Citation McKee K, Leahy S, Tokarczyk T & Crawford J (2020) Redrawing the border through the 'Right to Rent': exclusion, discrimination and hostility in the English housing market. Critical Social Policy. https://doi.org/10.1177/0261018319897043
Abstract The UK Immigration Act 2016 is central to the Conservative Government’s drive to create a more hostile environment for potential migrants and current ‘illegal’ migrants residing in the UK. The Right to Rent provisions of the Act, which require private landlords in England to conduct mandatory immigration document checks on prospective tenants, or face sizeable fines and criminal prosecution, have been highlighted as a key facet of the legislation.
Drawing on qualitative interviews with key experts and analysis of Home Office guidance documents, we argue the Right to Rent has turned the private rental market into a border-check, with landlords responsibilised to perform ‘everyday bordering’ on behalf of the State. This creates a potentially discriminatory environment for all migrants, as well as for British citizens who lack documentation and/or may be subject to racial profiling. It may also be forcing vulnerable, undocumented migrants into even more precarious housing situations.