Theory, Practice and Policy
Edited by Devyani Prabhat
Chapter 6: The Immigration Act 2014 and the Right to Rent
The Right to Rent is a new concept created by the Immigration Act 2014. It is distinct from the right to work and the right to reside and is a slightly lower standard than both of these in that it is available to people who are not economically active and have no recourse to public funds or a right to work in the UK. The essential purpose of the system, as with much of the Immigration Act 2014, is the creation of the so-called hostile environment for illegal migrants originally flagged by Teresa May in a 2012 interview in the Telegraph given when she was Home Secretary. More recently this has been recast as the ‘compliant environment’ with a set of rules that those who might potentially interact with migrants must follow. The original 2014 Act has been hardened further by amendments made in the Immigration Act 2016 which has created specific criminal offences relating to breaches of the right to rent and have substantially increased the powers to evict people who lack the right to rent. However, there are very serious problems with elements of the right to rent in terms of its effects on the rights of individual occupiers and how it will work in the parts of the UK in which substantial law-making powers have been devolved to local governments.
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