The letter was sent following the High Court’s judgment that the Right to Rent Scheme, introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. The letter outlines that the Government disagrees with the finding and the Home Office has been granted permission to appeal all aspects of the judgment.
The Minister then outlines, “There are no immediate changes to the operation of the policy. Landlords and letting agents are still obliged to conduct Right to Rent checks as required in legislation and they must not discriminate against anyone on the basis of their colour or where they come from.”
Letting agents should continue to establish who will live in the property and obtain, check and copy one or more original documents that demonstrate the Right to Rent in the UK for all adult occupiers for that property in the presence of the holder.
When the ruling was announced ARLA Propertymark said that we have long called for clarity for the Right to Rent scheme in the interests of tenants, landlords and letting agents. We are urgently calling on government now to provide clarity before any further steps are taken in relation to freedom of movement post Brexit, or phase 3 rollout.
The letter from Minister of State for Immigration says that the Government are considering options for further evaluation and monitoring of the Scheme and the Home Secretary has written to Wendy Williams, who is heading up the Windrush Lessons Learned Review, to draw the Court’s findings to her attention.
Furthermore, the Government’s Right to Rent Consultative Panel will meet again on 24 April to look at the operation of the Scheme and how to evaluate its impact on the behaviour of landlords and lettings agents. ARLA Propertymark is a member of the Panel and will be attending to represent members’ views.