Landlords Refusing to Rent to Non-White British Tenants
Many homeowners are no more renting their properties to non-white British tenants.
The claim was made in a court recently.
This is mainly because of the hostile policy that the government has implemented.
Notably, the Right to Rent scheme is the major culprit that is cited for this issue.
This scheme demands that the landlords verify the immigration status of any potential renters.
Resultantly, they now discriminate prospective tenants with certain factors.
These discriminating factors include ethnicity and nationality.
Violation of Right to rent
It is worthwhile to note that the Right to Rent was initiated in 2016.
The scheme limits who the landlords can offer their rentals to.
Simply put, it restricts renting to many people with legal right to rent in the UK.
Any homeowners who knowingly violated this rule can be prosecuted.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrant (JCWI) took this judicial review case to the court.
The argument was that this scheme violates the right of individuals.
It breaches the legal right of certain individuals to live in the country.
Such a violation could increase the risk of destitution and homelessness for people.
The barrister representing JCWI noted that the scheme changes a lot of things.
It makes the homeowners prefer renting their properties to white people.
They give more preference to white individuals that have British passports.
To lower the risk of prosecution, most landlords choose to give preferences to this set of people.
She stated that the scheme was too demanding.
This is because it burdens the landlords and puts them at high risks.
She said landlords only feel they are safe to rent properties to British citizens.
There is evidence that these homeowners only prefer a British national.
They now go for a British national that has a passport over others.
Effects of the scheme on BAME and others
Any Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) British citizens receive unfavorable treatments.
This is particularly true if they are without a passport.
Generally, for people without a passport, the landlords use proxies.
These proxies include their color, accent, names, and other factors.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) did new research on private landlords.
44% of private landlords are will probably not rent their properties to individuals without a British passport.
In comparison to last year, there is an increase in this percent.
The RLA acts on behalf of 50,000 private landlords and about 250,000 properties.
Landlords are afraid of violating this rule.
So, about 53% of homeowners will not rent their homes to people with a limited stay in the UK.
This rate was 49% in 2017.
More evidence on the effect
In February, JCWI conducted a study that involved sequences of unknown shopper exercises.
The study showed that BAME individuals and foreign nationals are likely to be discriminated.
The discrimination is because of their race.
The study also indicated that vulnerable people suffer more.
This set of people include asylum seekers, modern-day slavery victims, and stateless individuals.
When finding tenants, the landlords often verify the individuals.
Nowadays, they need to conduct online verification with the Home Office.
It is only after the verification that they can consider them for rent.
Roles of Home Office in the scheme
David Bolt is the independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.
And he also contributed to this subject.
He noted that the scheme has not shown that it can foster immigration compliance.
Also, he mentioned that the Home Office was not doing enough.
It is not monitoring or maximizing the benefits of the scheme.
Also, the Home Office has not done enough to handle the complaints of the stakeholders.
As a result, the action has put both renters and homeowners at risks.
The legal policy director for JCWI, Chai Patel also spoke on the scheme.
He claimed that Right to Rent was a bureaucratic rule.
This is because it inhibits the freedom of homeowners.
Also, it does not provide advantages for tenants and landlords.
It rather scares everyone with a penalty.
He highlighted that the home secretary did not learn from the mistakes of Theresa May.
Failure to fulfill the promise
Sajid Javid claimed that he would learn from the Windrush scandal.
Sajid promised to make necessary corrections.
Notably, the Windrush scandal affected lots of UK’s legal immigrants.
The scandal led to destitution, detainment, and deportation.
However, Sajid has not kept his words.
He failed to adhere to the evidence on the ground.
It shows that checking of immigration status is counterproductive.
Also, he wants to deter the Home Office from evaluating the effect of the scheme.
Complaints on the roles of the government
Lots of BAME and non-British individuals in the UK face discrimination.
Basically, the issue comes as a result of their nationality.
So, this shows that the government’s policy creates a hostile environment.
Therefore, there is a need to make the necessary changes to these things.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said the case is in court. Hence, it would be inappropriate to say anything for it.
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