ASAP (Asylum Support Appeals Project)
The right to rent scheme and asylum support

On the 1st February 2016 the government rolled out a scheme in England linking the right to rent to a person’s immigration status. As of that date, asylum-seekers and refused asylum-seekers do not have an automatic right to rent. On 1st December 2016 the scheme was modified so as to make it easier for landlords to evict people without the right to rent and introduced new criminal convictions for landlords contravening the scheme.

In summary, asylum-seekers and refused asylum-seekers will probably face a number of problems:
 Discrimination and/or additional hurdles to go through in order to find accommodation, meaning they find it very difficult or impossible to find somewhere to live;
 Reliance on more expensive or insecure accommodation, resulting in them becoming destitute more quickly;
 Difficulties in persuading friends and family to house them or provide the relevant evidence to show destitution.

It is therefore important for the advice sector to be aware of how the right to rent provisions operate so they can help their clients argue they are entitled to asylum support.