The Right to Rent Scheme and the Impact on the Private Rented Sector

Noora Mykkanen, Tom Simcock

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


The UK private rented sector has grown significantly over the past few years, increasing from 3.8 million households in 2011/12 to 4.7 million households in 2017/18 (MHCLG, 2018). At the same time, the PRS has seen increasing political focus and regulative changes (Simcock, 2018), and these changes at a policy level have not been necessarily joined-up (Whitehead & Williams, 2018). One specific policy change has been introduction of the Right to Rent checks under the Immigration Act 2014, which has essentially made landlords border agents (Crawford, Leahy & McKee, 2016). These changes have placed further duties upon landlords, especially when they now have to navigate a more complex and rapidly transforming regulatory landscape. The Right to Rent checks have the potential to lock vulnerable individuals out of the private rented sector and to cause discrimination (JCWI, 2017; Simcock, 2017). Over the past few years, we have monitored the impact of this policy, and we have undertaken this research to further the understanding of how this policy is being implemented in the private rented sector. The responses from 2,963 landlords reveal that their behaviour is changing due to the fear of prosecution under their obligations of this policy. Yet, enforcement challenges of the scheme underline lack of effectiveness in deterring irregular migration. Our research provides a timely review of the impact of the policy on the private rented sector and we explore the wider implications of this scheme. The findings clearly show that the scheme is impacting vulnerable citizens and migrants, while hardly having any significant enforcement outcome (JCWI, 2017).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational Residential Landlords Association
Commissioning bodyNational Residential Landlords Association
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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