“Personally, I think if I was alone at home, I could have been raped or something like that”
A young woman who left rented accommodation in Waterford City after her landlord told her she could live there for free in exchange for sex, was shocked when he showed up at her workplace the following day.
The incident happened after she responded to an ad for a room last October.
She is one of many women who have come to theto be offered low-cost or reduced-rent housing, in the hope that sex or bed-sharing will be part of the arrangement.
On Thursday, Justice Minister Helen McEntee told the Dáil there was no legislation currently in place to deal with the practice, but the Justice and Housing Ministries are considering advice from Paul Gallagher, the Attorney General, on the matter.
thealso spoke to four international students in their early twenties, who were looking for accommodation in Limerick City when they were contacted by a man who offered them a room.
The women were led to believe that they were being offered a private room.
However, it became apparent that they would actually be sharing their potential owner’s bed.
In the Waterford case, the woman was asked for rent of €55 per week for a single room and a deposit of €200.
After moving in, she discovered that the landlord was subletting her the room.
He told her that he told his landlord that his girlfriend was moving in with him. He also didn’t want his longtime boyfriend to visit the property and initially denied him his room key.
She immediately moved out when he said her sex had to be part of the arrangement and she wouldn’t be required to pay rent.
The payment of €55 and the deposit of €200 had to pay the electricity bill, he said.
The man tried several times to reach her by phone that night and the next day, before showing up at his place of work to find her.
She now says, “Personally, I think if I was home alone I might have gotten raped or something.”
However, the message style, part photos and location are the same. The man in question offers them a room for a short time while they find their bearings.
However, after arranging a visit, he tells them that the room is actually his and that they should share his bed.
In a series of posts seen by the Irish Examiner, the man says the woman can stay for 14 days for free if she ‘will be with’ the man, ‘like a girlfriend’.
When another woman said she was bringing a friend with her to the viewing, to translate, the man says she has to come alone and he speaks her language.
However, when the woman responds in Portuguese, he admits he doesn’t understand her.
Another of the women said she woke up the morning she was due to see the house with more than 20 missed calls from the man, all after 2am.
He had also sent her dozens of photos of himself, which he had taken from her Facebook, with various “creepy” comments attached.
None of the women went to see the bedroom, having learned that they would be sharing the man’s bed.