Here is a question and answer from Sue Lukes regarding tenant eligibility.
Question: We have accepted a lady and her two children (both born in the UK) into our temporary accommodation. She arrived in the UK in 2005 and was eventually given limited leave to remain which ends in 2014. She gets Income support.
But when we nominated her to a local RSL they said they wanted to refuse the nomination as she has no recourse to public funds. So what are her rights?
Response: Unfortunately, you have not told me what her leave conditions are, which is what I need to know in terms of eligibility.
Limited leave may have been awarded as the result of an asylum application, or because of human rights/family and private life considerations. Leave is often granted with no further conditions and so fits into Class B of the eligible classes for allocation and homelessness assistance.
But it may also sometimes be granted subject to a condition that the holder has no recourse to public funds. If this is the case it is clearly stated in the Immigration Status Document she would have been given.
Since Income Support is in payment it is very likely that there are no restrictions on her access to public funds and she fits into class B.
The RSL’s attitude seems challengeable. IS is a passport benefit for HB so they have no grounds for worrying about the rent they will get. There is no other basis on which they can refuse a nomination from you, and it looks as though their refusal may well constitute unlawful race discrimination and they should be advised as such, especially since you are the referring agency and so cannot afford to be in any way involved in such illegal action.
If they continue to refuse the applicant you may want to consider a referral to the EHRC or the use of the questionnaire procedure for prohibited conduct which you can get from >> here (this replaces the old RR50 forms), you will need the applicant to fill it in.
This is the response subsequently received by Sue:
I told the RSL this and they said they would interview the applicant. After finding out that she did get her leave as the result of an asylum application they are now signing her up for a new tenancy.
Thank you for your advice & guidance.
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