17:04 PM, 17th November 2016, About 6 years ago 12
Britons who do not have a passport are struggling to rent as a result of immigration checks, according to a new survey.
New immigration checks were introduced earlier this year with all private landlords in England required to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property as of 1 February 2016.
Known as the Right to Rent scheme, the checks have been introduced as part of the government’s effort to create a more effective immigration system.
Those without a UK passport are faced with 43% of private landlords being less likely to let to them, a survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has revealed.
63% of landlords are worried that they will make a mistake or accept forged documents by accident and therefore face an unfair fine, as under the current rules landlords face penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant for failing to check if a potential tenant has a right to be in the UK.
Landlords are required to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country by examining their documents. A complete list of acceptable documents can be found here.
Only 13% of landlords have revealed that they found the Home Office’s Advice Line helpful.
“From the research presented by the RLA, it is clear that landlords are still uncertain on the Right to Rent rules which have been in force for several months now. Landlords need to be provided with more information which is clear and useful in identifying and understanding which documents are acceptable,” said a spokesperson for Property 118’s landlord insurance provider Discount Insurance.
“Landlords being unsure is having a direct impact on tenants, particularly British tenants who do not have passports,” added the spokesperson.
17% of UK residents who do not have a passport could be wrongly denied access to buy to let homes.