A TD on Wednesday broke a story in the Dáil about a Dublin landlord who sought sex in return for reduced rent.
The matter was raised by Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger who then urged the government to take action on exploitative landlords.
“So insane has the housing crisis become and so toothless your laws on rent rising have been and so much power you’ve left in the hands of landlords that sex for rent is becoming a reality for many tenants,” she said.
“We don’t collate data in this country.”
Coppinger – who said that she had been in personal contact with the woman in question – revealed that the premises, something she describes as "a bedsit in all but name" is located in the Rathmines area in Dublin.
She later shared some of the text message conversations, where the propositioning started, between the tenant and her landlord.
The landlord suggested that she pay half the rent and the pair go for dinner together to “see what happens”.
When she refused, Coppinger said the landlord replied: “I’ll make you a better offer. You can stay here for free until Christmas if we can agree something.”
The Dublin West TD later revealed 250,000 women in the UK have been propositioned in this way. She continued by saying that no regulatory data collation service is available in this country.
"I seriously think it’s high time we collated data in this country," she said.
"You’ve allowed a situation where young women in very vulnerable situations – thankfully she was able to move on – could be put under undue stress and pressure because the landlords rule in this Dáil and you’ve done nothing about it."
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy later referred to the case as "a horrible thing for someone to have to go through”.
Cases that fall under the same framework have been covered in full by The Irish Times in the past. And, as rental rates skyrocket in the capital, it appears that sex-for-rent agreements only popularise further.
For more information on the Residential Tenancies Board – the State body charged with regulating the rental market – click here.