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Don's Corner: Right to Rent Fiasco? Home / Don’s Corner: Right to Rent Fiasco?

Don’s Corner: Right to Rent Fiasco?

The ‘Right to Rent’ laws came into effect on the 1st February 2016 across the UK and it quickly highlighted why some landlords need professional letting assistance.

If there was ever evidence needed as to why landlords may need the expertise of letting agents, a new survey about ‘Right to Rent’ proves it.

It seems that up to 90% of landlords are not aware of this new law and have not been advised of the new legislation with the now legal duty to check the immigration status of a perspective tenant. We all need to remember, and this is absolutely important, “Ignorance is no defence in Law”

According to a survey of over 1,500 landlords, carried out by the Residential Landlords Association, 72 per cent of respondents do not understand their obligations under the policy which was designed to make the country a more hostile environment for illegal immigrants.

The result is that many landlords will simply carry on renting to anyone as they don’t know any different and in doing so will fall foul of this new law and stand to be fined up to £3000 per occupant!

The survey also found that 44 per cent of landlords will only rent to those with documents that are familiar to them such as passports or driving licences. The association believes this will cause serious problems for the estimated 17 per cent of UK nationals without proof of ID (about 12 million UK citizens) but what about the student population?

“The government argues that the Right to Rent plan forms part of a package which will make the UK a more hostile environment for illegal immigrants. However the evidence gathered so far shows that instead it is creating a more hostile environment for good landlords and legitimate tenants” says David Smith, RLA policy director.

Alternatively, landlords may target only certain individuals to conduct the checks on, opening themselves up to accusations of racism” he says. ‘What a minefield’, so tread very carefully and if you are in doubt contact a professional and let us deal with the issue for you.

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