This is one of those difficult ones:
A man has been charged in connection with “sex for rent” allegations in what is believed to be the first case of its kind.
Christopher Cox, a landlord from Cranleigh, in Surrey, is due to appear in court next month to face two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.
The charges follow a dossier of evidence that was passed to Surrey Police in 2019 following an ITV investigation for a Jeremy Kyle programme.
The phenomenon of ‘sex for rent’ emerged several years ago with claims that unscrupulous landlords were using the housing crisis and soaring rents to entice desperate and homeless women to sleep with them in return for free or cheap accomodation.
Really not sure that “you can share my flat if you share my bed” is one of those things that can or should be illegal.
Further, if someone does voluntarily make the trade – it’s not wholly and entirely unknown among humans for sex to be offered as a way of gaining something that is not-sex – then defining when this is to be illegal would seem to be fraught with problems.
Senior crown prosecutor Claire Prodger said: “Following an investigation into so-called ‘sex-for-rent’ allegations, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) has authorised Surrey Police to charge Christopher Cox with two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.
Clearly there will be cases at the other end of the spectrum too. “You can have this flat if you Tom for the rent” etc.
But where is that dividing line to be usefully drawn?