Hunt and BoJo urged to bin Right to Rent

Hunt and BoJo urged to bin Right to Rent

8:00 AM, 24th June 2019, About 3 years ago 8

Text Size

Conservative Party leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are being urged to scrap the controversial Right to Rent scheme.

A coalition of organisations made up of the Residential Landlords Association, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the 3million, which represents EU citizens in the UK, have united in calling on both candidates to scrap the policy after the High Court ruled it causes discrimination against British ethnic minorities

Under the policy, private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.

It was introduced by Theresa May when Home Secretary as part of the Home Office’s ‘hostile environment’.

The call for its abolition follows damning criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen.

Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the JCWI and supported by the RLA, the presiding judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place “because of the Scheme.” 

In his judgement he said that discrimination by landlords was “logical and wholly predicable” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has also concluded the Right to Rent had “yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance”. 

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “The Right to Rent has been a failure. No one has been prosecuted under the scheme but it has created a great deal of anxiety for landlords who do not want to go to prison for getting it wrong.

“Landlords should not be used to cover for the failings in the UK Border Agencies.”

Nicolas Hatton, CEO of the3million said:Two-thirds of EU citizens in the UK live in private rented housing and will be affected if this failed scheme continues.”

“We are already seeing that landlords are less likely to rent to anyone without a British passport, and uncertainty about Brexit added to the hostile environment will only increase the discrimination EU citizens are facing. We urge the UK government to scrap this scheme and end the discrimination.”

Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “The Home Office is now arguing in its appeal that it is justified in causing racial discrimination against British ethnic minority families struggling to find a home. It is arguing that black and brown British people’s dignity, humanity, and rights can be tossed aside to pursue Theresa May’s Hostile Environment.

“That cannot be acceptable in modern Britain. The new Prime Minister must commit to ending landlord immigration checks, and the discrimination they cause”.

  • The RLA’s most recent research on the Right to Rent can be accessed here.
  • The RLA offers guidance on Right to Rent. To access the guide click here.
  • The association also offers a Right to Rent training course. To find out more about the eLearnng course click here


Chris @ Possession Friend

11:45 AM, 24th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Whilst its wrong that Landlords have been 'singled-out' to be the immigration control of the Govt, I don't see it unreasonable to propose that Landlords shouldn't rent to people who don't have a right to reside in this country !
I do think that such residency checks should be performed by EVERYONE, from Police, to Chemists, doctors etc


13:34 PM, 24th June 2019, About 3 years ago

It is very unreasonable, landlords are not immigration agents or the police. Facing a jail term is definitely going to influence who you rent to. The landlord will err on the side of caution and not rent to anyone they consider might not be « fully » British. How would you know if the documents the prospective tenant presented were real or fake, better to just not take the risk, however, this would be very discriminatory. Very stupid idea, #lets not make the UK a police state!


9:14 AM, 26th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Provided landlords have acted reasonably with their inquiries, and thereby avoid punishment, the benefits gained by landlords far exceed the burden imposed upon us.

Ian Narbeth View Profile

10:54 AM, 26th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 26/06/2019 - 09:14Why not bring back transportation for stealing a chicken? After all it is easy to "avoid punishment": don't steal chickens.
The policy is “yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance” but it terrorises landlords and makes them suspicious of anyone without an EU passport.
The maximum penalty for this "crime" is disproportionate. It is only because landlords are on the receiving end that the Press is almost silent. Suppose you threatened doctors and nurses with 5 years in chokey if they treated people without the right to reside here and failed to report them to the authorities? Think of the outcry. Landlords need to kick back against these unjust laws.
And by the way, what benefit is "gained by landlords" by this legislation?

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:59 AM, 26th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 26/06/2019 - 10:54
Fully agree with you Ian. We do have one non-EU tenant. It is rather laborious to obtain all documentation, photo, making sure the working visa is renewed on time and we know about it... Fortunately he now has indefinite leave to remain.
BTW - what will happen with EU tenants who do not have settled status, when we leave the EU? Personally I have not seen any legislation / clarification from the Government. We do have such tenants....


19:14 PM, 29th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 26/06/2019 - 09:14
Reply to the comment left by "reader"

What exactly are the benefits gained by landlords consequent upon performing right to rent checks?


20:45 PM, 29th June 2019, About 3 years ago

You can identify your tenants, no false identities, no reference problems, easier to trace if you subsequently have problems.

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:57 PM, 29th June 2019, About 3 years ago

Yes, having a passport photo is good to be able to give to Bailiffs - High court enforcement officers so your ex-tenant doesn't try to deny their identity.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now