Nearly half of landlords are less likely to let rental housing to tenants without a British passport, due to the Right to Rent checks that they have to make, found a study by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
This means that for the 17% of British citizens who don’t own a passport – many of whom are likely to be some of the poorest in society who cannot afford one – it is now more difficult to access private rental housing.
It is also likely that amongst those seeking rental housing, the proportion without passports is likely to be higher.
The proportion of landlords less likely to consider letting to tenants who are currently outside of the UK is 51%. With uncertainty still surrounding the status of EU nationals in the UK, 22% of landlords have said that they are less likely to let to nationals from the EU or EEA.
The RLA conducted the survey of landlords on the impact of the Government’s Right to Rent scheme, which makes landlords legally responsible for ensuring that their tenants have the legal right to rent property in the UK.
The figures show that the decision to introduce criminal sanctions for landlords found to know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that a tenant does not have the right to rent in December 2016 has made landlords even more concerned about letting property to those unable to prove their identity easily.
With landlords concerned about potential criminal sanctions if they make a mistake, the RLA is supporting an application for a judicial review of the Right to Rent scheme by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and will be taking part alongside the JCWI as an interested party. It is doing so on the basis that the scheme discriminates against those who cannot easily prove their status, even if they have the right to rent property.
The Policy Director of the RLA, David Smith, says: “These figures show the damage that the Right to Rent scheme is causing for those who might have the right to rent property, but cannot easily prove their identity.
“The added threat of criminal sanctions is clearly leading many landlords to become even more cautious about who they rent to.
“This is a dangerous and divisive policy that is causing discrimination. It must be scrapped.”
Landlords, we remind you to stick to the law when letting to new tenants by complying with the Right to Rent scheme.