87% of tenants say that they are personally happy to provide evidence of their right to live in the UK when searching for private rental accommodation, says the latest Tenant Index from the National Landlords Association (NLA).1
Majority of Tenants Positive about Immigration Checks
Generally, tenants (82%) think it is fair to display their immigration status to landlords.1
However, the study also uncovered that 18% of tenants do not want to share their immigration status when looking for a rental home.1
The research has been conducted to correspond with the Government’s plans to confront illegal immigration in the private rented sector.
The NLA were generally pleased with the proposal, that will give landlord the responsibility to check the immigration status of their tenants before signing the tenancy agreement.
However, the NLA did have a few apprehensions over the plans:
- The NLA thinks that the requirement for landlords to conduct periodic checks throughout the tenancy is unrealistic. They believe that these checks should be the responsibility of the authorities.1
- The NLA would like to see the system made simple, accessible, and easy to observe. Difficulty understanding or undertaking the requirements may see landlords favouring easier to verify households. This would affect the diversity of communities, the private rental sector, and the opinion of private landlords.1
- The Government should bear in mind that private landlords often interview their prospective tenants within the properties they are letting, and therefore have limited access to office equipment.1
Chairman of the NLA, Carolyn Uphill, says: “It is reassuring that the majority of tenants are comfortable with the concept of expanded tenant checks, in particular, immigration checks. Tenant checking is an essential process for assessing the potential risk of default and we advise all landlords to conduct such checks before granting a tenancy.
“However, it is also somewhat concerning that nearly a fifth, 18% of tenants do not want to share their immigration status with their landlord. It is essential that all tenants comply with the rules, when introduced. And if landlords are to be held responsible for non-compliance, they must not let property to those who refuse to follow the imminent legislation.
“I hope that our response to the consultation will ensure the Government considers the practicalities of immigration checks before the legislation is passed.”1