The Department of Housing in the Republic of Ireland has branded a landlord’s attempt to attract women fleeing Ukraine’s turmoil into a sex-for-rent arrangement as “abhorrent.”
It comes after the Irish Examiner revealed a home in Clare being given away for free in exchange for sex to a “slim Ukrainian” woman.
Before revealing the specific location of the home, the landlord has asked a photo from a potential renter.
“Any attempt to target a vulnerable person with an offer of accommodation in return for sexual acts, including anyone fleeing the devastating war in the Ukraine, is abhorrent and to be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said the Department of Housing in a statement on Monday night.
“Abusive behaviour by an accommodation provider or landlord should be reported to An Garda Síochána, who will deal with any issue raised in a sensitive, timely and professional manner.”
The Irish Examiner has been looking into sex-for-rent deals since December.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee recently told the Dáil that there was no legislation in place to address the issue of landlords offering sex-for-rent arrangements.
However, according to the statement released Monday night, sexual offence legislation have been greatly reinforced in recent years, especially with the enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017.
The statement went on to say:
“The legislation now makes it abundantly clear that consent must be freely and voluntarily given. In other words, submission when a person feels forced or has no other choice is not the same as consent.”