The Government is to review its guidance on Right to Rent and the immigration status checks that landlords and agents must now by law carry out on all prospective tenants. The necessity for a review follows a mention in the House of Lords, and is an indication of just how complex legislating is on Right to Rent.
Labour’s Baroness Lister of Burtersett in a written question asks:
“To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the letter from Lord Bates on 21 March following the Report Stage of the Immigration Bill, which states that “migrants who do not understand whether they may qualify for permission to rent may contact the Home Office to establish whether this is the case”, whether they will provide a reference to guidance on how migrants can contact the Home Office department or team who will deal with such requests, including requests to confirm that a “right to rent” exists in cases where documents are with the Home Office.”
And in reply Home Office spokesperson Lord Keen of Elie, The Advocate-General for Scotland states:
“Under the Right to Rent scheme, landlords must check the immigration status of those renting, to ensure they are here legally. Where a migrant’s documents are with the Home Office, landlords can confirm the right to rent through the Landlords’ Checking Service using the migrant’s case reference number.
“In some limited circumstances, such as where there are genuine obstacles to them leaving, migrants here without leave may be afforded permission to rent although disqualified from renting. Where a migrant is unsure as to whether they qualify for permission to rent, they may contact the case owner or team that is dealing with their case or ask when they attend the Home Office in compliance with reporting conditions.
“Guidance on Right to Rent and when permission to rent may apply is available here.
As I wrote recently, the Government is reviewing the guidance that has already been published and this will provide further detail on how migrants may make these enquiries.”
So, it now emerges that in some cases it is possible that migrants who technically are not entitled to be in the country and may not automatically have a right to rent, “may be afforded permission to rent although disqualified from renting”, thus necessitating the new guidance.
The Right to Rent scheme, which was rolled out across England from 1st February, requires landlords or their letting agents to conduct immigration status checks on all prospective tenants regardless of where they come from, ensuring that the tenant has the right to live in the UK.
Research carried out by the Residential Landlords Association found that 72% of landlords are not yet aware of their legal obligations under the scheme.
Right to Rent Guidelines to be amended https://t.co/6Q2owObPb9
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) April 25, 2016