Right to Rent: Almost a fifth of landlords less likely to let to let to EU nationals
According to a recent survey, almost a fifth of private landlords say they are now less likely to let to EU nationals or individuals from the European Economic Area as a result of the immigration checks they are now expected to make via Right to Rent.
Confusion over how landlords will be expected to identify which EU nationals will and won’t be able to reside in the UK after Brexit is being blamed for the growing caution amongst UK landlords.
A government document leaked last week gave details of immigration plans once the UK has left the EU, but it contained no mention of Right to Rent or how landlords and agents will be expected to know who has a legitimate right to reside in the UK.
The Right to Rent legislation requires that all landlords and letting agents verify their tenant’s identity (including lodgers), making sure that they hold an authentic, un-manipulated, government-issued ID / documents. Introduced via the Immigration Act 2014 as part of the government’s reforms to build a fairer and more effective immigration system, it went live across England on 1st February 2016.
These latest results are part the Residential Landlords Association’s soon to be published quarterly survey of almost 2,800 landlords on the regulation of the private rented sector.
RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said:
“The Government is leaving landlords and EU nationals in a state of legal limbo over their housing.
“Ministers need to urgently set out the steps that will be taken to enable landlords to easily identify which EU nationals will and won’t have the right to rent.
“Without this, and faced with the threat of prosecution for getting things wrong, landlords will only become even more cautious about renting to EU nationals.”
In the scheme’s first year of operation, almost 100 landlords were hit with civil penalty fines for non-compliance.
This means that in some cases landlords are now being pushed into choosing tenants who feel like a ‘safer bet’ because they hold a British passport, despite the fact that 17% of British citizens do not hold a valid passport.
Court delays when evicting tenants are costing landlords thousands of pounds, so it’s really important to choose the best tenant from the outset based on their financial status, affordability and tenant history rather than on a whim that they’re a ‘safe bet.’
At Tenant Referencing UK we have our very own Home Office Compliant TR Immigration Document Checking Service for landlords and letting agents, to help them stay compliant.