Posted by Jack Pestill, Senior Associate
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
Fears landlords are unprepared for Right to Rent rules
Concerns have been raised about the Government’s “Right to Rent” policy, which is set to be rolled out across the country from next month.
Under the new arrangements, private sector landlords are legally required to check the immigration status of all prospective tenants.
The new rules were originally piloted in the West Midlands and will now be introduced nationwide, with significant penalties for those landlords who fail to comply.
But the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) suggests that the evidence from cities such as Birmingham and Wolverhampton is that many people who are in the country lawfully are in fact being refused housing.
The problem has arisen in cases where landlords are unsure and, erring on the side of caution, they have turned away someone who in fact has every right to be in the UK.
David Smith, the RLA’s policy director, said: “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.
“In the absence of such support, 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.”
There have also been separate concerns that Right to Rent could lead to an increase of “racial profiling.”
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants said that it had uncovered 17 cases of discrimination during the pilot scheme.
The problems have led some charities and landlord lobby groups to call for ministers to postpone plans to introduce the checks nationwide.
Our team of lawyers is experienced in dealing with all aspects of Landlord and Tenant law and can advise on the new Right to Rent checks. For more information on how Royds can assist with landlord and tenant disputes, please contact Chris Rodda or Jacinta Conway or visit.
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