|Posted on 24 December, 2017 at 11:50|
A recent survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) of almost 2,800 landlords has found that 42% were reluctant to rent to those without a UK passport and 49% are less likely to rent to someone who has permission to stay in the UK for only a limited period.
RLA Policy Director David Smith wrote:
"Under the Right to Rent policy, landlords are responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants and face prosecution if there is reasonable cause to believe that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent.
It is little wonder that faced with the threat of prosecution, landlords having been effectively turned into border police are reluctant.
Given that according to Oxford University's Migration Observatory, the foreign-born population is almost three times as likely to rent as UK born nationals, this policy is actively discriminating against them.
A policy that was designed to make the country a hostile environment for illegal immigrants is also creating a hostile environment for those who do not have a passport. This includes the 17% of legitimate UK residents who do not hold a passport.
Despite assurances from the Government about making allowances, landlords are fearful of being caught out by forged identity documents which have proliferated as a result of the policy.
Ministers might have reached some sort of Agreement with the EU last week about the status of EU nationals living in the UK, but without certainty landlords will not know who they can and cannot rent to and for how long.
Landlords cannot be blamed for being cautious when the threat of criminal prosecution hangs over them and they do not have the knowledge or experience to act as border control officers".
David Smith called for The Home Office to suspend the scheme pending full and detailed assessment of its impact on tenants and prospective tenants.