Landlord immigration checks should be scrapped, claims the RLA

by Gary Whittaker

A landlords' association is calling for the end of a law brought in at the end of last year that could see buy-to-let owners in the PRS prosecuted if they fail to check the immigration status of their tenants. 
 
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has conducted research that discovered landlords playing it safe could mean potential tenants, even those who have the right to live in the UK, being turned away. 
 
Its survey into how the law affects rental sector practices found that nearly half of all UK landlords would refuse to let a property to someone who does not hold a valid British passport. This would not only discriminate against many foreign nationals, but could also potentially see British tenants refused the right to rent. 
 
At present, around 17 per cent of Brits do not hold a passport because it's too expensive, and as a result, many could miss out on the chance to rent affordable private sector rented properties. 
 
It was also discovered that more than half of all landlords (51 per cent) would be hesitant to ever let their properties to anyone who resides out of the UK at the time of their application, and 22 per cent said the current and potential future state of the European Union means they would rather not let to anyone from nations therein. 
 
As a result of its new study, the RLA is now in support of the judicial review into the law by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, which will be held on the basis that it discriminates against people who would struggle to prove their right to rent. 
 
"These figures show the damage that the right to rent scheme is causing for those who might have the right to rent property, but cannot easily prove their identity. The added threat of criminal sanctions is clearly leading many landlords to become even more cautious about who they rent to," said RLA policy director, David Smith.
 
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19-June-17General Lettings News