Over the past month, one-third of American renters were not able to pay their landlord, and Friday, the rent is due for May. Some people appear to be trying to capitalize on the situation, including one man offering a room for free — with some very clear strings attached.
Inside Edition found the man, who calls himself "Eddie," offering a disturbing arrangement on Craigslist: "Room Share for Submissive Female."
The advertisement goes on to read: "During these hard times covid-19 has thrown many in a tail spin... If you are a submissive female (20- 50) years old and into the SM lifestyle on a moderate to extreme level... and wanting to barter session/playtime once per week in lieu of rent we should talk."
Posing a potential renter, Inside Edition Producer Alycia Powers responded to the ad. He texted back, saying he wanted to try the "arrangement" first at a hotel room and gave bizarre instructions that left no doubt about his intentions.
"He says to wear my hair down, no jewelry and minimal makeup," Powers said. "And then meet him in the room, undress and put on a pair of stilettos he got me."
After getting wired up with a hidden camera, Powers drove to a Days Inn on Long Island, along with a team of producers placed strategically throughout the parking lot. The landlord texted back that he had already checked in and asked her to meet her by his room.
For safety precautions, Powers asked Eddie to meet her by her car. Moments later, he pulled up next to her and the Inside Edition crew jumped out and identified themselves.
When asked if he was trying to take advantage of women in the middle of the pandemic, Eddie responded, saying, "No. She had the choice to take up on the offer" and denied the arrangement was for sex.
Christina Nolan, the U.S. attorney for the District of Vermont was recently tapped by Attorney General William Barr to investigate reports that some landlords are soliciting sex in exchange for rent.
"It's a despicable thing to do," she said. "It's not going to be tolerated and it's not legal."
Eddie later called to apologize, saying he was "truly sorry" and that he was a "decent guy."