August 2, 2023
Sinn Féin publishes Bill to make seeking sex for rent an offence – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has today published legislation that would make seeking sex for rent, or advertising such arrangements, an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act. 

The Dublin Mid-West TD will seek to introduce the Bill when the Dáil resumes in September.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Over 18 months ago Irish Examiner journalist Ann Murphy exposed the sex for rent scandal. In a number of articles, she revealed landlords seeking sex from prospective female tenants and seeking such arrangements through adverts on social media.

“Seeking sex for rent is a disgusting predatory form of behaviour. It should be outlawed.

“At the time, I and other opposition TDs wrote to Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee urging them to act.

“In February last year Social Democrats TD, Cian O’Callaghan, introduced legislation that sought to make sex for rent an offence. The legislation was passed with Sinn Féin support and without Government opposition in March 2022.

“However, the Bill was then rejected by Government in July last year following pre-legislative scrutiny. Government committed to reviewing the matter.

“A year on, and as exposed by RTÉ Investigates last month, the scandal continues. In an environment of rising rents, limited rental supply and an escalating homeless crisis, some landlords are preying on desperate and vulnerable prospective tenants seeking sex in lieu of rent.

“The Bill I am publishing today is an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act. It would make it an offence under section 19 of that Act for a landlord to seek sex in lieu of rent or to advertise for such arrangements.

“It is unacceptable that vulnerable tenants would be exposed to this kind of abhorrent behaviour. It is also unacceptable that almost two years since the issue was first brought to public attention and a full year after legislation passed in the Dáil, that Government has failed to act.

“Renters need the full protection of the law and seeking or advertising sex for rent must be an offence in legislation carrying significant punishment.

“I will be seeking to introduce this Bill as soon as the Dáil resumes in September.”

Sinn Féin’s Bill can be read here.

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