NLA presses new home secretary over Right to Rent

by Gary Whittaker

The National Landlords' Association (NLA) has written to the new home secretary Sajid Javid to urge him to change government policy over the Right to Rent rules. 

Under this system, the onus has been placed on landlords to check the legal status of anyone wanting to rent a property, meaning the property owner can be prosecuted if they are found to have let a room or home to an illegal immigrant. 

This has proved unpopular with landlords, placed extra costs on them and, according to studies by organisations like the NLA, made some less willing to rent properties to non-Britons. It has also caused problems where the potential tenant has been unable to provide documentation through no fault of their own. 

Having been communities secretary until his move to the Home Office, Mr Javid has been working closely with the rental sector, leading the NLA to write to him expressing the hope that he will appreciate the concerns of landlords and axe the Right to Rent rules now he is in the department that deals with immigration issues. 

NLA chief executive Richard Lambert said: “In his time as Housing and Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid worked with the NLA to support the private rented sector.
“We have reminded Mr Javid of the effects the Right to Rent scheme has had on would-be and vulnerable tenants, its excessive checks and lack of monitoring, and the additional cost it is placing on an already pressurised sector."

He added that he hoped Mr Javid would work with the NLA and with his successor as housing secretary James Brokenshire to replace Right to Rent with a more "practical, workable" system. 

Mr Javid became home secretary following the resignation of Amber Rudd over the Windrush affair. 

Last month, the revelation that Commonwealth citizens who had been living in Britain legally for decades might face deportation led to Ms Rudd announcing that a dedicated team would be set up at the Home Office to deal with Right to Rent issues. 

The new government guidance for landlords said anyone dealing with a prospective tenant from the Windrush generation should contact the Home Office immediately if there was a problem with checks, and that the tenant should do likewise.

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03-May-18Legal News