At first glance, the issues raised in this BBC documentary seemed as though they have been stripped straight out of a seedy 80’s smut movie; a strange new trend is emerging in which young tenants are offered free accommodation in return for sexual favours. The BBC sends investigative journalist Ellie Flynn undercover to infiltrate and expose the landlords behind this bizarre new craze.
After seeing the staggering amount of ‘rent for sex’ adverts that appear unchecked online, Ellie sets out to investigate just how genuine these ads are and meets the landlords who post these ads to find out what they really expect in exchange for rent. While many claim its strictly a “PG” affair, if you will, with no illegal activities being undertaken, the claim is dubious and Ellie continues to dig, instead meeting the young people who have accepted these offers in the past. She quizzes the young tenants on how much obligation and consent they feel able to give in regards to their arrangement with their landlords.
Ellie concludes her investigation by asking whether this practice is legal and, if not, why nobody seems to be doing anything to stop it. She speaks to police officers, lawyers and members of the ministry of justice about the perceived vacuum of responsibility that seems to underpin the issue.
Sex for Rent: Ellie Undercover – Tuesday 10:45pm on BBC1.