Labour seeks MPs support for specific offence of ‘sex for rent’

Labour has called on parliament to back its new plans to make Landlords asking for ‘sex in ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Labour seeks MPs support for specific offence of ‘sex for rent’ | LandlordZONE.

Labour seeks MPs support for specific offence of ‘sex for rent’

Labour has called on parliament to back its new plans to make Landlords asking for ‘sex in lieu of rent’ a specific offence.

The proposal, which was first published within the party’s Green Paper called ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls’, calls for the creation of a specific offence of using a landlord-tenant relationship to solicit prostitution. The idea is to better enable the police and courts to tackle this kind of sexual offending.

In 2019 the Crown Prosecution Services drafted new guidance for police and prosecutors to help them deal with sex-for-rent cases, but Labour says this does not go far enough.

An estimated 30,000 women have propositioned through online ads on social media and classified listing platforms and even property portals to provide sex in lieu of rent, and it has taken until January this year to secure a court case.

Sexual services

, 52, is accused of asking women to send him photos of themselves wearing bikinis and to provide sexual services in exchange for a room.

He is facing two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain. He pleaded not guilty at a hearing in February.

During a debate calling on the government to do more about sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice David Lammy accused the government of ‘dithering’ and among the many proposals he proffered, this includes stronger action against landlords who advertise ‘sex for rent’ arrangements.

“Frankly, while the Government dither – and we have been surprised on the Labour Benches by the dither – Labour has had to step in,” he said.

“Today, we ask Members of Parliament from all parties to back our plans to do a few things.”

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Labour seeks MPs support for specific offence of ‘sex for rent’ | LandlordZONE.

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Landlords face ‘failed system’ when renting to tenants on Universal Credit, says NRLA

Landlords believe the government’s rent payment packaged for private tenants is not fit for purpose and is ©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Landlords face ‘failed system’ when renting to tenants on Universal Credit, says NRLA | LandlordZONE.

Landlords face ‘failed system’ when renting to tenants on Universal Credit, says NRLA

Landlords believe the government’s rent payment packaged for private tenants is not fit for purpose and is a failed system, MPs have been told.

The comments were made via video link by NRLA chief Ben Beadle to a parliamentary select committee, which is looking into how well the system of helping private tenants in receipt of Universal Credit pay their rent is working.

Approximately 25% or private renters or 3.25 million people in the UK are in receipt of what used to be called housing benefit but it now rolled into Universal Credit payments.

In England and Wales the system is moving to a model of support comprising the housing cost element of Universal Credit determined by the Local Housing Allowance, constrained by the benefits cap and removal of the spare room subsidy, and topped up where necessary by a discretionary payments.

The concern for many landlords, apart from where tenants can’t manage their finances, is that only 46% of private tenants on Universal Credit have their rent paid in full by the benefit.

“I think the very fact that we have a discretionary payments system is the sign of a failed system,” said Beadle.

“Landlords and tenants shouldn’t be expected to rely on emergency stop-gap payments like this.

“The system, although well intentioned, is in need of an overhaul as payments do not meet their housing costs and that poses real challenges to landlords and tenants alike.”

Painful

He also told MPs that getting payments up and running was painful including the five-week wait for payments to start.

He suggested that the system should be organised so that landlords are unaware whether a tenant is on benefits or not – a proposal that would end ‘No DSS’ type discrimination.

Beadle also criticised the government’s decision to freeze the LHA rates, which he said would cause significant problems down the line as private rented sector rates continue to rise, but LHA rates don’t keep up.

MPs heard from Paul Silvester, Head of Housing Options for Bristol City Council, that only 2% of PRS properties in the city had rents that were covered in full by local LHA rates.

©1999 - Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® - Landlords face ‘failed system’ when renting to tenants on Universal Credit, says NRLA | LandlordZONE.

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