The website of a respected political weekly journal says Right To Rent’s immigration checks provide cover for “buy to let bigots” who want to discriminate against certain types of tenant.
Julia Rampen, editor of the Staggers - a website linked to the New Statesman magazine - makes the comment following well-publicised statements by large scale landlord Fergus Wilson, who last week told The Sun that he gave instructions to his letting agents including one: “No coloured people because of the curry smell at the end of the tenancy.”
The lettings agency has said it will not carry out Wilson’s instruction, which is illegal.
Rampen says this combination of “blatant racism, a tired stereotype and the outdated language” may make Wilson seem outdated but that, thanks to a lack of regulation in parts of the private rental sector, his views may be more modern than they appear.
She cites a 2013 BBC investigation where 10 letting agencies were allegedly willing to discriminate against black tenants at the request of landlords, despite this being illegal under the Equality Act 2010.
Rampen also says discrimination is rife in flatshares, quoting online agency SpareRoom saying as many as 22 flat hunters chasing one room - this allowing discrimination to be hidden when a successful candidate is selected.
She concludes the article by saying that a report this year by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants found that half of landlords or agents acting on their behalf were less likely to rent to foreign nationals as a result of the Right To Rent scheme. “This also provides handy cover for the BTL bigot” she says.
You can see her full article here.