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A recent TR Group forum post has alerted us to the increasing problem of privately rented properties across the UK being used illegally as 'pop-up brothels'.
Yesterday, a forum post started back in October 2016 was resurrected by a TR Group landlord subscriber who stated:
Nick: 'This seems to be a growing problem in the South; Newquay is being plagued by pop-up brothels using holiday lets as sex dens - 14 have been discovered in six months! See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....onths.html
Paul, please can you come and talk at our local landlord group about this? Your referencing system has stopped quite a few of these sex trafficking applications gaining access to my properties over the last few years, as well as other landlords I know around Truro.'
This was followed by more comments:
Limbo: 'We need help in Swanage too, as it is rife with this sort of thing'
IBegYourPardon: 'I know for a FACT this is going on in the Lake District, were trafficking gangs are bringing over sex workers from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester and blocking the holiday lets. It's outrageous!
I'm with Corbyn on this; 'it would be civilised to decriminalise prostitution' ...'
NandoMan: 'There's an epidemic of these type of establishments right across Devon and Cornwall. Nothing new in Plymouth, that's for sure!'
This follows the news that 14 of these 'pop-up brothels' have been discovered in Newquay, where a mix of holiday lets and long term privately let accommodation have been used by prostitutes.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police advised: "If you live near holidays lets or flats, be mindful of men coming to the premises at all hours, sex workers who may come and go quite quickly, and if you have any concerns please contact the police on 101."
Unfortunately, this increasing problem is not new to the private rented sector at all.
In April last year a TR Group Member started this forum topic:
AndreaC: 'I've just been speaking to a landlord friend in Swindon regarding not one "pop-up brothel" found in his properties in the last 2 years but three!
I told him all about your website and I'm hoping he joins and uploads these dodgy tenants as soon as humanly possible! As well as telling Wiltshire police about Tenant Referencing UK too - couldn't there be some way of working together to nip this in the bud once and for all?
I'm sure we all know that it's an offence under the Sexual Offences Act for a landlord to turn a blind eye to their premises being used as a brothel. So it's not rocket science that if we all join together, Tenant Histories can act as a firm deterrent to brothel owners and workers; not just in Swindon but right across the country.'
More archived discussions on brothels include:
So what can landlords and letting agents do to prevent such activities taking place in their properties?
The answer is simple: Network and interact with your fellow landlords and letting agents.
The Landlord Referencing community is simply 1000’s &amp;amp; 1000’s of professionals within the same field uniting their information about their tenants, both good and bad, in order to assist one another in protecting themselves against any further damages or losses on any new contract of tenure in the future.
It is an important service because whilst Landlords can undertake references from credit agencies, employers, friends and family, it does not tell you how a tenant may conduct themselves both in payments and in their lifestyle.
Their previous landlord can give a 100% unbiased and informative opinion as they have one-to-one experience in dealing with the tenant first hand.
Furthermore, Tenant Histories can (and is) acting as a firm deterrent to prostitutes and pimps; as once they find out that the LRS system is in place (more often than not) they understand that their activities are not welcome in the property or neighbourhood, as well as preventing multiple applications for rental properties.
Do you know when the Inside Out program is on yet? Thanks in advance.
It's still to be confirmed, but as soon as we know we'll let you know!
The Inside Out/Pop-Up Brothel programme will be going out this Monday coming (06/02/17) at 7.30pm on BBC 1.
Be sure to tune in!
In case you missed it:
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