The first landlord has been charged in a 'sex for rent case'

Jennifer Savin
·2-min read
Photo credit: praetorianphoto - Getty Images
Photo credit: praetorianphoto - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Close to four years ago, Cosmopolitan reported on the practice of predatory 'landlords' offering vulnerable women free (or heavily discounted) accommodation in exchange for sexual favours. Now, in a landmark new case, the first ever landlord has been charged in a 'sex for rent'-based trial.

Christopher Cox, aged 52, has been accused of requesting potential tenants send him bikini photos and requesting they be willing to provide him with sexual services in exchange for somewhere to live, free of charge. He now faces two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count for controlling prostitution for gain between May 2018 and November 2018.

The Metro report that prosecutors in Staines Magistrates’ Court heard how Cox had published adverts on Craigslist, saying he had a rent-free bedroom in his Surrey home available for a homeless or vulnerable young woman.

Cox is also alleged to have requested that these women be willing to engage in acts of bondage with him and be tied up, according to Prosecutor Kimberly Grabban.

The charges were filed following an investigation conducted by ITV, who passed his details on to the police in 2019.

Photo credit: Damir Khabirov
Photo credit: Damir Khabirov

Legal guidance was issued to make exploitation of tenants by landlords punishable by up to seven years in prison in 2019, following research from the housing and homeless charity Shelter, that found close to a quarter of a million women had been targeted over a four-year period.

Cox did not indicate a plea in relation to the first two charges and pleaded not guilty to the third charge. He remains on unconditional bail up until the next part of his hearing, which is set to take place at the Guildford Crown Court on 25 March.

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