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ARLA Propertymark submits evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee

19 March 2019

The Committee sought views on its inquiry into Social Security support for Housing in Scotland. Read More...

Homes Act comes into force on 20 March 2019

19 March 2019

The Home (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 finished its parliamentary journey in December 2018. From tomorrow all social and private landlords, including letting agents, in England will be required to comply. Read More...

Continue to carry out Right to Rent checks

18 March 2019

In a letter from Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration, to ARLA Propertymark dated 15 March 2019 the Government has confirmed that there are no immediate changes to the operation of the Right to Rent policy and landlords and letting agents are still obliged to conduct checks as required in legislation. Read More...

Is Right to Rent being ignored on the Brexit debate?

Thursday 06 December 2018

Yesterday in the House of Commons the heated debate on immigration following any Brexit agreement raged on, with MPs on both sides of the house expressing frustration, confusion, and dismay that the promised White Paper for post-Brexit immigration failed to materialise.

But with Right to Rent having seemingly taken a back seat in recent months despite increasing concerns surrounding EU nationals, is it being forgotten about in the Brexit debate?

The Right to Rent scheme which was introduced in 2016, with the aim of reducing the number of illegal immigrants residing in the UK. Under the Immigration Act 2014 (amended by the Immigration Act 2016), letting agents or landlords to check that all tenants who occupy their properties have legal status to live in the UK before renting a home in England. This will involve passport checks, and other ID checks using the official 'acceptable documents' list. Subsequent check-ups may be needed if the tenant has 'time-limited' status - e.g. student visa. The scheme has so far, not been implemented by the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Governments. For more information, please refer to our members' only Right to Rent Fact Sheet

Over recent days the Prime Minister has repeatedly reiterated a commitment to end freedom of movement while a promised white paper from Government on immigration due in December is delayed. Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that he still intends to publish it this month and responded to criticism: “It’s worth keeping in mind that this is the biggest change in our immigration system in four decades. It’s important that we take the time and we get it right.” However, in the debates that have taken place in the Commons around immigration so far, Right to Rent has yet to be mentioned. With three more debates of eight hours each, we shall watch with baited breath to see if any clarification will be given my minsters about what will happen to Right to Rent following any Brexit deal.

For now, it is uncertain how Brexit might affect Right to Rent checks for letting agents and landlords, and indeed the immigration statuses of vulnerable tenants. This is of significant concern to many, which is why we at ARLA Propertymark have been raising these concerns formally through the Landlord Consultative Panel chaired by Caroline Nokes MP Minister for Immigration. We've also been trying to keep it on the Government's agenda by continuing our dialogue directly with the Home Office and pushing for answers on how the transition and future relationship with the EU will affect EU nationals renting in the UK, We've so far not been given any assurances or certainty. 

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive said: 

“Tenants, agents and landlords all urgently need to know whether those committing to tenancies now will still be eligible under Right to Rent checks after April, whether in the same property or more crucially evidencing their eligibility to move to a new property. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the issue.

"ARLA Propertymark agents are gravely concerned that the lack of clarity from the Government is harmful to tenants who are trying to secure the homes that they need.”

Finally, as anybody who has been keeping a keen eye on Right to Rent will know, it is also subject to review in the High Court in a case brought by the JCWI, and a ruling is expected on 15 December 2018.