According to recent findings by an EU citizens’ rights campaign group, European tenants are being turned away by landlords and letting agents, which is making it difficult for them to secure rental housing in the UK.
The study shows that some advertised rental properties have specified UK citizens only or outlined different terms for European tenants. This also extends to jobs, with a dossier showing evidence of more than two dozen housing, employment and other adverts, many of which invite applicants only with UK or Irish citizenship.
The Guardian has spoken to a number of European tenants who recalled recent instances of discrimination. Natasha, a 42-year-old Polish teaching assistant, said that she and her friends are afraid to move from rental accommodation, because their landlords don’t know if they will make them secure tenants after March 2017, when the UK leaves the EU.
The Government equalities office is examining growing evidence that EU nationals in the UK are being illegally prevented from renting or buying properties, getting jobs and booking holidays.
The Managing Director of Housing Hand, a UK guarantor service, Jeremy Robinson, says: “Brexit had caused much confusion with many landlords and letting agents, who are deeply unsure of the new requirements to rent to foreign individuals, which is leading them to turn away non-UK passport holders.
“The Government’s introduction of Right to Rent has led to landlords and agents discriminating between applicants on the basis of their background, with some prepared to turn away tenants just because they have a foreign accent. Legitimate tenants who cannot easily identify themselves using a British or EU passport are finding it harder to secure somewhere to live.”
He continues: “Landlords and agents face a dilemma; they want to be fair to prospective tenants, but many are nervous of renting a property to a tenant who does not have a right to rent. It is understandable why some landlords and agents are turning down international tenants before any checks are made, and are concentrating on tenants that will be able to provide a UK guarantor.”
Are you turning away European tenants for your properties? Let us know how Brexit is affecting you.