Landlords hesitant to rent to international students


Jason McClean - Published on 16/02/2017
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The introduction and enforcement of Right to Rent checks are causing many landlords to unintentionally discriminate against international students, according to new research.international

23% of student landlords are less likely to consider renting to a non-British tenant, while 76% will not consider those that are unable to instantly provide the necessary documents and proof of their Right to Rent in England.

The Right to Rent checks came in to force on February 1st 2016 and require all private landlords to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK prior to letting out their property.

Landlords who fail to check a potential tenant’s ‘Right to Rent’ can face fines of up to £3,000 per tenant and a maximum of five years imprisonment.

The research has been presented by StudentTenant.com and managing director Danielle Cullen said: “The worst part [of Right to Rent] must be the lack of resources to actually police the changes, represented by the very minimal number of fines and deportations. Instead of actually assisting with a problem which should essentially be managed by the government, it has simply created divides and increased discrimination and access to housing for non-British tenants which is just not acceptable.”

7,806 calls made by landlords to the Home Office regarding Right to Rent between Jul 2015 and June 2016 saw only 31 illegal tenants deported, according to Government figures.

This brings up the question of how effective the checks actually are.

There are many different documents which are acceptable when carrying out Right to Rent checks, including those which show an unlimited right to rent and a time-limited right to rent. Click here for an in-depth Government guide.

“Landlords are being asked to undertake duties which should be the sole responsibility of the government. There does not seem to be enough support available for landlords to help them understand who has the Right to Rent and who doesn’t,” said a spokesperson for Property 118’s landlord insurance provider Discount Insurance.

“In turn, this is having an adverse impact on many tenants who are perfectly eligible to be renting in England while being ineffective at identifying those who aren’t,” added the spokesperson.

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Comments

  • Surprise, surprise that landlords are taking an ultra cautious approach. Making a mistake (possibly innocent or because you cannot produce the requisite paperwork) may lead to bankruptcy, imprisonment and professional disgrace.

    The Government’s approach to regulation of the PRS seems to be: There must be a £3000 fine and/or a jail term for landlords who breach our rules. Now let’s devise some rules.

    This legislation is draconian. The landlord is required to be an unpaid immigration officer and a gun is held to his head if he makes a mistake. If a full time paid immigration officer at Heathrow with all the investigative resources of the State mistakenly lets in an illegal immigrant with no right to remain in the UK, he doesn’t get fined or face imprisonment. The poor schmuck who is renting out a property does.


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  • I’m a student Landlord in Oxford and I hesitate to take international students not only because of the problems mentioned in this post but the fact they rarely can provide a guarantee from parents within this country. I had a group I had to turn away last year despite them emailing Oxford University and their Colleges for help. In the case of students I really can’t understand why Universities can’t step up to the plate and offer private Landlords some help solve both these problems. They are after all charging them higher fees.


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