A Coalition of the (un)willing? The convergence of landlord and renter interests in the “right to rent”

Amodu, Tola (2019) A Coalition of the (un)willing? The convergence of landlord and renter interests in the “right to rent”. Journal of Property, Planning and Environmental Law, 11 (2). pp. 121-134. ISSN 2514-9407

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Abstract

The Immigration Act (2014 c. 24) at Part 3 established a new regime with private landlords incurring penalties (and potentially criminal liability from 1 November 2016) if they allow a person disqualified, by reason of migration status, to live, as their only or main home, in a property let by them. Known colloquially as the “right to rent”, the provisions signal a different approach to what has been perceived by Government as an ongoing problem – that of dealing with illegal migration. They operate in two ways; by restricting those subject to immigration control, access to accommodation through letting and occupation, and by imposing onerous duties on landlords to check tenants’ migration status. Crucially, the legislation not only refocuses the object of regulation, but purports to redefine in some ways the manner in which property rights in land have been historically conceptualized – primarily as a private rather than a public legal order. The right to rent provisions arguably flip this notion by making the act of letting accommodation the subject of intense scrutiny. Further, in expanding the purchase of the legislation, conceptual and practical counterproductive effects can arise. This paper will consider how a change in the emphasis of regulation introduced by the provisions, resulted in the coalescence of opposition by landlords and renters in a way that historiclly would have been unthinkable. This is most evident in the successful recent judicial challenge to the provisions at first instance, in the case R (JCWI) v. SSHD brought by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), where both landlord and tenant or renter representative bodies combined forces. Using the lens of Foucault’s governmentality, it is possible to see how Government has sought to shift the locus of control, which through its legislative and policy stance resulted in such fierce opposition. This paper will argue that by over-ext ending itself, Government’s quest for control can lead to “unholy alliances” that were previously unthinkable.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: please note I have no publication date - this is at the proof stage. It took many weeks to even get the proofs right. NB I have no clue regarding access becuase of the UEA's policy (which appears to be at variance with that of the publisher)
Uncontrolled Keywords: human rights,regulation,housing law,right to rent
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2019 09:33
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 15:40
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71899
DOI: 10.1108/JPPEL-03-2019-0012

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