Confusion over the Government’s ‘Right to Rent’ scheme is leading to a number of lawful tenants being refused property in the UK, according to a new report.
Research from the Residential Landlords Association suggests that there are many landlords that are struggling with the complexity of the scheme, which has been piloted in the West Midlands.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) suggest that stringent right to rent checks has lead to discrimination against tenants that appear ‘foreign.’
42% of landlords are said to be less likely to consider someone who does not hold a British passport, with 27% of landlords hesitant to engage with tenants who have foreign names or accents.
Following the pilot scheme in the West Midlands, the Government announced plans to roll out the scheme across the whole country. Landlords face up to five years imprisonment if they do not undertake the correct checks.
RLA policy director David Smith said, ‘whilst the RLA opposes discrimination against tenants because of their race or nationality, the Government’s plans are causing confusion and anxiety for many landlords.’ Smith believes that, ‘if the Government expect landlords to act as border police it should provide the training and material needed to give them the confidence to carry out the checks required of them.’
Lawful tenants being refused property
‘In the absence of such support, today’s research sadly shows the inevitable consequences of the policy which the RLA has long voiced concerns about. Faced with considerable sanctions, landlords will inevitably play it safe, where a tenant’s identity documents are either unclear or simply not known to them,’ Smith continued.
Concluding, Mr Smith said that, it is concerning that the Government remains committed to rolling out the Right to Rent policy nationwide without first publishing its assessment of the impact it has had in its own pilot area. Ministers should halt plans to proceed with its rollout to allow time for proper scrutiny and consideration of the impact it is likely to have.’