Landlord tells tenant she can rent for free 'if we can agree something', hears Dáil
"Sex for rent is becoming a reality for many tenants."
A landlord told a tenant she could stay in his property for free "if we can agree something" when she said she could not afford rent.
Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger raised the issue in the Dáil today, detailing the experience of a woman who had been renting a property in Rathmines.
Coppinger told the Dáil that the unnamed woman had contacted her landlord to tell him she was moving out as the rent had become too expensive.
The woman was asked to "go for dinner and see what happens" before the landlord asked if she was "coming to live with me in my house?"
— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) September 18, 2019
The landlord had also told the tenant: "You know I think you beautiful [sic]" and said: "You can't blame me for trying."
Coppinger shared the screenshots of the WhatsApp conversation she had received on Twitter following her Dáil speech.
She criticised the government for allowing a housing situation "where young women [are put] in very vulnerable situations" and urged the collation of statistics on people who have been exploited in such a manner.
“So much power you’ve left in the hands of landlords, that sex for rent is becoming a reality for many tenants,” she said.
Coppinger said that the woman in question eventually left the property and found somewhere else to live.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy called the incident "disgusting."
"What a horrible thing for someone to have to go through," he said.
"I will of course talk to the Minister for Justice about what can be done in relation to these types of situations that women might find themselves in."