The Residential Landlords’ Association is today criticising the Government for grandstanding on immigration.
Under proposals announced in the Queen’s Speech the Government is expecting private sector landlords to check that all their tenants are legally allowed in the country with likely fines for landlords found to be housing those not allowed to remain in the United Kingdom.
The Residential Landlords’ Association is warning that whilst immigration rules need to be enforced effectively, the reality is that tenants living in the UK legally will see rents rise as letting agents ramp up fees to cover the costs of further checks on tenants and to cover the greater risks new laws will bring. Such costs will inevitably be borne by tenants paying rents.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Richard Jones, the RLA’s Policy Director, said: “Whilst the RLA fully supports measures to ensure everyone in the UK is legally allowed to be here, today’s announcement smacks of political posturing rather than a seriously thought through policy. The proposal will not work in practice. Employers have been required to make similar checks but it has made no real difference to the numbers of illegal immigrants in the Country.
“For a Government committed to reducing the burden of regulation it is ironic that they are now seeking to impose a significant regulatory burden on landlords making them scapegoats for the UK Border Agency’s failings.”
Richard continued, “Greater risks will be associated with renting a property out at just the time that we need to make investment in the sector far more attractive.
“We will study the details of the proposals carefully and seek to have input during the passage of the Bill to ensure that the imposition on landlords and costs for tenants are minimised.”