A leading property lawyer has described the right to rent pilot scheme as a “fiasco” and said it was “even worse than I expected.”
Giles Peaker responded to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) report on the pilot scheme that has been trialled in the West Midlands since December 2014.
Peaker, a partner at law firm Anthony Gold, said the policy “is going to have to take some quite astonishing justification in any Home Office evaluation to take forward nationally. It is, on a purely practical basis, a fiasco.”1
He voiced his opinions on the Almost Legal website.
The Home Office has not yet released its own evaluation of the pilot, but has stated that the scheme will be rolled out nationally, with legislation likely to be announced shortly, and enacted and implemented quickly.
It will require all landlords or their letting agents to conduct immigration checks on prospective tenants and to carry out further checks on tenants whose immigration status may subsequently change.
Landlords and agents that do not undertake checks face criminal sanctions, including up to five years in prison. In the trial, landlords have been able to fully delegate the responsibility to their agents.
The JCWI report revealed that 69% of landlords do not believe they should have to conduct checks and 77% are not in favour of a national roll out.
The Chartered Institute of Housing has also given its view.
It said that the pilot scheme was not a success and that the JCWI’s report had highlighted “clear dangers that it won’t do what the Government wants – deter ‘illegal’ immigrants – but it may well do something no one wants; make it harder for people with every right to be in the UK to find a decent home.”1
The JCWI report can be found here: http://www.jcwi.org.uk/sites/default/files/documets/No%20Passport%20Equals%20No%20Home%20Right%20to%20Rent%20Independent%20Evaluation_0.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sendpress&utm_campaign