Right to Rent facing two legal challenges

by Property 118

3 months ago

Right to Rent facing two legal challenges

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Right to Rent facing two legal challenges

Politics.co.uk are reporting the Right to Rent rules forcing landlords to check tenant’s immigration status and rights to remain are facing two independent legal challenges.

These rules have been deeply unpopular with landlords and agents who feel the responsibility of the state to monitor our boarders is being passed on to them with corresponding penalties for taking on this responsibility. In fact many landlords now say they will not even consider renting to a tenant that does not have a UK passport.

The first case is a women who had her passport lost by the Home Office whilst applying for a visa and she is now facing eviction from her rental property after her landlord was notified she no longer had a right to remain in the country.

Her Lawyer is arguing this is contravening the Human Rights Act and said: “The government says that the right to rent policy will crack down on rogue landlords but this case is the perfect example of how it impacts vulnerable people.”

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is bringing the second case on the grounds of discrimination in the rental marking after it was revealed in a survey 51% of landlords are less likley to rent to a foreign national.

The JCWI told Politics.co.uk: “The right to rent policy is designed to encourage irregular migrants to leave the country by making them homeless.

“The problem with it, apart from the inhumanity of that proposition, is that there’s no evidence it works. The Home Office hasn’t shown that the scheme will do anything to increase voluntary departures, which have actually reduced since the scheme came into force.

“Worse, the scheme causes discrimination against foreign nationals even if they have immigration status. It also causes discrimination against British citizens who don’t have passports.

“Faced with our evidence, the Home Office has buried its head in the sand and refuses to review the scheme before forcing it onto Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have no choice now but to challenge this pernicious and ineffective policy through the courts.”

The Home Office has refused to comment on any legal proceedings.

Please click here to read the full Polotics.co.uk article.

Comments

reader

3 months ago

Right to Rent is an asset to me. It enables me as a landlord to check the identity of the person who hopes to rent my property.

It applies equally to all my prospective tenants without discrimination. The result of these enquiries are processed objectively without regard to racial or social influences. It is a level playing field for all potential tenants.

I am going to loan to some person I have probably never met an assest worth many hundreds of thousands of pounds. I am going to have to be fully complient with a hoast of legislative provisions and if unfortunately I need to take legal action to recover my asset from my tenants I am going to have to prove complience. So whats the issue with the prospective tenant having to prove their complience before renting.

Well done Right to Rent, thank you for your help.

Barry Fitzpatrick

3 months ago

"Right to Rent is an asset to me. It enables me as a landlord to check the identity of the person who hopes to rent my property."

Would you not do this anyway as part of your tenant referencing?
The difference is if you make a technical error you face prosecution, even if they are in all other respects a 'model' tenant.

David Price

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Barry Fitzpatrick at 02/02/2018 - 11:12
I too have done similar, but not identical, checks for many years. Now if I make a minor error I can get a criminal record, so to avoid this possibility I now only take tenants with a current British or EU passport.
UK Visas and Immigration (formerly the UK Border Agency) are responsible for policing our borders, since we are now effectively part of that agency perhaps we should all start to include their logo on our letterheads?

reader

3 months ago

For those landlords who without the benefit of Right to Rent used to require evidence of nationality can I ask how did you protect yourself from allegations of racial discrimination?
I have had tenants use bogus names and have had the supporting documents to justify a non Right to Rent check. Passports and visas are a way of overcoming the fraudlent applicant.
Dont forget the issue of reasonableness in the test before prosecution is likely. That can now be used to deflect liability if you are a compliant landlord.

Gunga Din

3 months ago

I find RtR merely a minor admin inconvenience. For the increasingly frequent foreign tenants I rent to, I simply go to the guide on gov.uk, which tells me what documents I need to see for what nationality. I ask for the docs., copy/photograph them, and file it away. If they are not forthcoming, then I've potentially dodged a bullet.

I would be interested to know how landlords/agents are making mistakes.

I agree with the aforementioned observation that it provides us with an added incentive/excuse to demand id from UK passport holders too.

I also agree in principle that it is unreasonable to ask LLs/agents to act as wicket-keepers because the immigration dept aren't up to the job, however in this case I consider the unintended consequence to be a benefit to me.

Barry Fitzpatrick

3 months ago

The UK's borders are totally porous. Anyone who wants to come to the UK can do so unchallenged if they don't mind a small detour via Dublin and a drive north across the RoI/NI border.

And that's not to mention the myriad of small ports around the coast where anyone can land with little chance of being challenged.

Clint

3 months ago

I have always carried out checks for years and have never come across anyone who was not entitled to live in the UK although I have several properties. I don't consider it a problem carrying out these checks as I believe a landlord should do these anyway for their own benefit just so that they know who they are taking. I just believe that it is totally unfair that in so doing these checks one get a criminal record for doing something wrong.

I more recently took on a tenant where I had to check the tenant's status for "Right to Rent" with the Home Office. The Home Office sent me a document stating that they were checking her status and she was able to rent up to October 2018 after which, I would have to check with them again.

The lady has worked in this country for five years and now has a child so is unable to work but gets child benefit and income support but after 3 months I have not received any rent as Universal Credit have said that she is not entitled to the rental payment as she is not "Habitually Resident". i believe she is but cannot go on much longer without the rent being paid.
Does anyone know if in such a case where a Section 8 has been served, if I have to go through the whole process of the eviction or is there a way of gaining possession without the court process or any other quicker way. The lady is very nice and has herself suggested that I evict her as it was not fair that I don't get the rent but obviously does not want to be on the streets. She was in temporary accommodation prior to renting from me. Any help would be much appreciated.


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Tenants should be held accountable for criminal damage