Right to Rent checks are currently in place across England following a trial period in 2015, however the rollout to Wales and Scotland is proving to be trickier than first anticipated.
The checks face a number of obstacles before they can be implemented here in Wales as the Welsh Government has passed a series of legislation which will have to be altered to accommodate the checks.
Concerns have been raised by the Welsh Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee over the impact and consequences of extending Right to Rent checks across Wales.
The committee highlighted that the framework underpinning the Right to Rent checks contradicts the approach taken by the Welsh Government in recent years.
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) act 2014, Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 all look to address key areas before they become bigger issues, and have measures and powers in pace to do so.
The Right to Rent checks are Westminster’s reactive attempt to address the issue of illegal immigration, rather than being proactive; looking at boarder security and a whole suite of other policy areas to address immigration issues.
This means that a number of Wales specific Acts will have to be amended to accommodate the new Right to Rent checks.
The Committee also echoed the RLA’s serious concerns surrounding the timing and impact of the extensions of the Act’s provisions about Right to Rent checks to Wales.
Concern was raised that the Welsh Government does not appear to have assessed the impact of the Immigration Act 2016 once it is implemented in Wales, and believes that given the potential financial implications, this should be rectified as soon as possible
Right to Rent checks are to be expected sometime in the future here in Wales, however as of yet no fixed date exists. The Cabinet Secretary, Carl Sargent, is working with the Home Office to try to gain some clarity on this and multiple other issues.
However, he confirmed that “At the moment, we are not aware of that [Right to Rent checks] being introduced here in Wales any time soon”.
It seems then that the Right to Rent checks still face a number of hurdles before they become practice in Wales, and the Welsh Government has yet to see any real evidence of the policy working in England.