Committee report responds positively to CIH Cymru evidence on 'right to rent'
The 'right to rent' should not be included in the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill according to the Equalities, Community and Local Government Committee.
The committee's recommendation comes after CIH Cymru provided evidence on a range of issues including the use of the 'right to rent' checks referenced within the legislation.
CIH Cymru coordinated a joint letter signed by Tai Pawb, The Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales, Dr. Simon Hoffman, Community Housing Cymru and Shelter Cymru.
The letter calls for a number of steps to be taken:
- Ensure landlords cannot retain holding deposits as a result of 'right to rent' checks
- Re-consider the inclusion of the 'right to rent' check within the legislation. The group feels, considering the evidence, that the policy is discriminatory and therefore it should not be included
- The UK government to urgently undertake additional evidence gathering and evaluation exercises to meet the concerns posed by the independent research
The committee report stated that:
"We want to see the reference to Right to Rent removed from this Bill. We do not believe that failing a Right to Rent check (if the provisions are commenced in Wales) should be the basis for a landlord or letting agent to retain the holding deposit. In these circumstances the holding deposit should be repaid in full, immediately to the prospective tenant."
Responding to this part of the report, CIH Cymru policy and public affairs manager Matt Kennedy said:
"The right to rent is a flawed policy and should be abandoned. Robust research has shown its potential to increase discrimination, increase pressure on private landlords and create an additional barrier to accessing housing.
"We welcome the view of the committee that reference to the right to rent should be withdrawn from the legislation. We must ensure that the right to rent does not have a future in Wales and maintain our desire to see progressive housing policy informing how everyone receives the right help and support to access a safe, affordable and accessible home."