Published: 12:05, 19 February 2020
| Updated: 13:02, 20 February 2020
A man posing as a landlord offered a Canterbury mum reduced rent in return for topless photos, in a shocking text exchange.
In a now-viral post, Georgia Linehan shared the scandalous messages she received while hunting for a flat in Whitstable.
After finding a light and spacious-looking house in Regent Street that interested her, she text the supposed landlord for more details.
He told her the home could come either fully furnished or unfurnished, and when she asked how much the monthly rent was, he said "£695".
Miss Linehan replied: "That's perfect, OK, I'll have a think and get back to you in a couple of days."
But the man then cryptically responded: "There is a option to reduce rent if you wanted to".
Miss Linehan asked: "Oh really how?"
To which he said: "I own a modelling company a few of my tenants work for me doing boob work so basically. [sic]
"Breast pics for 2 pics the rent gets reduced by £200 x".
Miss Linehan soon shared a screen shot of the shocking exchange on Twitter, writing: "That’s the last time I try and find a house on Gumtree".
The post has garnered more than 34,000 likes and 2,700 retweets.
One outraged responder branded the man "disgusting", while another said "this is horrendous, in today’s society women still getting this!"
Another commenter wrote: "I’m sure this is a form of sexual offence. I’d 100% be reporting that. So sad to think a vulnerable young woman could fall victim to this kind of exploitation."
Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury and Whitstable, was among those to tweet her support.
She replied: "Absolutely awful. I know Georgia and I will be getting more details!"
In another tweet she addressed the anonymous texter, writing: "Whoever you are, this is not ok. As you are so close, why don't you just #GetInTheSea?!"
Some responders suggested Miss Linehan should have accepted the offer, to which she pointed out the man's Gumtree listing is likely to be a scam.
"Can I just say everyone saying ‘she’s mad for not taking this deal’ I highly doubt this man even owns a property," she wrote.
The property photographed appears to be a two-bedroom terraced house listed for sale online, with an asking price of £375,000.
The owner of the property has since confirmed the Gumtree listing has been fabricated by an unknown person, and the home is not available to rent.
Gumtree says any similar incidents should be reported immediately as it bids to make the online platform "as safe as possible".
A spokesman for the firm said: "Gumtree is committed to keeping the platform as safe as possible and this activity is a breach of our policy.
"We strongly encourage our users to report this type of behaviour so our dedicated safety team can investigate and take appropriate actions such as removing adverts and blocking offending users, like this advertiser, from the site.
"We also urge our users to communicate via the app rather than other methods, as this makes it easier for us to take action. We provide comprehensive safety advice for prospective tenants on our website and we continue to invest in our platform as well as work closely with government and law enforcement agencies to make Gumtree a safe place to operate.”