Landlords ‘not prepared’ for implications of Brexit

The government has failed to prepare private rental landlords for the impact of Brexit, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned. The organisation said ministers had not issued any guidance to landlords around the implications of Brexit on the Right to Rent scheme, a move that could leave millions of EU citizens at risk of being unable to rent.

 

Two-thirds of the 3.7 million EU citizens in the UK are in private rental accommodation and the RLA fear that without the proper guidance, landlords are unclear as to their status once the UK leaves the bloc.

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The Right to Rent scheme puts the responsibility of checking a tenants’ immigration status on the landlord who risk large fines or prosecution if they know or have “reasonable cause to believe” that someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK is occupying their property.

 

Last month, a judge ruled Right to Rent breached the European Convention on Human Rights as it led to inadvertent discrimination against prospective non-UK tenants.

 

Around a fifth of landlords are less likely to let to nationals from the EU or the EEA as a result of the Right to Rent scheme, according to latest figures from the RLA. The organisation warn this figure could rise after Brexit.

 

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David Smith, the Policy Director for the RLA, said : “The Government needs to publish clear and practical guidance for landlords about the implications of Brexit on who they can and cannot rent to. If they do not, more landlords will become increasingly fearful about renting to non-UK nationals, with the potential of facing prosecution.”

 

He adds: “The result will be they will avoid renting to anyone who is not a UK national, making life difficult for EU nationals.”

 

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15th April 2019