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Racial harassment

Harassment or violence directed against someone due to the colour of her/his skin or her/his ethnic origin.

Redemption penalty

A fee many lenders will charge if borrowers switch to a new mortgage, or pay off a loan or mortgage earlier than their agreement allows.


Information from a bank, employer or former landlord saying whether the tenant/borrower is likely to be able to pay the rent or mortgage. Landlords and lenders often require references before granting a tenancy or mortgage, and may also run a credit check.


A refugee is a person whose claim for asylum has been successful and s/he is considered by the Home Office to come within the definition of refugee as described in Article 1 of the 1951 Geneva Convention.

Registered provider (RP)

From 1 April 2012, the regulator of social housing providers in England is a statutory committee of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) made up of members independently appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Prior to that date, the regulator was the Tenant Services Authority (TSA). In England, 'registered providers (RPs)' mean local authorities, housing associations and any other public or private provider of social housing registered with the regulator.

Registered social landlord (RSL)

From 1 April 2012, the regulator of social housing providers in England is a statutory committee of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) made up of members independently appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Prior to that date, the regulator was the Tenant Services Authority (TSA). RSLs are now known as private registered providers of social housing (PRPSHs), which means housing associations and other social housing providers registered with the regulator.

Regulated tenancy

A type of tenancy most private tenants had if their tenancy began before 15 January 1989. Regulated tenants have strong rights and are protected under the Rent Act 1977. Also known as protected tenancies.

Relevant children

Young person aged 16 or 17 who have already left care, and who were looked after for (a total of) at least 13 weeks from the age of 14, and have been looked after at some time while they were 16 or 17. This could include unaccompanied asylum-seeking children provided with accommodation by social services.

A 16- or 17-year-old will also be a relevant child if s/he would have been in care on her/his 16th birthday, but was detained in the criminal justice system, in hospital, or had returned home on a family placement that subsequently broke down.

Relevant student

A care leaver under the age of 24, who qualifies for advice and assistance (or would have done so if s/he was under 21) because s/he was formerly looked after by a local authority, and who is in full-time higher education or residential further education. When term-time accommodation is not available to a relevant student during the holidays, housing these students remains the responsibility of social services.


A way for a joint tenant who did not have the right to assign their tenancy to give up her/his interest in the tenancy without affecting the other joint tenant's right to remain. A House of Lords decision in 2000 ended the practice of relinquishment.

Rent assessment committee

A panel of people that can decide the fair rent if a regulated tenant or their landlord challenge the rent set by the rent officer.

From 1 July 2013 the functions of the Rent Assessment Committees are dealt with by the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Rent deposit scheme

A scheme that provides a deposit for rented accommodation, often to people who are on benefits or a low income. Deposits are sometimes in the form of cash payments, but are mosre usually in the form of a guarantee to the landlord that a payment will be made if the tenant leaves rent arrears or causes damage to the property.

Rent in advance

Money paid to a landlord at the beginning of a tenancy, usually to cover the first month's rent.

Rent officer

An employee of the Valuation Office Agency who determines fair rents and decides how much housing benefit the local authority should pay on particular size of property.

Rent restriction

A limit placed on a housing benefit claim because the rent officer thinks that the rent is too high or the accommodation is too large for the claimant's needs.


The process by which an occupier can be evicted.


To cancel a contract and put the parties back to the position they would have been in if the contract had not existed.

Reserve fund

Money that can be collected by a freeholder (or managing agent) over a period of years to cover the costs of major repairs, usually to common parts of a block of flats. They are sometimes called 'sinking funds'.


To settle into housing again after a period of homelessness or living in an institution (eg hospital, prison, care).


Party that has to answer to a claim against them from another party. See also the definition of Defendant.

Restricted case

An application is a 'restricted case' when an eligible applicant who is not subject to immigration control gains priority need through a 'restricted person', ie a household member who is ineligible for assistance.

Restricted contract

A now rare type of tenancy, held by certain private tenants who have lived in the same building as their landlord since before 1989. People with restricted contracts have limited rights.

Restricted person

A 'restricted person' is a person who is not eligible for assistance under Part 7 Housing Act 1996 or is subject to immigration control within the meaning of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 and either:

  • does not have leave to enter or remain in the UK or
  • whose leave to enter or remain in the UK is subject to a condition that s/he has no recourse to public funds.

Return date

Where an interim order is made without notice of the application having been given to the other party, the court will include within the order a return date for a further hearing to enable the respondent to be present and contest the application.


The reconsideration of a decision made on a homelessness application by the local authority.

Rights of audience

The right of a person to appear before a court to represent a party in proceedings.

Right to enter the UK

EEA nationals (including A2 and A8 nationals) and members of their family have the right to enter the UK upon production of relevant documents, and providing they are not subject to immigration control. Once in the UK, they have the automatic right to reside in the UK for three months to seek work.

Right to reside

Once the initial three-month period has expired, not all EEA nationals will acquire the right to reside in the UK. Those who have the right to reside include workers, self-employed, those who are self sufficient, and students.

Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers

The Race Relations Act 1976 defines Romany Gypsies as a separate ethnic group to Gypsies. Irish Travellers have also been recognised as a separate racial group. A person will be defined as a Romany Gypsy or Irish Traveller if they are born, or marry into a traditional Romany Gypsy or Irish Traveller family.