Recent research has revealed what advocacy groups describe as “disturbing discrimination against migrant communities” in their search for rental accommodation. Generation Rent and Migrant Organise conducted the study, focusing on a limited sample of 126 migrants in private rentals.
The findings indicate that 42% encountered challenges in securing a rental property as a migrant, while 74% struggled to find affordable housing options. Additionally, 40% faced difficulties in affording the tenancy deposit, and 27% encountered obstacles in providing valid identification for Right To Rent checks.
Generation Rent further alleges that certain agents and landlords engage in “exploitative and unlawful practices.” According to their claims, 17% of respondents did not receive the required legal documents for their current tenancy, while 30% faced eviction threats and 16% were subjected to unaffordable rent increases.
Regarding property conditions and maintenance, the survey’s sponsors state that 57% of participants encountered issues with mould or dampness, and approximately 25% faced problems such as faulty electrical systems or inadequate fire safety measures.
Among those who reported their most recent repair issue to their landlord or letting agent, 51% stated that the problem remained unaddressed.
Ben Twomey, the newly appointed CEO of Generation Rent, highlights the distressing and unjust treatment faced by migrant renters within a housing system that is both exhausting and hazardous. These individuals disproportionately bear the brunt of the housing sector’s most severe challenges.
Twomey asserts that the forthcoming Renters (Reform) Bill should prioritize the provision of safe and secure housing for all renters, including marginalized groups like migrant communities. He emphasizes that by actively listening to the experiences of migrant renters and gaining a deeper understanding, the government can take meaningful steps towards eradicating housing discrimination in the UK.
Maymuna Osman, representing Migrants Organise, further underscores the struggles faced by migrants residing in temporary and privately rented accommodations. She highlights recurring issues such as undignified living conditions characterized by mold, overcrowding, lack of privacy, dampness, absence of heating or hot water, and the discriminatory practices of the right to rent checks.
“We must eliminate housing barriers imposed by borders. It is crucial that individuals have the right to reside in secure and comfortable homes within their own communities. Achieving this goal necessitates the establishment of a universal housing standard that applies to everyone.”
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