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Police urge letting agents to look for signs of 'modern slavery'

Letting agents are being urged to help tackle what the police are calling “modern slavery” happening in communities across Britain. 

Modern slavery - where people are forced to live or work somewhere against their wishes - is a growing issue with the latest government estimate indicating there are 13,000 victims across the UK.

The police say that types of modern slavery include child trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude. There is no typical victim but modern slavery is normally more prevalent across vulnerable, minority or socially excluded groups.


Now Thames Valley Police has called on letting agents to be certain they have the answers to a series of questions when they let a property:

- Do you know exactly who you are renting your property to and who is residing in the premises?

- Is the occupant the same person who completed the tenancy agreement?

- Does the occupant pay for their own tenancy, from their own bank account?

- Are you aware of any anti-social complaints relating to the property?

- Do the occupants of the property change on a regular basis?

- Is the occupant in possession of their own passport and identification documents, and have these been checked for authenticity prior to the start of the tenancy?

- Does the occupant appear withdrawn, frightened or show signs of physical abuse?

The police also admited that hidden signs of slavery make it difficult for victims to be recognised, although common indicators include, poor physical appearance, isolation, poor living conditions, few or no personal effects, restricted freedom of movement, unusual travel times, and a reluctance to seek help.

  • icon

    Those who dealt in slaves in days when me and thee were not about had them delivered to them by people of their own and sold to them. Stop harping on about that which we cannot change, and look to that which we can!

  • Dee London

    So...Lettings Agents are now expected to act as Border & Immigration Control, Fraud Detection & Anti Money Laundering Squad, Drug detection & Enforcement Agents, do risk assessments for legionnaire’s disease, and now carry out Human trafficking and Slavery checks... But yeah, let's ban Letting fees and make some more cuts to the Police force!


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