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Landlords warned about new Right to Rent loophole

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The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is calling for the controversial Right to Rent scheme to be scrapped, following new official guidance, which could leave landlords open to prosecution.

Landlords warned about new Right to Rent loophole

Right to Rent requires landlords to conduct identity checks on tenants, to ensure their immigration status allows them to lawfully rent in the UK. Knowingly letting a property to someone who doesn’t meet the criteria could result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

A court judgement, earlier this year, stated that Right to Rent breached human rights law because it could lead to racial discrimination.

The latest issue with the scheme relates to guidance around nationals of Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States, who plan to stay in the UK for less than six months. The new guidance states that landlords need only see a passport and airline ticket from these tenants, not a visa stamp.

The RLA believes this guidance contradicts a legally binding code of practice, agreed by Parliament. The association argues that following the new guidance could put landlords at risk of prosecution, should a tenant outstay the six-month period.

David Smith, RLA policy director said: “This represents a new low in the sorry saga of the Right to Rent. Having already been ruled to be discriminatory by the High Court, the government is now putting out guidance which could leave landlords open to prosecution. It reinforces once against that the Right to Rent policy needs to go and go now.”

Landlords are recommended to keep evidence of Right to Rent throughout a tenancy, and for the following 12 months, in case proof of their checks is needed.

Read more about this story on the Property Wire and Landlord Today websites.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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