Right to Rent failing tenants claims research

Just a year after Right to Rent was introduced, research has shown that many foreign tenants and British people who don’t hold a passport are struggling to rent a property.

According to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) since the immigration checks were introduced in February 2016, foreign tenants – particularly those from ethnic minorities – are being discriminated against in the [private housing market, as a result of the Right to Rent scheme.

Over half of the landlords surveyed revealed that the scheme would make them less likely to consider letting to foreign nationals, whilst 42% admitted that they were less likely to consider a potential tenant from the UK who did not hold a British passport.

The JCWI also carried out a mystery shopping exercise, which revealed that worryingly, an enquiry from a British Black Minority Ethnic tenant who didn’t hold a passport was ignored or turned down by 58% of landlords. Considering the Right to Rent scheme was designed to build a ‘fairer and more effective’ immigration system, this seems to be a failing.

We have been warning for some time that the Right to Rent scheme is failing on all fronts. It treats many groups who need housing unfairly, it is clearly discriminatory, it is putting landlords in an impossible position, and there is no evidence that it is doing anything to tackle irregular immigration. JCWI’s research suggests that landlords 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.

Saira Grant, chief executive of JCWI

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