Thursday, September 24, 2020
Landlords

Trade body opposes Right to Rent

Residential Landlords Association backs legal challenges to the measure

The fear among letting agents and landlords in the UK has made many of them reluctant to rent their homes and properties to non-UK nationals as they are not aware of the immigration status of their prospective tenants at the time they rent the property because of the Right to Rent Scheme. This may lead to troubles for genuine tenants looking for a home to rent.

The Right to Rent Scheme requires letting agents and landlords face the prospect of prosecution if they rent a property to non-UK nationals despite knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that those renting a property are authorised to rent a property in the UK. Many a times, letting agents and landlords are duped by prospective tenants using forged immigration documents, says the Residential Landlords Association (RLA). Now, the Residential Landlords Association has reiterated its opposition to Right To Rent and it is backing two legal challenges to the measure, one of which is in the form of a judicial review being sought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the other is a similar case initiated by London’s Camden Community Law Centre.

As the result of the Right to Rent Scheme, more than half (51 per cent) of landlords are less likely to consider letting to foreign nationals, according to a research by JCWI. This is backed up by similar research by the Residential Landlords Association which it will be using to support both cases. The RLA said that the Home Office has refused its request to publish a database of what all acceptable forms of identification for the scheme look like, arguing that there are simply too many from countries around the world.

The research by JCWI also found that 48 per cent of landlords were less likely to rent to someone without a British passport as a result of the scheme because of the threat of criminal sanctions. This poses serious difficulties for the 17 per cent of UK residents who do not have a passport.

In October the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration announced a new review of the Right to Rent, warning that it will not examine any unintended consequences of Right to Rent, for example discrimination against would-be tenants, increased homelessness, or displacement because it does not have the capacity to conduct a meaningful examination of the unintended consequences of RTR at this time.

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