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Note to Tory leadership candidates - Scrap Right To Rent!

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have been given a message from a consortium of groups this morning - Scrap Right To Rent. 

A coalition made up of the Residential Landlords Association, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and the3million - the latter representing EU citizens living in the UK - say the policy has already been found by the High Court to cause discrimination against British ethnic minorities.

Under Right To Rent, letting agents and private landlords face potential imprisonment of up to five years if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.


It was introduced by Theresa May when Home Secretary as part of the Home Office’s controversial hostile environment policy.

The call for its abolition follows damning criticism by the High Court earlier this year that the Right to Rent breaches human rights law because it causes racial discrimination that otherwise would not happen. 

Following a Judicial Review of the policy secured by the JCWI and supported by the RLA, the presiding judge concluded that discrimination by landlords was taking place “because of the Scheme.” In his judgment he said that discrimination by landlords was “logical and wholly predictable” when faced with potential sanctions and penalties for getting things wrong.

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has also concluded the Right to Rent had “yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance”.

Now David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association, says: “The Right to Rent has been a failure. No one has been prosecuted under the scheme but it has created a great deal of anxiety for landlords who do not want to go to prison for getting it wrong. Landlords should not be used to cover for the failings in the UK Border Agencies.”

And Nicolas Hatton, chief executive of the3million, adds: "Two-thirds of EU citizens in the UK live in private rented housing and will be affected if this failed scheme continues.  

“We are already seeing that landlords are less likely to rent to anyone without a British passport, and uncertainty about Brexit added to the hostile environment will only increase the discrimination EU citizens are facing. We urge the UK government to scrap this scheme and end the discrimination."

A statement from the coalition, released this morning, also cites Chai Patel, legal policy director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, saying: “The Home Office is now arguing in its appeal that it is justified in causing racial discrimination against British ethnic minority families struggling to find a home. It is arguing that black and brown British people’s dignity, humanity, and rights can be tossed aside to pursue Theresa May’s Hostile Environment.  

“That cannot be acceptable in modern Britain. The new Prime Minister must commit to ending landlord immigration checks, and the discrimination they cause”.  

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I believe that if ALL agencies that 'serve' people were checked for compliance with Immigration status, I would support R2R
    So when a Doctor, Pharmacy, hospital, Police or any other public service comes into contact with someone, their identity is confirmed and those organisations shouldn't provide any services to those that don't have immigration status to receive such.

    S l
    • S l
    • 25 June 2019 06:27 AM

    As if racism and discrimination is not bad enough in UK, we now have laws to legitimatise the process. What else are our clueless politicians going to come up with ? The hostile environment for prs to use landlord to cover their failure in border control is bad enough, they also use landlord to cover their failures in social housing by implementing more regimented rules over prs. This not only suppress the prs but they are also suppressing capitalism and the economy of this country by negating outside UK investment into UK properties and businesses.

  • icon
    • 25 June 2019 01:42 AM

    The 'hostile environment' is ENTIRELY appropriate.
    Unfortunately the way it is managed has been substantially inappropriate.
    It should be Govt Agencies managing the borders.
    Trained professionals not untrained LL should determine who has the R2R.
    The 'hostile environment' for illegal immigrants should be rigorously and thoroughly enforced.
    But it does tend to sweep up those that should not be subject to it.
    These are then left with no Govt support and can suffer greviously inappropriate treatment.
    That must be resolved.
    In the meantime Govt must be much more considered as to how it manages thing to avoid making mistakes like with the Windrush debacle.
    I have been advising my EU nationals they must obtain Settled Status documents.
    Most of them haven't a clue they are required.
    It is technically none of my business but I'm just trying to help them out as I will be selling up and they will struggle to source another rental property without the correct documentation if R2R is still in force.
    Nobody wants illegal immigration but Govt must provide support systems for those who accidentally are caught up in a system which sanctions them when it shouldn't.
    Passports should be made free.
    It is now a vital document even needed by British Nationals to rent in their own country.
    I see nothing wrong in there being allowed sponsors for some of the pages in a passport.
    Many large advertisers would love to be able to use a passport as an advertising medium.
    The State should attempt to provide a free passport for every citizen who qualifies.
    The citizen won't realise but it is an ID card by another name.
    Nothing wrong with that and at least the citizen gets a passport out of the whole situation.
    The passport being seen as the most bona fide of ID documents.
    So free UK passports please in black as per the original Card UK Passport.
    Doing this would substantially reduce the distress that an inappropriately imposed 'hostile environment' can cause.
    Govt must factor in assistance for when it goes wrong.
    Those needing it should be given every assistance to regularise their status even if it means the State pays for things because the citizens can't for whatever reason.
    We need to have British citizens assured of their status.
    Nothing says that more than a British passport.


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