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right to rent 2

Right To Rent

A report out today claims foreigners and Britons without passports, particularly from ethnic minorities, are being discriminated against in the lettings sector because of Right to Rent. 

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants says 51 per cent of agents and landlords surveyed say the scheme makes them less likely to consider letting to foreign nationals.

Some 42 per cent say they are less likely to rent to someone without a British passport as a result of the scheme. This rises to 48 per cent when explicitly asked to consider the impact of the criminal sanction.

An enquiry from a British Black Minority Ethnic (BME) tenant without a passport was ignored or turned down by 58 per cent of landlords, in a mystery shopping exercise.

The Right to Rent scheme requires landlords and agents to check the immigration status of all prospective tenants and refuse a tenancy to irregular migrants. If they fail to comply with the scheme they face a fine of up to £3,000 or a prison sentence of up to five years.

The scheme creates structural incentives for landlords to discriminate unlawfully against foreigners and ethnic minorities, says the report.

Currently in force in England and poised for imminent roll-out in the devolved regions, the Right To Rent scheme does not contain adequate safeguards against discrimination, adequate mechanisms to monitor discrimination, or any form of redress for victims of discrimination, claims the JCWI .

The organisation is calling on the Government to abandon it and to immediately halt any plans for roll-out.

“Creating a so called ‘hostile environment’ that targets vulnerable men, women and children is bad enough – implementing a scheme that traps and discriminates against British citizens is absurd” says Saira Grant, chief executive of JCWI.

Expanding the scheme to devolved nations without taking into account the discrimination it causes would be misguided and unjustifiable, and it is time to stop the scheme before it does any more damage, insists the organisation.

JCWI’s research suggests that landlords and agents who have no wish to discriminate are being forced to do so by the scheme – with people who have a full right to rent a home in the UK being disadvantaged, along with others who should be able to access housing.

Residential Landlords Association chairman Alan Ward says he shares the concern. 

“The government’s own figures show the Right to Rent scheme is not working so maybe it is time to scrap it and think again. There are more than 400 acceptable documents proving right to rent from within the EU alone and landlords are making risk-based decisions and only accepting documents that they recognise and have confidence in” Ward adds. 


  • Colin Hayes
    Colin Hayes
    10:58 21 Jun 17
    The property was let to the other viewer on the day, they acted quickly and had secured it during the viewing, all applicants are informed it sadly is a first comer first served basis. This is a very fast moving market and sadly sometimes this happens.
    Joy Sadeghiani
    Joy Sadeghiani
    13:46 06 Mar 17
    What a fabulous letting agent Stuarts are. Their attention to detail in fantastic. Everything you need to know is clearly explained on the website. Their customer service is second to none and they are always happy to answer any queries a potential tenant may have. I would highly recommend using this letting agent.
    kati pasztor
    kati pasztor
    16:20 07 Mar 17
    I have been with the company with over 7 years. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is after a secure and well looked after rental. Claire, Margaret and Colin are not only helpful but genuinely lovely people. Anytime I have a request they sort things out for me straight away. I feel safe and trusted in the properly I live in and if I would ever have to move, i'd definitely stick with Stuarts to find me a new home.
    Sue Jelks
    Sue Jelks
    13:35 06 Apr 17
    First class service provided, personally tailored to suit each client. As a professional accountant and tax advisor such excellent service is always appreciated especially to enable up to date planning with clients.
    Gemma Cullum
    Gemma Cullum
    15:45 14 Feb 17
    We have recently completed work for Stuarts Property Services at one of their tenanted properties. I would like to say a huge thank you for the work you have offered to us recently and what a great company you are to work for. All the best for the future and we look forward to continuing our good working relationship.
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