Right to Rent Leading to Foreign Student Discrimination

The Government’s Right to Rent legislation is leading to discrimination from landlords against foreign students, according to research from StudentTenant.com.

Launched in early 2016, the Right to Rent checks require landlords to confirm that their tenants are legally in the country. Failure to correctly do this can incur a penalty of up to £3,000. The pressure of this has led to 23 per cent of student landlords confirming that they are less likely to consider letting to a non-British tenant, whilst 76 per cent refuse to consider those who cannot instantly provide the necessary documentation.

The scheme has faced much criticism, and of the 7,806 calls made by landlords to the Home Office between July 2015 and June 2016, a mere 32 tenants have been deported thus far.

Managing director at StudentTenant.com, Danielle Cullen, said: ‘Instead of actually assisting with a problem which should essentially be managed by the government, it has simply created divides and increased discrimination and access to housing for non-British tenants which is just not acceptable.’

Cullen continued: ‘When the new Right to Rent regulations were introduced there was uproar amongst the landlord community, because of the supposedly unfair burden placed on them in relation to enforcing immigration laws. I have to say that the apparent ineffective implementation of the regulations so far seems to have warranted that uproar, particularly given the adverse effects on the international community legally residing within the UK. The worst part must be the lack of resources to actually police the changes, represented by the very minimal number of fines and deportations.’