The introduction and enforcement of Right to Rent checks are causing many landlords to unintentionally discriminate against international students, according to new research.
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.