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Right to Rent is a ‘failing policy’ that uses landlords as ‘scapegoats’

The government’s Right to Rent' policy has been slammed by a government inspector for failing “to demonstrate its worth” by encouraging immigration compliance.

The scheme, which requires landlords to check the immigration status of new tenants, has left many landlords reluctant to rent to those without a UK passport.

But in a foreword to his report on the scheme, published yesterday, David Bolt, independent chief inspector of Borders and Immigration concludes the policy has “yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance” and that the Home Office is “failing to coordinate, maximise or even measure effectively its use, while at the same time doing little to address the concerns of stakeholders.”

A Judicial Review of the policy is being sought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), which is supported by various trade bodies, including the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

Chai Patel, legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said: “It’s disgraceful that the Home Office has refused to properly evaluate whether or not the right to rent scheme is actually working to reduce irregular migration. They have no idea. Unsurprisingly the Home Office has also refused to allow groups representing the migrants and ethnic minorities affected by this discriminatory scheme to sit on its consultative panel.

“It’s time for Amber Rudd to put an end to this divisive mess of a policy that forces landlords to act as immigration officials. Until she does, we will continue to challenge it in the courts.”

The RLA is now calling for the Right to Rent to be suspended pending a full evaluation of its impact, especially on the ability to rent a property of those who cannot easily prove their identity.

David Smith, director of policy for the RLA, commented: “The report is a damning critique of a failing policy. The Inspector is clear that it has yet to demonstrate its worth and the Government has failed to take on board the concerns of key stakeholders in the sector.

“Landlords should not be used as scapegoats for the failures of the border agencies. It is time to suspend this controversial and unwelcome policy.”

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