Rightmove apologises as advert offering low rent for ‘special favours’ is posted
‘I just can’t believe Rightmove allowed it to be advertised in the first place.’
Property website Rightmove has apologised after an advert offering reduced rent in return for “special favours” appeared on its website.
The advert, posted on Wednesday, featured a two-bedroom terraced house near Longbridge station in Birmingham.
The property was listed at £23 per person per week for a female student tenant with “reduced rent for special favours”.
A number of Rightmove users took to social media to share their dismay at the advert’s implication.
Rosh Rashid, 21, a student who is looking for a two-bedroom property to rent in the area, shared a screenshot of the advert on Twitter, writing: “Available to ‘female students’ .. available on a reduced rent for ‘special favours to be discussed.’ Wow”
Miss Rashid said she shared the advert “so others are aware.”
“I just can’t believe Rightmove allowed it to be advertised in the first place,” she told the Press Association.
Rightmove responded to the tweets, assuring customers that the advert had been removed from its website.
As soon as we became aware of the text in this listing we immediately removed it from the site, as it is obviously unacceptable. We have spoken with the agent advertising the property who have confirmed that they’re carrying out a full investigation.— Rightmove (@rightmove) July 26, 2018
A spokesperson said: “As soon as we became aware of this property listing we immediately removed it from Rightmove.
“We’ve spoken with the agent advertising the property who have confirmed that they’re carrying out a full investigation, and we’re carrying out a full review of this agent as this is clearly unacceptable and in breach of Rightmove’s terms.”
The company said any letting business wishing to advertise on the website goes through a strict vetting process.
A YouGov poll commissioned by Shelter and released in January found over 250,000 female renters had been offered rent for sex in the past five years.
Paul Noblet, head of public affairs at youth homelessness charity Centrepoint said:
“No young person should find themselves having to resort to responding to one of these abhorrent adverts. But in reality we know that thousands of young people are taking desperate measures to get themselves off the streets and find a bed for the night.
“Formal arrangements in which sex is exchanged for payment in the form of free rent are already illegal and we urge the government and police forces to make sure the law is enforced.”