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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

CIH comment on 'right to rent' measures


Commenting on measures announced by the government to crack down on illegal immigrants renting properties, Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “Checking immigration status is complicated so landlords may shy away from letting to anyone they believe isn’t British, even if they have a legal right to live in the UK – especially if they face a jail sentence for getting it wrong.

“For many people, private renting is the only option, and if this is removed homelessness and destitution may follow.  Illegal immigrants may actually be least affected, as they probably already have to use the sorts of landlords who ask no questions and will rent poor quality accommodation to anyone who'll pay the rent.

“We think it is vital for the government to publish its evaluation of the right to rent pilot that has been taking place in the West Midlands.” 

However, she added that new measures to crack down on rogue landlords could help improve standards for some tenants.  She said: “Measures to tackle rogue landlords are welcome, although we will need to see the detail – it’s important that local authorities are given the resources they need to enforce the new rules and that the majority of landlords who comply with the law aren’t burdened with unreasonable extra costs.”

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  • What checks do we actually carry out? What tools do we use to carry these checks out? As we are aware there are fake documents and passports in circulation all over the country. Unless we have the right tools and are trained to spot fake documents, there is little we could do to stop illegal immigrants renting properties. How have they entered the country in the first place? The checks should start from the borders not putting responsibility into Housing Officers who do not know what they are meant to look at.

    Ferreira, Flore Nestorine

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