16 May 2019

New guidance on Right to Rent checks for EU citizens after Britain leaves the European Union has been published by the government to help landlords, homeowners and letting agents carry out correct checks and avoid civil penalties.

The advice on the controversial Right to Rent scheme, which requires landlords in England to check the immigration status of their tenants, is designed to prepare landlords who rent to EU citizens in post-Brexit Britain.

Given that two thirds of all EU nationals in the country currently live in private rented housing, the guidance about their status has been a long time coming.

Landlords and letting agents have been informed that they should continue to undertake Right to Rent checks on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the same way as now, usually by checking and making a copy of an EEA national’s passport or identity card, until 1 January 2021.

Read the Right to Ret guidance by clicking here.

A recent High Court Judge ruled that the Right to Rent scheme breached the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it led to inadvertent discrimination against non-UK nationals with the right to rent.

The RLA’s most recent research suggests that around a fifth of landlords are less likely to rent to nationals from the EU or the European Economic Area as a result of the Right to Rent, a figure the RLA warns could increase after Brexit.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “Landlords are not border police and cannot be expected to know who does and who does not have the right to live here.”

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