Should landlords be more open to sex workers as tenants?
Fair Housing Act does not protect sex worker discrimination
When landlords (or Realtors) run background checks, work history checks and rental checks on prospective tenants, the primary result they’re looking for is consistency. They want to know that this is a person who can afford upfront fees such as move-in costs and a security deposit, won’t damage the property, and has enough income to pay rent on time and in full. But does it really matter what the tenant does for a living in order to make these things happen?
In a Vice report, a frequent Airbnb traveler was rejected from the short-term residential app—even with no negative reviews while traveling all about the United States and Canada. What did this Airbnb guest do wrong? She was allegedly denied service for her job in sex work, specifically prostitution. According to the report, the Airbnb guest actually performed “sadomasochistic acts done for money"—legal in California but not in Maryland where she was traveling. However, the user claimed she wasn’t performing sex acts during any of her stays.
Still, this brings up a bigger question. Unless a short-term renter or a landlord with a long-term lease is renting to a nun or a priest, isn’t sex expected to always happen in their rentals? Should it really matter who is having sex anyway? Whether the lease (or reservation) is for someone with an OnlyFans account or newlyweds, as long as they pay the rent, is it justifiable to reject one group’s rental request?