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POD03 The UK Immigration Debate : Racist Right to Rent Policy Unveiled

EPISODE 3 – THE UK IMMIGRATION DEBATE – Big Brother State Revisited –

Racist Right to Rent Policy Unveiled

 Hello and welcome to the third episode of our new series: ‘The UK Immigration Debate’ where we discuss all things immigration.

My name is Ali Zaidi and I am senior UK Immigration Solicitor from leading Human Rights law firm, Zaidi Solicitors


Please take note that all information discussed in this podcast is for information and discussion purposes only and is not formal legal advice about immigration law and should not viewed as such. If you require further legal assistance please go to the law society website for advice on consulting a specialist UK immigration solicitor.

Today we will be discussing the introduction of the controversial right to rent checks.From the 1st of February 2016, new right to rent checks will be introduced for private landlords in England. This new policy makes it mandatory for landlords to check a new tenant’s UK immigration status prior to renting out properties. If a landlord fails to check a prospective tenant’s immigration status they may be liable to a fine of up to £ 3000.00 per tenant. This right to rent policy was first introduced in the Immigration Act 2014.

The right to rent checks makes it necessary for landlords to check the immigration status of tenants and this involves physically checking the tenant’s valid passport, visa or biometric residence permit and making copies of the status documents.

The Government’s right to rent policy is flawed and fails to take into account that landlords are not legally qualified and do not possess the relevant expertise to ascertain a prospective tenant’s true immigration status. Also what if a tenant’s personal circumstances have changed, for example a tenant may have entered the UK on a spouse visa and was granted an initial period of 2 years and 6 months, however the tenant’s marriage has irretrievably broken down and it is necessary for the tenant to inform the Home Office of the change of circumstances. In this situation the Home Office may decide to cancel the tenant’s visa and therefore the visa period is not applicable, however the landlord would not be aware of this crucial information unless disclosed by the tenant. Also if a landlord directly contacts the Home Office with a view to ascertaining a tenant’s true immigration status, this information would not be disclosed due client confidentiality. Therefore the landlord’s hands are tied and their checks are limited to reviewing physical documents and blind faith that a tenant’s visa is still valid.

The Home Office has introduced a landlord checking service for landlords to check a tenant’s right to rent. This service may be used when a tenant has an application pending consideration or waiting for an appeal decision. The details of this service have yet to be provided and in practice it is likely to fail.

The Labour party have stated that the right to rent policy will cause everyday racism and create a hostile environment for illegal immigrants. Also it will create widespread racism in the UK housing market.

The Home Office response has been predictable and they have stressed that the rent checks should be made on a non-discriminatory basis. I suppose that the rent checks are a modern equivalent to the old racist slogans, no dogs, no blacks and no Irish. How sad that we are returning to the bad all days of direct racism in the UK when black people would be stopped and questioned for no apparent reasons, I suppose many would say that this problem this exists in certain urban areas of the UK.

The Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants has conducted its own research that prove that the right to rent policy encourages racism.

In summary, the right to rent policy is another step towards the creation of a big brother state and the drive towards the reduction of net immigration in the UK.

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If you have an urgent UK immigration matter, please contact Zaidi Solicitors on 0207 416 6673 or 01582 431 333 or alternatively go to our website at or Immigration Solicitors London

Remember to tune in again next week to our new podcast series, The UK Immigration Debate. Thank you for listening and bye for now.



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