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The introduction of Right to Rent has resulted in EU nationals being refused rental from buy to let investors according to research by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The RLA research found that 44 per cent of private rented sector landlords are less likely to rent to those without a British passport, up from 42 per cent a year ago.
However, the research also found that landlords are reluctant to rent to EU nationals due to concerns about Brexit. Some 20 per cent of landlords said that they are less likely to consider letting property to EEA or EU nationals, up from 17 per cent in 2017.
53 per cent of UK landlords are also less likely to rent to those with limited time to remain in the UK, up from 49 per cent in 2017, due to a fear of getting things wrong under the Right to Rent legislation.
The Right to Rent scheme, introduced in 2016, has never been popular with landlords, as it requires them to carry out immigration checks to make sure that they do not rent a property to someone who does not have the right to live in the UK.
It means that landlords are responsible for checking the immigration status of their tenants with the prospect of prosecution if they know or have ‘reasonable cause to believe’ that the property they are letting is occupied by someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK.
The RLA has called for urgent guidance to be issued by the Government providing clear information for landlords about the right of EU nationals to rent property, especially in the case of a no deal Brexit.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: ‘The Right to Rent is creating a hostile environment for those who are legitimately in the UK but may have documentation that is not easy to understand for landlords. It creates needless friction between landlords and tenants. Landlords cannot be blamed for taking a cautious approach as they are not immigration officers.’
He continued: ‘The Government has so far failed to provide any single document providing clear advice to landlords about the rights of EU nationals to rent property in the event of a no deal Brexit. It is leaving many with a sense of frustration as they do not know if they should renew tenancies and create new ones.’