Goverment Landlords and Immigration Volatile Mix

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has called upon the Government to abandon its plans to make landlords legally responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants.

On the day that the Government formally published its legislation, research found the majority of landlords oppose the proposal.

A survey carried out by the RLA found that 82% of landlords oppose the plan for the onus being placed on them to check that all their tenants are legally allowed in the country.

The RLA believes that the proposal will jeopardise good landlord and tenant relationships. By requiring evidence of citizenship, it will call into question the rights of many who are legally entitled to British residency.

Following discussions with the Home Office, the RLA believes that landlords will be required to see an original passport and retain a copy on file.

Commenting on the bill’s publication, RLA chairman, Alan Ward said: “Many British people do not have a passport. For those tenants on housing benefits, without passports, this will create an added difficulty for landlords.

“Whilst the RLA fully supports measures to ensure everyone in the UK is legally allowed to be here, this proposal smacks of political posturing rather than a seriously thought through policy.

“For a Government committed to reducing the burden of red tape it is ironic that they are now seeking to impose a significant extra burden on landlords making them scapegoats for the UK Border Agency’s failings.”