Government Right to Rent policy Is Not Landlord’s Responsibility
The immigration status and the government Right to Rent policy are never far from coverage in the media, and once again landlords’ responsibilities are rightly being questioned.
The media is claiming that landlords, immigration lawyers and all parties’ MPs are extremely concerned that the Right to Rent scheme is deemed as racist and is causing some would be tenants are being disgracefully exploited.
The JCW (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) is taking a legal challenge to the High Court stating that the policy, which makes it mandatory for all landlords to check prospective tenants’ immigration status. The JCW says that besides being in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, Right to Rent is ‘incentivising discrimination’.
The highly controversial scheme was first introduced in 2015 and has long been viewed as being highly contentious by the private rented sector.
The whole industry sees the government’s Right to Rent scheme as simply shifting their burden of responsibility onto private landlords – ‘passing the buck’.
It seems that the government views the BTL sector with contempt as demonstrated by this onerous and unfair responsibility, as it should be handled by one of its own department or an outside agency; coupled with the new tax and legislations levied on BTL investors, it highlights the government’s little regard of how the sector can and is attempting to ease the housing crisis.
Upon the plan being mentioned way back in 2013, an industry spokesperson was outspoken on the scheme when he said: “The private rented sector is already creaking under the weight of red tape, so it is little wonder that landlords are so clearly opposed to this flagship government measure. Whilst we fully support measures to ensure everyone in the UK is legally allowed to be here, this proposal smacks of political posturing rather than a seriously thought through policy. For a government committed to reducing the burden of regulation, it is ironic that they are now seeking to impose a significant extra burden on landlords, making them scapegoats for the UK Border Agency’s failings.”
Richard Merrick of PIMS, said: “The government’s actions beggar belief as they have forcibly ‘bullied’ landlords to be partly responsible for the nation’s security.
“Why don’t they for once show some sign of appreciation and lay off the sector and provide an incentive at the very least?”