidden crime where there is an imbalance of power and reluctance to report the same for fear the individual would become homeless.

The concern is, many properties rented out by private landlords can be posted on websites such as Gumtree with no checks or background searches or regulations.

We encourage anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse to get in touch. You can contact Alan Collins at [email protected] or Danielle Vincent at [email protected].

Author bio

Danielle is a Senior Associate in the Abuse Specialist Personal Injury Department. She specialises in representing survivors of abuse and has experience in bringing claims against a number of institutions as well as individual abusers.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

Contact one of our experts

Fill in the form and one of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.