The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has called for the government’s controversial Right to Rent scheme to be scrapped.
The scheme forces landlords in the private rental sector to check the passports of potential tenants to ensure that they are allowed to rent property in the UK.
However, research by the RLA has found that almost half of private sector landlords say the Right to Rent scheme has made them less likely to let to those without a UK passport.
The RLA research also shows that It is not only foreign nationals that are affected, as about 17 per cent of British citizens do not own a passport, whether because they do not travel abroad or simply cannot afford one.
More than half (51 per cent) of landlords surveyed said that they are less likely to consider letting to people who are currently outside the UK.
Furthermore, with uncertainty surrounding the status of European Union citizens around 22 per cent said that they are less likely to rent property to nationals from the EU or the European Economic Area.
The RLA confirmed that many of the landlords said they were less likely to rent to people who cannot produce a British passport because they feared criminal sanctions if they were to get the checks wrong.
The findings of the survey have convinced the RLA to support an application for a judicial review of the Right to Rent policy by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and will be taking part alongside the JCWI as an interested party.
RLA policy director, David Smith, stated: ‘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.’