A significant number of EU tenants living in the UK are worried about finding private rental housing following the Brexit vote, says the National Landlords Association (NLA).
According to the study, 31% of EU citizens living in the private rental sector are concerned that they will find it difficult to secure a property in the UK in the future, with a quarter believing that landlords would be less willing to let to non-UK nationals following June’s EU referendum result.
The poll of around 1,000 tenants found that 18% of renters – equivalent to two million people – are EU citizens who currently have the right to free movement within the EU.
However, there are now concerns about whether EU citizens will be able to remain in the UK if the right to freedom of movement is removed or restricted when the UK leaves the EU.
The CEO of the NLA, Richard Lambert, says: “These findings show that a significant proportion of tenants from the EU are genuinely concerned they’ll have to uproot themselves from their work, studies, or friends and family on the strength of the referendum result.
“There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the referendum, but we want to reassure European citizens living in the UK it’s simply not the case that landlords will stop letting to them just because the country has decided to leave the EU.”
But he adds: “However, if the right to freedom of movement within the EU is curtailed during the exit negotiations, then landlords may have no other option than to end tenancies rather than facing fines and even jail time if they let property to someone without the legal right to remain in the UK.”
Private landlords must remember that they are legally obliged to check the immigration status of all prospective tenants under the Right to Rent Scheme. This guide from the Home Office will help you understand and comply with your responsibilities: https://landlordnews.co.uk/home-office-reinforces-landlord-responsibilities-right-rent/
Wherever your tenants are from, remember that you must protect your rental income with Rent Guarantee Insurance. This peace of mind cover ensures that you still get paid, even if your tenants fall into rent arrears.
The Just Landlords policy provides cover for all tenant types, so don’t be out of pocket!