Talk

Advanced search

Right to rent - a legal minefield and potential racism

(32 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 01-Dec-14 10:00:54

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-30251741

I think its already quite easy for a decent landlord to avoid illegal immigrants by using a referencing company. Its not in a landlord's interest to have a tenant deported and unable to pay the rent. I don't see why further measures are needed.

I am concerned that legal immigrants will find it impossible to find rental accomodiation. It will be simpler for a landlord just to pick the white applicant who has a british passport. It will end up being the 1960s where adverts said "no blacks - no irish".

MonstrousRatbag Mon 01-Dec-14 12:01:39

It's possible, but I suspect the reality is that people who do not want to rent to anyone of a minority ethnicity are already finding ways to avoid doing so.

NoSundayWorkingPlease Mon 01-Dec-14 12:10:59

What monstrous said.

If a LL doesn't want to rent to someone - for any reason - it's already easy enough not to. You're not obliged to provide a reason.

AuntieStella Mon 01-Dec-14 12:22:52

I wonder how many people will know what documents establish legal presence in UK and what they look like? Boom time for reference companies, perhaps?

KateMosley Mon 01-Dec-14 12:36:50

I wouldn't rent to a non EU migrant as it would be far too easy for them to not pay for months and then go home. Then where would the landlord be? Rent to a UK national and you have a host of legal options Avondale should they not pay or damage your property.

Why would you take the risk?

cheesecakemom Mon 01-Dec-14 13:11:34

Kate, what would stop an EU immigrant from doing the same?

MonstrousRatbag Mon 01-Dec-14 13:14:04

Nothing, though if you got a court judgment in the UK it is much easier to get it recognised and enforced in another EU country, assuming any landlord would bother to go that far.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Dec-14 13:14:32

"I wouldn't rent to a non EU migrant as it would be far too easy for them to not pay for months and then go home."

Why would it be more risky renting to a Pole than a South Africian?

One of my tenants is a black south african and he is a brilliant tenant. Surely EU migrants/ UK citizens are just as likely to bugger off and not pay rent. Having a county court judgement against someone does not make money magically appear.

It is not unknown for UK citizens to diliberately get themselves evicted in hope that the council will rehouse them.

WorraLiberty Mon 01-Dec-14 13:18:00

I know 2 Asian landlords who will only rent to Asian families because "They have money and will always pay the rent on time".

They're quite verbally open about it too, but what can you do?

People will always find a way of doing these things and avoiding the law.

bouncinbean Mon 01-Dec-14 13:19:34

I'm a landlord currently with a family from Hungary in my property. I don't particularly see its my responsibility to check a potential future tenants migration status and would be miffed if I have to do this. My property is not in my home town so the hassle of taking passports to get a photocopy and all that palaver - sod it, you're right I probably would prefer to rent to someone that doesn't cause me extra admin. Sounds like another stupid law that hasn't been thought through...

MonstrousRatbag Mon 01-Dec-14 13:23:02

Sounds like another stupid law that hasn't been thought through...

Or possibly, it has?

What the government can't do directly (because of EU treaty obligations) it will do indirectly with a thousand small, niggling and ostensibly practical measures that will simply harass foreigners out of moving here?

But still no safeguards against unfair practices by recruitment agencies, employers and gangmasters.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Dec-14 13:35:24

"What the government can't do directly (because of EU treaty obligations) it will do indirectly with a thousand small, niggling and ostensibly practical measures that will simply harass foreigners out of moving here?"

EU immigrants have the right to remain. Most unskilled immigrants are EU citizens as its hard for an unskilled non EU immigrant to come to the UK. The law will only affect non EU immigrants.

MonstrousRatbag Mon 01-Dec-14 13:37:07

Oh, good point, OP, sorry.

ConcreteElephant Mon 01-Dec-14 15:04:18

Just quickly as I'm about to school run - there are Guidelines for Landlords

Greengrow Mon 01-Dec-14 15:07:00

Most people will be like bounc particularly in places where there are plenty of tenants.

Same problem with staff - so many politicians have hired cleaners and nannies without checking immigration status.

There's an interesting article in today's FT about the Dutch rented housing market - mostly very very large housing associations rather than private landlords and they have got in a huge mess.
www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0fbd5ad4-7724-11e4-a082-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk#axzz3KdPtiq00

TheChandler Mon 01-Dec-14 15:17:14

Because government can't resist interfering in people's lives when theres not really much need, and making people pay for the privilege of doing it.

And UK Governments cannot really resist changing the law so constantly that a lot of people don't know what it is any more. I say that as a solicitor. Its hard for us to keep up with the rapid legislative changes, so goodness knows how other people manage.

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 01-Dec-14 15:24:55

Won't this hit those landlords who know they are housing illegal immigrants,but don't care because they can be exploited?

Surely we want to discourage exploitation?

specialsubject Mon 01-Dec-14 16:35:38

I rent a place with an agent and the tenant is referenced and ID checked. A passport is the easy way of ID Checking. If a tenant doesn't have one, when this is nationwide ID checking will get pricier.

this is the government pushing things on to the landlords who are of course the root of all evil in this country. The slumlords will ignore and it will have no effect, the rest of us will just have to pay extra. That includes tenants who have every right to be here because they are British citizens, but have never travelled and so don't have a passport. They'll have to stump up unnecessary cash to get one.

as always, regulation in the wrong place, hitting the wrong people.

LurkingHusband Mon 01-Dec-14 16:43:24

specialsubject

surely a birth certificate would do to demonstrate nationality ?

specialsubject Mon 01-Dec-14 17:13:39

would it?

I lose track of who has the right to be here.

well, that's ok then. No problem.

the slumlords still won't check or care, though. Useless legislation.

EllaFitzgerald Mon 01-Dec-14 18:37:00

Lurking Unfortunately, a birth certificate wouldn't be of any use as being born in a particular country doesn't necessarily make you a national of that country, or give you any legal status there.

PanISAButterfly Mon 01-Dec-14 18:50:31

Just how many illegal immigrants, or people without the correct documentation, will be 'caught' from this measure?

Approximately none. IF asked, potential tenants will walk away - into the arms of unscrupulous so called landlords who won't register themselves or any tenants and provide inhuman circumstances whilst pocketing ££££s as the tenant has no right of redress. Nothing short of gangsterism.
It's def. a racists measure and designed to give an anti-immigration 'message' for the next election and line the pockets of people who are/will be Tory or UKIP voters.

APlaceInTheWinter Mon 01-Dec-14 18:58:05

I doubt it will have any impact on exploitation. LLs who know they are renting to illegal immigrants will continue to do so and won't conduct checks.

It just seems like another way for the government to raise funds (by fining LLs) and offer a sop to the anti-immigration crowd.

BackOnlyBriefly Mon 01-Dec-14 19:13:09

What would happen if you reported a LL who was renting to illegal immigrants now? Is there currently a downside to getting caught? Can't they just act surprised?

Seems to me that burglars don't register as burglars either, but keeping burglary illegal means you can do something to them once they are caught.

TheChandler Mon 01-Dec-14 19:45:03

BackOnlyBriefly What would happen if you reported a LL who was renting to illegal immigrants now? Is there currently a downside to getting caught? Can't they just act surprised?

Nothing. One of the reasons immigrants come to this country is because we have a legal system that requires laws to be passed by Parliament before we can convict people under them...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now