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“Shocking discrimination” by many landlords, claim activists

New research has uncovered what the organisations behind it call “shocking discrimination towards migrant communities” while they try to find places to rent.

Generation Rent and Migrant Organise - who base their findings on a small sample of just 126 migrants who are privately renting - say that 42 per cent struggled to find a landlord or letting agent to rent to them as a migrant; and 74 per cent struggled to find somewhere affordable to rent.

Some 40 per cent had struggled to find the money for a tenancy deposit and 27 per cent had difficulties providing a valid form of ID to satisfy Right To Rent checks. 

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Generation Rent also accuses some agents and landlords of “exploitative and illegal treatment” - 17 per cent reported that they had not received any of the documents they were legally entitled to in their current tenancy, 30 per cent had been threatened with an eviction and 16 per cent threatened with an unaffordable rent increase.

In terms of property standards and repair, the groups behind the survey say 57 per cent of respondents reported that they had experienced mould or damp, and around a quarter experienced faulty electrics or inadequate fire precautions.

Of those that had reported their most recent incident of disrepair to their landlord or letting agent, 51 per cent said the problem had not been addressed. 

Generation Rent’s new chief executive Ben Twomey says: “Migrant renters are subjected to an exhausting, unsafe and heartless system, where they are disproportionately forced to bear the brunt of the worst of the housing sector.

“The upcoming Renters (Reform) Bill must work to support all renters into safe and secure housing, including marginalised groups such as migrant communities. Only by listening to migrant renters and understanding their experience, will the government be able to get serious about ending housing discrimination in the UK.”

And Maymuna Osman of Migrants Organise adds: “Migrants living in temporary and private rented accommodation are consistently forced to face undignified conditions with mould, overcrowding, lack of privacy, damp, no heating/hot water and racist right to rent checks.

“We need to remove border controls from housing. People should be able to live in safe, decent homes in their communities and this requires a universal housing standard for all.”

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