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Attitudes harden on right to rent

Around 44% of private landlords are less likely to rent to those without a British passport according to new research from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

This figure has increased from 42% a year ago and comes as the High Court begins a Judicial Review of the Government’s flagship Right to Rent scheme.

The scheme began operating nationwide in 2016 as part of the ‘hostile environment’ strategy for illegal immigrants introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Under it, 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 is intervening in a Judicial Review led by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). Both organisations argue that the policy discriminates against foreign nationals, especially those who cannot easily prove their right to remain in the UK.

The research finds that the fear of getting things wrong also means that 53% of landlords are now less likely to rent to those with limited time to remain in the UK, up from 49% in 2017. In a sign of the uncertainty caused by Brexit, 20% of landlords say that are less likely to consider letting property to EU or EEA nationals, up from 17% in 2017.

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