On 25th July, students discovered an advert on Rightmove for a two-bedroom house in Selly Oak for female students ‘with reduced rent’ for ‘special favours’.
Posted by the student lettings agency Student Tenant on Rightmove, the terraced house was supposedly priced at £92 per month. Yet, the property, only 20 minutes from Selly Oak station, situated in Longbridge, was open for a reduced rent to be ‘discussed’.
Sunchi Chen, a student at UoB shared the online advertisement to the Facebook page ‘Fab ‘N Fresh’ after finding the post on Twitter.
Speaking to Redbrick, Sunchi said, ‘I just find it sad and gross.’
Sunchi shared the post to make other students aware of this recent occurrence.
Over 100 members of the Fab ‘N Fresh page liked Sunchi’s post, with numerous people leaving comments of their views.
A spokesperson from Rightmove has said, ‘As soon as we became aware of this property listing we immediately removed it from Rightmove’. Rightmove will be ‘carrying out a full review’ of this agent as it is ‘in breach of Rightmove’s terms’.
Accommodation service Student Tenant has stated that the advert was reported to the police.
Having been considered a reputable letting website, outrage has spread from MPs and charities concerning Rightmove. Rightmove has apologised for the advertisement and said it will be reviewing its vetting process.
This offer of a reduced rent in exchange for sexual favours is not a unique occurrence. Known as the ‘sex for rent’ phenomenon, a recent YouGov poll found that over 140,000 women in the UK say that they have had personal experience of similar cases in the past year alone.