Family made homeless after failing Right to Rent checks – despite having right to live in UK

A British man and his family are homeless after a letting agent turned them away under Right to Rent rules.

The family have the right to live in Britain, but not the right to rent.

William H Brown, part of Sequence, is now seeking clarification from the Home Office.

Rory McCormick had put down a deposit on a property in Suffolk after being offered a job in the area.

He, his Russian wife Anna and their two small daughters, had been due to move in on Tuesday.

But days before the family were due to move back to the UK from Ireland, William H Brown said that Mrs McCormick’s Irish residency card could not be accepted.

While it established her right to live in the UK, it did not qualify under official Right to Rent guidance.

The family are now staying with a relative, sharing a bedroom between the four of them.

Mr McCormick said he was an Englishman who had served nine years in the army.

He said: “It breaks my heart that my own government seems quite content to make a British citizen, his two British daughters and lawfully resident wife homeless.”

A spokesperson for William H Brown told EYE: “We certainly do not discriminate against any applicant tenants and we are simply following the Home Office Right to Rent regulations.

“Unfortunately, the guidance that we have been given from the Home Office landlord checking service, based on the documents that the applicant has supplied, contradicts the advice given to the applicant, and, in order to urgently resolve this, we are seeking further clarification from the Home Office.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “An Article 10 residence card issued by the Republic of Ireland helps to demonstrate a right of entry into the UK.

“It does not confirm the right to rent in the UK.

“If an individual has applied for, but not yet received, a UK permanent residence card, they should have the right to rent in the UK. As made clear in our online guidance for landlords, in such cases prospective landlords can use the landlord checking service to provide confirmation of an applicant’s right to rent.”

The full story is here:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-man-rent-property-home-office-right-to-rent-hostile-environment-homeless-a8754216.html

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3 Comments

  1. DASH94

    It’s indicative of the maze that we have to navigate with regard to these regs, but shouldn’t the residency situation have been checked before the application was accepted?  At least that way the family would have been able to get ahead of the problem and not been left in the lurch?

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  2. Aurora12

    It suggests they were living in the UK at/for some time before the Feb. 2016 R2R Rules came in (4 y.o. born here) – so would’ve owned or rented property here then – the family could be forgiven for not realising the rule change in the UK (especially with the Common Travel Rules between us and the ROI). Also, they may not WANT his wife to seek permanent UK residence (his job as a tour operator may take him all over the place?). So, he’s never had to consider such basic legal points before; no wonder as a Brit, he’s surprised! [Though, if we leave Brexit with no deal, his wife’ll be forced to apply for Settlement status if they intend to stay here long term].

    Fair play to the Agent for being on the ball with the HO Regns. Just shows the potential minefield all agents/landlords face on a daily basis – being forced to carry out the Government’s role for free, or face prosecution/expensive Fine.

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  3. rsvstu97

    Its a complete mess. We had cause to call the helpline and were just told to satisfy ourselves. What does that mean? Completely useless.

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