11:46 AM, 18th December 2017, About 5 years ago 17
A recent survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) of almost 2,800 landlords has found that 42% were reluctant to rent to anyone except those with a UK passport and 49% are less likely to rent to someone who has permission to stay in the UK for only a limited time.
RLA Policy Director David Smith wrote:
“Under the Right to Rent policy landlords are responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants and face prosecution if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.
“It is little wonder that faced with the threat of prosecution landlords, having been effectively turned into border police, are playing it safe.
“Given that according to Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, the foreign born population is almost three times as likely to be in the private rental sector as UK-born nationals, this policy is actively discriminating against them.
“A policy that was designed to make the country a hostile environment for illegal immigrants is also creating a hostile environment for those who do not have a passport. This includes the 17% of legitimate UK residents who do not hold a passport.
“Despite assurances from the Government about making allowances, landlords are fearful of being caught out by forged identity documents which are becoming more prolific as a result of the policy.
“Ministers might have reached some sort of agreement with the EU last week about the status of EU nationals living in the UK, but without legal certainty landlords will not know who they can and cannot rent to and for how long.
“Landlords cannot be blamed for being cautious when the threat of criminal prosecution hangs over them and they do not have the knowledge or experience to act as border control officers.”
David Smith called for The Home Office to suspend the scheme pending a full and detailed assessment of its impact on tenants and prospective tenants.