A LIMERICK politician has revealed that she was subjected to inappropriate propositions from landlords when she tried to rent accommodation.
Social Democrats member of Limerick City and County Council Elisa O’Donovan was commenting on reports that landlords are offering cheaper rent to tenants in exchange for sex, taking advantage of the accommodation crisis.
In an interview with the Irish Examiner, she said that she was not surprised to hear that landlords are trying to get vulnerable accommodation seekers to have sex with them in exchange for lower rents or just to have a roof over their heads.
‘When I was seeking accommodation when I moved home to Limerick in 2014, I was inappropriately propositioned by landlords after viewing accommodation.”
She added that the housing crisis has left people vulnerable and desperate to get accommodation.
“Opportunistic landlords are aware of this. Of course, female international students are targeted in particular because there is a significant power imbalance in these situations. It is completely unacceptable behaviour by these men.”
The issue was raised in recent weeks after a landlord in Newcastle West in County Limerick advertised accommodation to rent with “a twist,” with the condition that the tenant be a single woman who would be willing to get involved in “occasional fun.”
When the matter was raised in the Dáil last week, Justice Minister, Helen McEntee said that the practice is not currently illegal.
Cllr O’Donovan, along with the Rape Crisis network and housing charity Threshold, urged prospective tenants who are subjected to such approaches to contact the Gardaí.