MPs raise worries over lettings industry and Immigration Bill

A report by a cross-party group of MPs has thrown serious doubt on to how the immigration status of prospective tenants can be checked by landlords – checks that, in reality, will be carried out in many cases by agents.

The Home Affairs Select Committee’s new report into the UK Boarder Agency, says of the Immigration Bill:

“The proposed new housing measures in the Immigration Bill must not produce a bonanza for unscrupulous landlords who already operate outside the law, driving more people into the twilight world of beds-in-sheds and overcrowded houses in multiple occupation.

“The Committee is concerned about the implications of this proposal on millions of private landlords across the county.

“This additional regulatory burden, in effect requiring them to carry out immigration checks on behalf of the Home Office, is challenging.

“There are over 404 legitimate European identity documents alone on which landlords will have to base their decision.

“There is a possibility that landlords will discriminate against all immigrants regardless of their status rather than take the risk of housing a person without right to remain. There is also a possibility that unscrupulous landlords will hold tenants who are suspected of being an illegal immigrant to ransom.

“Therefore we recommend that as part of the Government’s scrutiny of the Immigration Bill, they commission an impact assessment to gauge the likely effect of these proposals on discrimination against migrants.”

Article courtesy of Letting Agent Today

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