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Graham Awards


Sex for Rent: TV programme exposes 'alternative payments' sleaze

A TV news programme has exposed how a sleazy male landlord - who presumably did not instruct a letting agent - instead tried to negotiate a “sex for rent” deal with an undercover female reporter posing as a potential tenant.

In a video of a meeting between the landlord and the ‘tenant’, there is a discussion of how the landlord was seeking to “help out” the renter by advocating “a friends with benefits sort of arrangement.”

The man then offers his one-bed annex - free of charge, instead of the advertised rate of £650 per calendar month - in return for sex once a week.


ITV Wales’ Sian Thomas, who posed as the tenant, says the issue is increasingly common. Posts seen by the journalist on online classified advertisement websites include one from a man advertising a free room in Cardiff “for a female with whom I can come to an arrangement”. 

Another advert for a two-bed bungalow in Newport says: “Rent greatly reduced in return for favours”.

ITV Wales, which conducted the investigation for Welsh channel S4C, says it is legal for classified sites to host such advertisements, although a transaction which “causes or incites someone to become a prostitute” is not legal.

The landlord involved in the sting later emailed ITV Wales saying: “I have absolutely no intention of ever even considering doing this again, tonight has really given me a reality check and I’m ashamed of myself. Please don’t expose me for a monster.”

You can see the ITV story online, including a video of the conversation between the journalist and the landlord, here.


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