On Monday 10th February 2014 the House of Lords went through a second reading of the Immigration Bill. Background checks and specific reference to the RLA all featured.
You can view the transcript of the discussion by clicking here.
Baroness Smith of Basildon quoted the RLA consultation fears which stated:
“Landlords will have to cover their backs and avoid accusations of discrimination by examining identity documents of all potential tenants.”
This issue cuts through various levels of concern the RLA has had with the proposals set out by Government previously.
- Are landlords expected to be experts on immigration matters?
- Will tenants have to carry around their passports? What about tenants without passports?
- What about international students looking for accommodation before entering the country, will the landlords be accused of discrimination?
Lord Clement-Jones further expanded on the concerns of international students having to go through more steps before being guaranteed accommodation stating:
“The NUS survey this month showed that 40 per cent of international students believe that these landlord checks will negatively impact their decision to study in the UK, and the figure was greater in the case of PhD students concerned about their spouse and children.”
Additionally, Lord Best made specific reference to the RLA saying he was grateful to the RLA for a briefing.
The RLA has been working hard to ensure that private landlords aren’t required to work any harder than they already do by providing feedback for some of the proposals within the first reading of the bill.
The RLA submitted an official response to the Government concerning landlords being responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants, which can be viewed here.